Inclusion Within the past decades and a half considerable discussion has occurred regarding the most appropriate setting within which to provide education for students in special education. Although the change in the educational environment is significant for handicapped student the concepts of inclusion also bring up new issues for the regular education classroom teachers. The movement toward full inclusion of special education students in general education setting has brought special education to a crossroad and stirred considerable debate on its future direction. Proponents of full inclusion argue that the needs of students in general education. The problems dealing with children who have special needs have been the subject of much educational research and findings have helped educators provide programs and services for many children who otherwise would not have been helped. Full inclusion is “an approach on which students who are disabled or at risk receive all instruction in a regular classroom setting” (Hardman, Drew, Egan, & Wolf, 1993).
Inclusion is more effective when students with special need are placed in a general education classroom after adequate planning. Inclusion does not mean unilateral changes in student’s placements without appropriate preparation. In 1990’s, inclusion appears to be emerging terminology of advise to describe educating students in special education. P. L. 94-142 (1975) in effect, reinforced a separate special educational system to meet the educational needs of children identified as having a disability. A cornerstone of the federal law (reauthorized in 1990 as the federal law (reauthorized in 1990 as the Individual with Disabilities Education Act, IDEA) is that students with disabilities should receive an appropriate education in the least restrictive environment (LRE0 until recently, courts favored conclusions that the most appropriate education for students with extensive disabilities would most likely occur in segregate setting that had more resources and special help.
But as we approach the 21st century, advocates are still concerned about discrimination and the courts have been rethinking the need for physical inclusion to enhance the opportunities for learning from students who do not have disabilities. Inclusion is not a program that a school system should consider as a way to save money. To do it right will cost more money. However, the pay off for all students is likely to be worth the extra cost. We have found that in most cases’ students with special needs who are included are achieving at far higher levels than they did in segregated classrooms. We have also found them blossoming socially, and many have developed real friendship with children in their neighborhoods.
In additions, all students with special needs who are included are achieving at for higher levels than they did in segregated classrooms. We have also found them blossoming socially, and many have developed real friendship with children in their neighborhoods. In addition, all students have benefitted from having such extra supports as curricular adaptations, study aids, and more individualized assistance. All students are learning that everyone brings strengths and needs to every situation. They are learning about conflict resolutions and the importance of being responsible.
Things that were stumbling blocks at first have become benefits. For example, greater collaboration among teachers and other staff members has allowed them to share skills and resources and has led to the improvement of all instruction. We no longer have regular education supplies and special education supplies. We simply have educational supplies, and money has been reallocated to reflect that. Morever, we no longer have the needs for a large fleet of special education buses to bus students out of their home attendance areas for a particular special education class. Our school system did not increase funding during two years of inclusion; we operated on a frozen budget. Though costs have now increased as more schools in our division have begun to adopt inclusion, our per-pupil expenditures for students with special need are still less than those of most neighboring school system, especially those that bus students to other schools and those that pay tuition for students with special needs to attend school in other school districts. We also found ways to reallocate resource despite the fact that Virginia allocates special education funds categorically and not according to inclusion models.
We have found that, through writing waivers, we can please teachers in cross-categorical positions so that they may consult from school to school on student needs a cost comparison of self-contained versus inclusive programs in our system showed that, with the latter, money could be saved on classroom equipment, transportation, instructional materials and mobile classrooms. With the recent passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the continuing success stories emerging from inclusion programs around the county, we believe that our school reflect a society that is ready to embrace all children regardless of abilities or disabilities so that they can be educated together and learn to value one another as unique individuals. Those schools that continue to struggle to keep students with disabilities out of general education classrooms should seriously consider investing their time, effort, and money instead in the creation of environment that welcome all students. What was learned from this journey? First, they learned that they could succeed in general classes, as did other at-risk students and students with disabilities. The general and special educators learned several teaching procedures that worked under a co-teaching argument.
The school staff learned that inclusion would not succeed unless major changes were made in terms of the content that was taught, the methods used to assess competence, and the support provided to teachers and students when difficulties were encountered in the general education classroom. Second, the planning team learned that general educators at Clayton High School were reluctant to give up teaching content for leaning strategy instruction, particularly if the class was a heterogeneous class designed for average to above-average students. Teachers, at Clayton High School received tremendous latitude in making decisions about curriculum, they still felt pressure to teach certain core skills and competencies and to keep expectations at a very high level. Thus, the teachers found that students with disabilities needed more intensive instruction and many more practice opportunities to master leaning strategies than did typical students. This type of instruction requires time that is often not available in general education classes.
Given the limitation of the general education classroom, the Clayton High staff not believes that the ideal plan for inclusion is to teach students with disabilities strategies in the resource room and teach all students a brief, adapted version of relevant strategies in general education classes. This approach provides instruction in strategies for all students while providing a review for students with disabilities, was are more likely to use the strategy because it is part of the general education curriculum. Foremost among this positive outcomes was the marked increase in collaboration among the staff. Specifically, the staff at Clayton High realized the importance of developing a support system for all at-risk students to ensure that inclusion would be successful for low-performing students as well as students with disabilities. Therefore, a training center was conceptualized that would provide leaning strategy and study skills instruction and tutoring for all students. The following year, the remedial teacher and their teaching interns opened the Mark Twain Learning Center. IN addition, during the use of objectives tests and use more alternative or performance-based assessments (e.g., portfolio projects and presentations).
These and others change helped students with disabilities and low-achieving students experience success in regular classes. What was learned from this journey? First, the learned that they could succeed in general classes, as did other at-risk students and students with disabilities. The general and special educations learned several teaching procedures that worked under a co-teaching arrangement. The school staff learned that inclusion would succeed unless major changes were made in terms of the content that was taught the methods used to assess competence and the support provided to teachers and students when difficulties were encountered in the general education classroom. Second, the planning team learned that general education at Clayton High were reluctant to give up teaching content for leaning strategy instruction, particularly the class was designed for average to above average students.
Although teachers at Clayton High received tremendous latitude in making decisions about curriculum, they still felt pressure to teach certain core skills and competencies and to keep expectations at a very high level. However, they were willing to integrate brief instruction in related study skills and were especially enthusiastic about the use of content enhancement routines. Third, the teachers found that students with disabilities needed more intensive instruction and many more practice opportunities to master leaning strategies than did typical students. This type of instruction requires time that is often not available in general education classes. Given the limitations of the general education classroom, the Clayton High staff now believes that the idea plan for inclusion is to teach students with disabilities strategies in the resource students with disabilities strategies in the resource room and then teach all students a brief, adapted version of relevant strategies in general education classes.
This approach provides instruction in strategies for all students, while providing a review for students with disabilities who are then more likely to use strategy, because it is part of the general education curriculum. Finally, the teachers discussed – as many other educators and researchers have concluded that detracting and inclusion of students with mild disabilities in regular classes require extensive planning. Many of these students have had significant learning and behavioral disabilities. The faculty has always been and continues to be a group of hard-working dedicated competent professionals who care about students and are willing to make adaptations and modifications for the benefit of students. However, even this group of professionals could not make detaching or inclusion work for everyone without significant changes in teaching and assessment methods and in support system. Inclusion can work but only if it is supported inclusion. Successfully including students with mild disabilities at the secondary level requires both administrative and instructional adjustment.
In the two cases, studies presented here, teachers received considerable time for planning and managing administrative support throughout the change process. Changes require considerable time and effort. The instructional program was characterized by a high level of collaboration among general and special education teachers, specifying a scope and sequence of learning strategy instruction across classes and grades, and a commitment to alter what and how content was delivered in the general education classroom through the use of various content enhancement routines. In short, successful inclusion of students with learning disabilities withing the general education classroom was realized only when the set of instructional conditions associated with the notion of supported inclusion was met. This case study describes the educational experiences of students with learning disabilities (LD) who were included full-time in general education classes in one elementary school in Virginia. Date for two students with LD were collected through observations, interviews, and record reviews.
The students were observed in reading, mathematics, and science classes. Interviews were conducted with the principal, the special education supervisor, one special education teaches, two general education teachers, two students, and two parents. The review of student records provided information on achievement levels, referral information, and IEP goals. Descriptions of the context for inclusion, the model of including the role of special education teachers, and students’ educational experiences were included in the case report. Valley Elementary School was one of 32 elementary schools in Volunteer County School District, a district serving over 47,000 students. The principal described their program as: A decentralized special education program in this school system. We have one school board for all general education and special education.
The process in volunteer works this way, I mean, if a child is referred for possible evaluation, the referral comes right here. Every building has a designated special education coordinator. The referral goes to the special education coordinator and that person will bring the case before the child-study team for the screening components. A decision in made at the point as to whether or not to proceed to full evaluation and we are in control of those evaluations totally. Every school has educational diagnosticians available at least part-time and school psychologists .
. . So we are in control of those components and we take it all the way through to eligibility in writing of the IEP and if the child needs to go, say, to a central program that is not in my building, we simply all the principals of the school down the road that has the EMR class or the Ed self-contained class and we say, “we have got one coming to you.” Nothing goes through the central office. It is a lot of work, but it puts all of those services to the customer, to the parent, and it gives us control. The collaborative teaching model at Valley Elementary School was developed locally, without university involvement, from inspiration and training provided by staff in the country special education offices.
The collaborative teaching model was implemented initially at the high school level, then expanded to several elementary schools in the county. The special education supervisor explained: “It started in secondary because there was a real need for a secondary program. The institutional specialist for learning disabilities had been looking at trying to find a way to improve the secondary program. This, the collaborative teaching model one of the special education options available to students with LD in Volunteer County School District. The pr …