Pros and Cons of Special Education Inclusion

Pros and Cons of Special Education Inclusion
Pros and Cons of Special Education Inclusion

Pros and cons of special education inclusion: Overview
The pros and cons of special education inclusion have been debated since the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was mandated in 1975. Although support for inclusion of children with disabilities in regular education gains momentum, research lags behind. The best available information comes from the follow-up studies of high school graduates. The data suggests that inclusion in general education classes, especially in vocational education courses, is associated with improved post-school outcomes. Although research on the long-term effects of inclusion may be sketchy, there is some evidence of the positive effects of inclusive education on students who do not have disabilities. Research and anecdotal data have shown that typical learners have demonstrated a greater acceptance and valuing of individual differences, enhanced self-esteem, a genuine capacity for friendship, and the acquisition of new skills.

Pros and cons of special education inclusion: Assessment
The pros and cons of special education inclusion are centered on who should be served. Inclusion is more than one-size-fits-all. It should fit the blind, autistic, those with poor social skills, etc. An effective inclusion program works because of a support system and strong structure. Not everyone will agree, but if compromise is allowed, a positive change can take place. Research suggests that effective schools are not inclined to ship difficult kids out but try to develop ways to meet their needs in the school. The view of the faculty is that all students, including those with the most significant disabilities, should participate in the general education curriculum. What changes is how instruction is designed for students and the types of supports they are provided. Although there is a research base on school reform and systems change, the nuts and bolts of what schools should specifically be doing to make inclusion work is just emerging.

Pros and cons of special education inclusion: Action
Despite more than 30 years of action, more research needs to be done in regard to the pros and cons of special education inclusion. Research should determine the technology that best supports disabled students in the general education curriculum and in general education classes. Teachers need to be trained properly. There is a need for well-trained general educators who have deep knowledge about subject areas and special educators who have expertise in effective instruction for students with disabilities. There is a common core of knowledge that all teachers should have to work effectively in inclusive schools. Colleges and universities need to begin to be more aggressive in redesigning their teacher education programs to provide novice teachers with this common knowledge base and set of experiences.

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