Topics: Special education, Education, Resource room Pages: 19 (5736 words) Published: October 12, 2013
International Education Studies

Vol. 2, No. 4

Should All Students with Special Educational Needs (SEN) Be
Included in Mainstream Education Provision? - A Critical Analysis Huei Lan Wang
Department of Communication, Faculty of Social science
Nan-Hua University
Traditionally, children requiring special educational needs (SEN) are segregated into separate learning environments. While this education practice has been established for years, other educators and analysts have been questioning its efficacy. Most of them suggest that students with SEN should be included into mainstream schools to maximize their learning experiences. Several other benefits as well as issues have been raised in relation to this educational issue. In this paper, the factors related to the education and inclusion of students with SEN, including the curriculum, attitude of the educators, professional development, equality issues as well as learning experiences, will be discussed. The significance and relevant effects of these factors will be the basis of the conclusion of this paper on whether inclusion should be adapted.

Keywords: Special Educational Needs, Inclusion, Segregation
1. Children with Special Needs: A Historical Account
Historically, people with specific learning disabilities have been segregated from mainstream school practices as well as economic and social activities (Atkinson et al. 1997). Similarly, several people with sensory impairments as well as physical disabilities have been excluded from the society (Humphries and Gordon, 1992). At times, segregation of the disabled had led to severe social practices like sterilization and incarceration. Such practices had been observed due to misconceptions of physical and intellectual characteristics (Oliver and Barnes, 1998). The practice of separating the disabled from the rest had originated from the mistaken notion that human bodies must conform to a certain standard or norm. Foucault had discussed this erroneous belief extensively (Rabinow, 1984). 2. Segregation versus Inclusion

The provision of appropriate educational needs for children with special disabilities has long been a common issue in education. Arguments and debates have been raised in line with the right policies on how to educate children with special educational needs (SEN). According to Jenkinson (1997), children with disabilities are traditionally educated in segregated classrooms, specifically designed to cater to the students' certain incapacities. Educators find this segregation system beneficial, as they are able to apply curriculum formulated specifically for special children. Likewise, children with disabilities benefit from this system not only because of the appropriate curriculum, but also the thought of attending classes with classmates having the same disabilities enhances their confidence or self-esteem as well. Furthermore, being segregated assures the security and sufficient support special children need. However, in an article written by Dunn (1968), the segregation of special children involves many issues of concern, which were generalized into four main points of argument including the students' academic achievement, the detrimental effects of labeling associated with placement outside the mainstream, the racial imbalance in special education, and recent advances in individually paced curricula which would make it possible to accommodate students with disabilities in the regular class. Furthermore, several educators have argued that exposing children into ordinary education settings will be the most effective means of equipping children into better self-supportive adults in the future (Jenkinson, 1997). The students are not the only ones affected by the segregation system. Teachers or educators are also isolated through this kind of setting. Being isolated, their teaching competencies become limited as well. Considering the significance of this point,...

References: Ainscow, M. (Ed.) (1991). Effective Schools for All. London: Fulton.
Ainscow, M. (1994). Special Needs in the Classroom: A Teacher Education Guide. Kingsley/UNESCO.
Atkinson, D., Jackson, M. and Walmsley, J. (1997) Forgotten Lives: Exploring the History of Learning Disability.
Avramidis, E., Bayliss, P. & Burden, R. (2000). A Survey into Mainstream Teachers ' Attitudes Towards the Inclusion of
Children with Special Educational Needs in the Ordinary School in one Local Education Authority
Beh-Pajooh, A. (1992). The effect of social contact on college teachers ' attitudes towards students with severe mental
handicaps and their educational integration, European Journal of Special Needs Education, 7, 231-236.
Berlin, I. (1997). The pursuit of the ideal, in Berlin, I. The Proper Study of Mankind: An Anthology of Essays, edited by
Hardy, H
Bowman, I. (1986). Teacher training and the integration of handicapped pupils: some findings from a fourteen nation
UNESCO study
Center, Y. & Ward, J. (1987). Teachers ' attitudes towards the integration of disabled children into regular schools, The
Exceptional Child, 34, 41-56.
Coates, R.D. (1989). The regular Education Initiative and opinions of regular classroom teachers, Journal of Learning
Disabilities, 22, 532-536.
Cole, D. A. (1991). Social integration and severe disabilities: A longitudinal analysis of child outcomes. Journal of
Special Education, 25(3), 340-351.
Diebold, M.H. & Von Eschenbach, J.F. (1991). Teacher educator predictions of regular class teacher perceptions of
Dunn, L M. (1968). Special education for the mildly retarded: Is much of it justifiable? Exceptional Children, 35, 5-22.
Dyson, A. (March 2001). Special needs in the twenty-first century: where we 've been and where we 're going, British
Journal of Special Education, 29 (1).Faught, K
Hanline, M. F. (1993). Inclusion of preschoolers with profound disabilities: An analysis of children 's interactions.
Humphries, S. and Gordon, P. (1993). Out of Sight: The Experience of Disability 1900-1950. Plymouth: Northcote
Jenkinson, J.C. (1997) Mainstream or Special? Educating Students with Disabilities. London: Routledge.
Kaufman M., Agard J., & Semmel M. I. (1978). Mainstreaming: Learners and their environments. Research Report.
Kliewer, C. (1998). The meaning of inclusion. Mental Retardation, 36, 317-322.
Leroy, B. & Simpson, C. (1996). Improving student outcomes through inclusive education, Support for Learning, 11,
Leyser, Y., Kapperman, G. & Keller, R. (1994). Teacher attitudes toward mainstreaming: a cross-cultural study in six
National Association of State Boards of Education. (October 1992). Winners all: A call for inclusive schools.
Oliver, M. (1996). Understanding Disability: from Theory to Practice. Basingstoke: Macmillan.
Oliver, M. and Barnes, C. (1998). Disabled People and Social Policy: From Exclusion to Inclusion. London: Longman.
Peterson, N. L. (1982). Social integration of handicapped and non-handicapped preschoolers: A study of playmate
Peterson, N. L., & Haralick, J. G. (1977). Integration of handicapped and non-handicapped preschoolers: An analysis of
play behavior and social interaction
Rabinow, P. (ed) (1984). The Foucault Reader. New York: Pantheon Books. Semmel, M.I., Abernathy, T.V., Butera, G.
& Lesar, S. (1991). Teacher perceptions of the Regular Education Initiative. Exceptional Children, 58, 9-24.
November, 2009
Semmel, M.I., Abernathy, T.V., Butera, G
Shimman, P. (1990). The impact of special needs students at a Further Education College: a report on a questionnaire.
Smith, C. R. (1998). Learning disabilities: the interaction of learner, task, and setting. Boston, Allyn and Bacon.
UNESCO. (1994). The Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action on Special Needs Education. World
Conference on Special Needs Education: Access and Quality, Salamanca, Spain, 7-10 June 1994
United Nations. (1989). The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
United Nations. (1993). The United Nations Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for People with
Vaughn, S., Schumm, J.S., Jallad, B., Slusher, J. & Saumell,L. (1996). Teachers ' views of inclusion, Learning
Disabilities Research and Practice, 11(2), 96-106.
Villa, R.A., Thousand, J.S., Meyers, H. & Nevin, A. (1996). Teacher and administrator perceptions of heterogeneous
education, Exceptional Children, 63, 29-45.
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free