Educational inclusion Essay
It is a common misconception that including people with special needs in general education classrooms inhibits proper instruction and does not meet the needs of the students involved. However, the opposite has proven to be true. Inclusion of people with special needs within schools causes students and teachers to grow and change in ways only possible through inclusion. And it is a direct result of these reasons that inclusion is beneficial to everyone involved. When general education students are put into a classroom with people that do have special needs, they grow in social awareness and develop a greater understanding and acceptance of students with special needs and diversity in general.
Students learn the meaning of equal individual worth and equal rights.
When general education classrooms include people with special educational needs, students without special needs become more accepting and understanding of differences within their classroom (Nilholm 437).Inclusive schooling causes students learn to be aware, understanding, and accepting of differences. It teaches them that everyone has different levels of abilities and that they need to work together to survive and be happy.
Most students tend to learn better in inclusive settings. In the past, separate classrooms and programs were thought to be the best way to provide for each student as an individual. However recently, in properly implemented inclusive settings, which provide appropriate instruction and support, students tend to learn more than they do in segregated classrooms.
When proper inclusion was implemented, students showed over 30% increase in standardized test scores over two years than in a separate classroom (Baker 33). A study, comparing the academic performance of included and segregated students with special needs, concluded that the mean academic growth of the integrated group was in the 80th percentile, while academic growth of the segregated students was in the 50th percentile (Dawson 531).Inclusive classrooms also benefit students without special needs. Within an integrated classroom, the math scores of students without special needs increased by 34% in contrast to students within a regular classroom (Baker 34).
All students benefit academically from inclusive classroom. Inclusion promotes the growth of self-esteem. No person, much less a student, wants to be singled out or identified as “different” or less worthy to be part of normal society. When schools separate students with special needs, the school promotes this idea of inequality. It makes the students with special needs feel left out and “different” and it give normal students the idea that they are worth more than students with special needs (Lipsky). By including all students, the negative effects which segregated classrooms create, are eliminated.
When students with special needs are included with people their own age, they gain better self-image and self-confidence. An inclusive classroom offers students supportive and positive interactions with others and promotes social understanding. Children want to make friends and including everyone in a safe classroom setting makes this much easier. Including children with special needs within the general education classrooms causes teachers to become much more aware and effective teachers. They become more sensitive to the diverse needs of the children and families they serve. When given a classroom of students of varying ability levels, teachers are faced with a whole new challenge. Through inclusion teachers teach at a more age appropriate level and have more realistic expectations.
They are also forced to implement a wide variety of different teaching methods to better serve the individual needs of their students, in turn becoming more effective teachers (Thomas 2). In inclusive classrooms teachers implement safer and less abusive methods of student management as well. In segregated special education classrooms, teachers are quick to use dangerous and abusive methods such as restraints and seclusion but these practices can physically and mentally harm a student. In inclusive settings teachers use more appropriate and safer forms of behavior management which makes the environment safer for students with and without special need and the teachers (Turnbull 8). Teachers grow as teachers and as people when they are teaching in an inclusive classroom.
They become more aware and accepting on students with special needs. In many schools today, students with special needs are considered pariahs and teachers are a major reason as to why this happens. If teachers are put in an inclusive classroom, they will learn to be more understand and loving towards students with special needs. When teachers have inclusive classrooms, they become better teachers and that benefits them and the students they educate. Inclusion of children with special needs in general education classrooms benefits everyone. It makes teachers better at their job. It helps students with and without special needs to learn more effectively. It promotes friendships between students that are different from each other. It promotes the idea of equality and acceptance. Most importantly it makes education and school a better place. Educational inclusion benefits everyone who encounters it.