I was just reading bog entries about inclusion. Spicifically, they were discussing the issue of whether or not there were any benefits for regular ed students in an inclusion setting. One of the teachers stated that there were no benefits in inclusion, because there existed little or no real interaction between the 2 sub-groups. The blog had closed, and I wasn't able to participate, but I really would love to hear from my colleagues. By the way, I absolutely disagree with this teacher, but I have only been teaching inclusion for a year. Perhaps my views on the subject are unrealistic or too romantic?

In any event, here's my question:

In your opionion, how do the students benefit from an inclusion setting?

Tags: benefits, ed, inclusion, special, student

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Replies to This Discussion

I am a learning support teacher in a school that may switch to inclusion this year. It seems that you have noticed benefits to the regular ed students. I was wondering what benefits you have noticed?

Hi Sara,

There are several benefits. For example, the gifted children are able to master the skills by helping/teaching the others what they have learned. What I love most is the way the special ed students meet and exceed their own expectations in the process of trying to keep up with everyone else. It's a win win.
I completely disagree with the notion that inclusion does not benefit the “regular” ed children. I have not had any experience in the classroom yet but I am working towards a master's in elementary ed and special ed. Inclusion benefits regular ed children in so many ways. Inclusion benefits the social-emotional development of children in so many ways. Students can become a positive role model and friend to a student with a disability. Children without disabilities can learn to be empathetic and nurturing to students with disabilities, including them in games and classroom activities, fostering a greater acceptance of special ed students in the general ed classroom. Adults are important when it comes to teaching children about acceptable social behavior but children, i.e., peers are equally important. "Friendships are especially important peer relationships that provide emotional support and foster motivation to resolve conflicts in mutually satisfying ways. When children interact with their peers, they enter social exchanges on a more or less equal footing: No single individual has absolute power or authority. By satisfying their own needs while also maintaining productive relationships with others, children acquire… fundamental personal and social skills” (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2010).
I do not believe that I am not being unrealistic when I say that the benefits of inclusion far outweigh the drawbacks for all students. It undeniably requires a great deal of commitment on the part of the teacher but why would any of us choose this profession at all? Summers off? The compensation? The long hours of test grading, paper grading, parent conferences? Not really...most of my classmates, both experienced teachers and inexperienced teachers, have time and again exhibited that they truly care about the success of the children that they are or will be teaching. Perhaps this teacher needs to learn more about inclusion. May be this teacher is not adapting this philosophy correctly? In my opinion, being a reflective teacher is at the heart of our success in the inclusive classroom. It is our job and inclusion is not going to go away. We have to once adapt to the demands that are placed on us! This is just one.

McDevitt, T.M, Ormrod, J.E. (2010). Child Development and Education, 4th edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education Inc.



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