History of American Education
February 7, 2011
The Inclusion Debate: It is Worth It
The “Inclusion Debate” is whether or not to mainstream special education students with students who do not need special assistance. This is a controversial claim because many believe that if these students aren’t mainstreamed with “everyone else” it might mean that all children are not valued equally; however, this is not necessarily the case. I am going to school to become a Special Education instructor and I also work as an instructional assistant in a Special Education classroom at a high school in my town. The Inclusion Debate is something that is still a heated argument and I am in favor for it for several reasons. First, it’s scientifically proven that it helps sped students reach their highest point in development. Also, if we don’t include sped students like any other student we’ll never know how far their brain can develop and how much they can actually learn. It not only helps them to interact and reach their highest educational goals but also become more socially acclimated with their peers and understand what is socially acceptable and not acceptable which assists the mainstream students become socially acclimated, for them to understand these students are just like you and I. They, sped students, have every right to earn an education and be a part of society as well.
“There is much evidence to suggest that students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (“ASD”) can benefit from integration with typical peers. One of the most effective ways teachers can prepare for the inclusion of a student with disabilities is to develop an understanding about the disorder by obtaining appropriate and accurate information. Having access to this information fosters understanding and facilitates a positive attitude toward the challenge of including a student with disabilities. It is also important to gain knowledge about effective inclusion strategies; this can be achieved through seeking out professional development experiences, reading, and talking to or observing teachers with successful experience teaching students in integrated settings. Students with disabilities constitute a diverse group, so it is important to acquire as much information about each individual student as possible” (Pierangelo & Giuliani, 2010). These findings are from instructors who have successfully mainstreamed special education students with average students. This is important because it demonstrates that successful inclusion, or mainstreaming, special education students can be done and is done more frequently than many people know. In this paragraph from Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders, the authors make it clear that mainstreaming special education students can be done and done well if approached in a systematic manner that respects the student but also lets the other students know that it’s okay to be diverse. In this book the target audience is instructors who either are or may be considering mainstreaming special education students into their classroom or even curious individuals wondering what the Inclusion Debate is about.
Pierangelo and Giuliani anticipated implications on learning for average students may be the behavior of sped students: “Being proactive and anticipating potential problems increases the likely hood of successful inclusion. This involves identifying potential difficulties, the student may encounter in the classroom, and developing strategies to deal with or avoid such issues. Teachers also need to develop ways to facilitate peer interactions, consider behavioral issues and develop support plans.” Students...