Definition of Trend/Issue
Inclusion is the combining both general education classrooms and special education classrooms into one. Full inclusion combines everyone regardless of the severity of his/her disability; whereas partial inclusion leaves those with severe and profound disabilities and/or intellectual disabilities in self-contained special education classrooms. In an inclusive classroom setting, special services are brought into the classroom instead of students being pulled out of the classroom for those special services (Henson, 2006, p.366). An inclusion classroom is designed to allow students with special needs the opportunity to access the full curriculum and view children ...view middle of the document...
If full inclusion were ever fully implemented, there would be no special education classrooms or special education resource rooms in any schools. Every classroom that had students served under special education with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) would have both a general education teacher and a special education teacher that would share responsibilities of instruction for all students.
In order for inclusion to be effective, special training needs to be offered to general education teachers, administrators, and all the children as well; this is seldom done. In order for students without disabilities and those with disabilities to communicate properly, students need to be given “social interaction strategies” and participate in “social skill activities” (Terpstra, 2008). Response to Intervention (RTI) is a three-tiered model that general educators use for all students. This model has helped general education teachers gain an insight on how to monitor student progress overtime in order to determine how much intervention the student may need (Musti-Rao, 2011). This model is used by the general education teacher in the classroom which has proved to be a successful program. More training in programs such as this would help general education teachers understand the complexities in assessing and differentiating learning for those students with exceptionalities.
While there are many pro’s to an inclusion setting, there are also some drawbacks especially when proper training is not given. Case study reports done on pre-service teachers found that often general education teachers lack the confidence and skills needed to teach students with exceptionalities which often leads to low self-esteem and feeling of acceptance by the students with disabilities. In addition, general education teachers are also generally more curriculum driven and fail to make many accommodations or to differentiate instruction for those diverse learners (Jung, 2007).
A study on co-teaching found that teachers felt more comfortable and often had more positive outlooks when they were allowed to choose which teacher they worked with (Nichols, 2010). Some of the vital elements needed to successfully implement co-teaching is to...