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Philosophy of Inclusion in Education

What is your philosophy on Inclusion?

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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.

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.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U

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!
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Here are some resources if you need them:

Scholarly articles for Inclusion in Education to us:
An international study of inclusion in education - Booth - Cited by 236
Inclusion in education: comparing pupils' development ... - Peetsma - Cited by 43
Promises of access and inclusion: Online education in ... - Lelliott - Cited by 26
Promises of access and inclusion: Online education in AfricaA Lelliott, S Pendlebury... - ... Philosophy of Education, 2000 - interscience.wiley.com

http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=Inclusion+in+Education&hl=en&as_sdt=0&as_vis=1&oi=scholart

Promises of access and inclusion: Online education in AfricaA Lelliott, S Pendlebury... - ... Philosophy of Education, 2000 - interscience.wiley.com
The promises and pitfalls of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) are tied to two quintessential motifs of our times: globalisation and the learning society. Both ideas have a rather different purchase in Africa than they do in Europe, North America and Australasia. So, ...
Cited by 26 - Related articles - BL Direct - All 5 versions

Report Card to the Nation on Inclusion in Education of Students with Mental Retardation. S Davis - 1992 - eric.ed.gov
... ED352778 - Report Card to the Nation on Inclusion in Education of Students with Mental
Retardation. ... ERIC #: ED352778. Title: Report Card to the Nation on Inclusion in Education
of Students with Mental Retardation. Authors: Davis, Sharon. ...
Cited by 20 - Related articles - Cached - Library Search

Exploring processes of marginalisation and ...

Solution Summary

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.

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.

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