The Success of Inclusive Classrooms
The Institute for Special Education
The Success of Inclusive Classrooms
Inclusive classroom is the cause of debates between families with children who have learning disabilities and those that do not have children with learning disabilities (Brehm, 2003). Inclusion can be understood as Brehm states it, Providing to all students, including those with significant disabilities, equitable opportunities to receive effective education; services, with the needed supplementary aids and support services, in age-appropriate classrooms in their neighborhood schools, in order to prepare students for productive lives as full members of society. (2003, p. 89) With the collaboration of the school and home, inclusive classrooms can be successful. Students who have learning disabilities and those who do not have learning disabilities will have the opportunity to develop in a personal fashion, social relationships, and helps students with learning disabilities become “productive… as full members of society” (Brehm, 2003, p. 89). Inclusive classrooms are consistent with the law that all students should be educated in the least restrictive environment (Banerji & Dailey, 1995).
Some are opposed inclusion because they believe it will be costly for the school. One school wanted to test inclusive classrooms in their own school and to see the effects. They froze their budget so the public cannot attribute their success to an increase in expenses (Van Dyke, Stallings, & Colley, 1995). Their per-pupil expenditures for students with learning disabilities were slightly lower than neighboring schools. Since all students were included in the general education the budget was reformed (not increased) to support that. For example, the school did not have to provide separate transportation for students with special needs nor did the district have to pay private tuition for the students they could not accommodate. The school had “educational supplies” as opposed to separate supplies for the regular education classes and the special education classes (Van Dyke, et al. 1995). Another criticism is that the training needed for teachers, the workshops for school staff, and the collaboration that is needed to make inclusion successful will take a lot of extra time (Van Dyke, et al. 1995). That is true. However, the training and education teachers receive is valuable and improves their teaching to typical students and special students. The benefits that are gained by all students is worth the time (Benerji & Dailey, 1995). Lastly, after a few trainings teachers learn how to run an inclusive classroom so less time is needed for workshops. If we implement the proper education for inclusion in college, teachers will begin teaching with greater skills and knowledge of how to run an inclusive classroom. Another concern is that students with learning disabilities do not necessarily do better academically in an inclusive setting compared to the special education classes. Through research it has been found that after one year of inclusive classrooms in three different districts, 54% of the students with learning disabilities learned what they were expected to (Zigmund, Jenkins, Fuchs, & Fafard, 1995). That number was only given after one year of inclusion classroom. The success stories will keep growing if inclusion is done with the right focus and method. Classrooms are an introduction to the community that we live in. Children with disabilities need to be in regular classrooms to help them prepare for the challenges that will arise in the “real world,” (Van Dyke, et al. 1995). Segregating students puts a label on them that they are different and are therefore treated differently. But, really they are apart our community so they should be part of our schools (Van Dyke, et al. 1995). As, Van...
References: Benerji, M., Dailey, R. A. (1995). A Study of the Effects of an Inclusive Model on Students with
Specific Learning Disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 28(8), p511-522. doi: 10.1177/002221949502800806
Brehm, K. (2003). Lessons to Be Learned and the End of the Day. School Psychology Quarterly,
18(1), p.88-95. doi:10.1521/scpq.220.127.116.1175
Staub, D., Peck, C. A. (1994). What Are the Outcomes for Nondisabled Students? Educaional
Leadership, 6, p36-40. Retrieved from http://rdas-proxy.mercy.edu:3176/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=4bf1b7b5-27eb-4c47-9b29-43509138eaff%40sessionmgr110&vid=4&hid=125
Van Dyke, R., Stallings, M. A., Colley, K. (1995). How to Build an Inclusive Community: A Success Story. Phi Delta Kappan, 76, p475-479. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/218474563?accountid=12387
Zigmond, N., Jenkins, J., Fuchs, L. S., Fafard, M. (1995). Special Education in Restructured Schools: Findings from Three Multi-Year Studies. Phi Delta Kappan, 76(7), p531-540. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/218510466?accountid=12387
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