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Effective Inclusion Practices

What would you consider to be Effective Inclusion Practices?

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I WOULD CONSIDER CO-TEACHING TO BE AN EFFECTIVE TEACHING PRACTICE

As I worked with the resource teacher, we team-taught in order to provide an inclusive environment that would give our students with special needs both inclusion and the support they needed to be successful. Students should get the support they need and the credit they deserve for what they do know. All students should be given lots of opportunity to demonstrate their adaptive skills and what they have learned as a result because you are asking them to adapt to an environment in which they are being included. The Special Education teacher provided additional support to the included students due to the adaptive strategies and skills they had been working on together. The Special Education REsource Teacher's awareness of the specific skills and strategies she had been teaching her students allowed her to support them so they could better adapt to the inclusion. She gradually encouraged her students to teach those skills and strategies to all of the students. This built confidence in the included students because with their teacher's encouragement and support, they knew they had some skills and strategies to offer to my students. This also confimred eqaulity because offerings were equal. I encouraged and supported my students to create an environment that made the included students feel welcome, comfortable, confident, and equal. As we co-taught together we strived for equality.

I WOULD CONSIDER COOPERATIVE LEARNING, COLLABORATIVE LEARNING, & PROBLEM SOLVING TO BE EFFECTIVE TEACHING PRACTICES

Cooperative Learning allowed students to create an environment that made the inclusion students feel included. When we got the students working cooperatively (which is something you have to teach) there was no distinction made about who was included and who was not. The collaborative process during group work allowed each individual student to develop their own understanding of the material and to share that with their group. The problem solving aspects of the cooperative learning allowed everyone to be challeneged in a way where they focused on helping one another rather than competing against one another.

I WOULD CONSIDER CENTER - BASED LEARNING, COLLABORATIVE LEARNING, PROBLEM SOLVING, AND TEACHING TO MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES TO BE EFFECTIVE TEACHING PRACTICES

In centers, we provide images to go with words in language, and manipulatives to use with numbers in math. This gives every child (not just the included child) a method or tool to use in order to show what they know. This is also eqaulizing. Students could draw, sing, move, use manipulatives, use hand signs and gestures, and use drama (acting things out) in order to show what they know. We attempted to give opportunities for the verbal linguistic, the logical mathematical, the musical rhythmic, the visual spatial, the bodily kinesthetic, and the naturalist. We wanted to INCLUDE everyone! NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND and Special Education were NOT conflicting ideas here. Paradigms in education need to be shifted totally. A collaborative model rather than a competitive one moves children forward. The children simply help each other and everyone benefits.

I WOULD CONSIDER A CONSTRUCTIVIST TEACHING METHOD TO BE AN EFFECTIVE PRACTICE

The idea is to give the students as many different ways to shine and show what they know as possible. The constructivist teaching method uses all of the previously mentioned teaching strategies. Constructivisit teaching methods allow students to construct their own understanding of material to be learned. This method puts the focus on what students can do and not what they can't do! This is the best thing for a classroom that includes students. This is what removes the barriers and puts the focus on the positive. This is the idea of inclusion. This idea should be a part of every single classroom in the world! Effective inclusion allows ALL students the opportunity to construct understanding of what you are teaching, allows ALL students different ways to shine, and allows ALL students different ways to show what they know.

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Inclusion in Education

Inclusion is an approach to educating students with special educational needs. Using the inclusion model, students with special needs spend most or all of their time with non-disabled students. Implementation of inclusion practices vary. Many schools use inclusion with selected students who have mild to severe special education needs. I taught in an inner-city middle school that was majority culture of poverty. I taught 5th grade, and I worked closely with the special education resource teacher in order to meet our state's requirements to provide more inclusion in our classrooms. There was a lot of pressure put on school districts, schools, administrators, and teachers to provide a more inclusive environment for students with special needs.

I WOULD CONSIDER CO-TEACHING TO BE AN EFFECTIVE TEACHING PRACTICE

As I worked with the resource teacher, we team-taught in order to provide an inclusive environment that would give our students with special needs both inclusion and the support they needed to be successful.In a culture of poverty school, it was very difficult to remove the financial-cultural-class bias and simply focus on the needs of the student. It was important that we were always aware of the possibility of this bias. In a culture of poverty, there are so many hidden rules that manifest themselves as attitudes, which are often misconstrued as lack of ability. Students in a culture of poverty also excel at many skills that we don't measure, and due to their poverty, they often don't have the resources to excel at the things we do measure. This can give a skewed assessment of ability. It is important to consider these things when team teaching and including special education students in a regular division environment. Students should get the support they need and the credit they deserve for what they do know. They should be given lots of opportunity to demonstrate their adaptive skills and what they have learned as a result because you are asking them to adapt to an environment in which they are being included.

I WOULD CONSIDER COOPERATIVE LEARNING, COLLABORATIVE LEARNING, & PROBLEM SOLVING TO BE EFFECTIVE TEACHING PRACTICES

I WOULD CONSIDER CO-TEACHING TO BE AN EFFECTIVE TEACHING PRACTICE

In centers, we provide images to go with words in language, and manipulatives to use with numbers in math. This gives every child (not just the included child) a method or tool to use in order to show what they know. Students should be allowed to draw, sing, move, use manipulatives, use hand signs and gestures, and use drama (acting things out) in order to show what they know. Truly, NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND and Special Education are conflicting ideas anyway. Paradigms in education need to be shifted totally. Children should simply move through the system based only on what they have mastered. If we had a collaborative model rather than a competitive one, this would not be a problem. The older children would simply help the younger children, the ones who know would help those who struggle, and everyone would be grouped according to what they were learning. There would be no need for SPED or inclusion. Everyone would be included where they needed to be.
Please watch this video on youtube.com about changing paradigms.
Please watch Changing Paradigms: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U

I WOULD CONSIDER CENTER - BASED LEARNING, COLLABORATIVE LEARNING, PROBLEM SOLVING, AND TEACHING TO MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES TO BE EFFECTIVE TEACHING PRACTICES

Inclusive education isn't 'integration' and it isn't 'mainstreaming.' Integration and mainstreaming tended to be concerned more with the disability and 'special educational needs' and implied that learners were changing or becoming 'ready for' or deserving of accommodations by the mainstream classroom.

Inclusion is about the child's right to participate in the classroom and the school's duty to accept the child. It is about discovering the ability. Inclusion is about allowing students to show their ability. Inclusion rejects the idea of separating students with disabilities from students without disabilities. After all, every human struggles in some area, and students do work to help one another if they are given a nurturing environment and the organization to do so. Cooperative learning was an important tool that the resource teachers and I used to give additional support to students who needed it, whether they were labeled special needs or not. It is important that these students are included, supported, and allowed to nurture one another in order to learn.

Fully inclusive schools, which are rare, no longer distinguish between "general education" and "special education" programs; instead, the school is restructured so that all students learn together. That is what we tried to do in our classroom. We communicated the idea that everyone needs help in some area, and that we all need to work together in order to learn. Another way we implemented this idea in the classroom was to allow students to go to centers in groups of two's. They were encouraged to discuss and solve problems together as a team. Another concept we taught each year was the Japanese proverb "To Teach is to Learn" and students were encouraged to attempt to learn concepts and information in order to teach it either to their group or to the whole class if they felt comfortable. They worked with one another to understand the information or concept in a way that made sense to them in order share it with others. This reinforced what they learned and gave them so much confidence.

The methods I have mentioned were used in a 5th grade classroom, but they could easily be adapted to any classroom. Using music, movement, art, manipulative in centers, art in language centers to explain answers, plays and musicals, songs sung together, teaching songs with sign language to the whole class, and rhythm musical instruments like symbols are methods I used when taught 4-6 year olds.

The idea is to give the students as many different ways to shine and show what they know as possible. This puts the focus on what they can do and not what they can't do! This is what removes the barriers and puts the focus on the positive. This is the idea of inclusion. This idea should be a part of every single classroom in the world! Effective inclusion allows ALL students the opportunity to construct understanding of what you are teaching, allows ALL students different ways to shine, and allows ALL students different ways to show what they know.
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Here are some resources if you need them:

Scholarly articles for Inclusion in Education to us:
An international study of ...

Solution Summary

I WOULD CONSIDER CO-TEACHING TO BE AN EFFECTIVE TEACHING PRACTICE.

I WOULD CONSIDER COOPERATIVE LEARNING, COLLABORATIVE LEARNING, & PROBLEM SOLVING TO BE EFFECTIVE TEACHING PRACTICES.

I WOULD CONSIDER CENTER - BASED LEARNING, COLLABORATIVE LEARNING, PROBLEM SOLVING, AND TEACHING TO MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES TO BE EFFECTIVE TEACHING PRACTICES.

I WOULD CONSIDER A CONSTRUCTIVIST TEACHING METHOD TO BE AN EFFECTIVE PRACTICE.

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