Inclusion Education policies for Special needs

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Inclusive Education Practices Information Booklet

Chris Ware


Part 1. An analysis of Inclusion Education Policies.

This paper is the first part of a Booklet. It is aimed at academics, teachers and allied health professionals. This essay endeavors to discuss current and past principles of Inclusion education practices and assess just how effective they are towards providing education for all individuals.

Inclusive Education Practices Information Booklet

Inclusion policies and their influence on education facilitation are determined by identifying the arguments for and against Inclusive Education. This involves assessing and substantiating three key areas. First, assessing influences of the Macro environment, in particular the Consequentialist, Justice, Rights and Needs arguments. Second, examining of the inter-relationship of inclusive education polices on the micro-environmental factors of parents. Third, evaluating the influence of Inclusive Educational Practices on teachers.

Soodak (2003) and Cole (1999) best describe inclusive educational practices as the process where individuals with disabilities receive their education, in general, atypical settings. In comparison, Education Queensland's (2004) cs-15 Principles of Inclusive Policy document describes Inclusive curriculum as the development of knowledge, skills, attitudes and processes necessary to question how disadvantages have developed within current social structures, and to challenge rather than accept social injustice, and empower people to participate as equals.

Are Inclusive education practices the most effective medium to challenge social injustices and empower people to participate as equal? The pros and cons of Inclusive education policies are assessed by two components. The first component is the assessing Norlander's (1995) historical assessment and influence of American Inclusion policy development on Australian Inclusive education practices. The second component is the examination of the macro components of Inclusive education practice as established by Cole (1999). Norlander (1995) defines the first development towards Inclusive Education as the Institutionalization and School segregation mid 1970s. Institutionalization was the process in which the first teaching of individuals with special needs occurred established by the Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Citizens (PARC). The second development he describes as the deinstutionalization of Schooling and the development of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) creating nationalized equal educational opportunities for all individuals with disabilities. The third development is described as the era of Community Integration, where special needs individuals were integrated into the community depending on ability. Evidence of this was legally formulated by the creation of the Americans with disabilities Act (1986). Historically, these three developments in the treatment and education of individuals with special needs in America lead to basis of current Australian Inclusion education policies. The effectiveness of current policies is assessed by the influences of macro and micro environmental characteristics.

On the macro level, Cole (1999) describes four arguments for and against inclusion, the Consequentialist, Justice, Needs and Rights arguments. The first two will be discussed. The Consequentialist argument is based on the cost-benefit analysis and the Unitarian approach. This defined by Cole as a process where education polices are assessed on aggregate maximum benefit for the majority of persons involved in education. Consequentialist theorists for Inclusion propose that the philosophy and practice of inclusion promotes increases in student learning, less dependency on the government on resources for regular school education, and propose that individuals against inclusive education policies are lessening the...
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