The term inclusion captures, in one word, an all-embracing societal ideology. Regarding individuals with disabilities and special education, inclusion secures opportunities for students with disabilities to learn alongside their non-disabled peers in general education classrooms. Honestly establishing a successful inclusive classroom varies in complexity, based upon the challenges created by the disability at hand. However a knowledgeable approach and positive attitudes on the parts of parents and teachers proves vital to triumphing over any obstacles which may emerge.
Inclusion: What is it? Theory and Practice
A knowledgeable approach and positive attitude toward inclusion begins by understanding the concept and the theory behind it. Why integrate children with special needs into a general education classroom? Who benefits? What results? Special education professional Gretchen Walsh M.S. Ed., who runs the Academic Support Center at Notre Dame College, gives a concise synopsis when she says “Inclusion is important because through our diversity we certainly add to our creativity. If you don’t have a diverse classroom or a diverse world, you don’t have the same creative levels and I think our strength lies in our diversity.” See What’s Inclusion? Theory and Practice for an in-depth look into this idea.
Adaptations, Accommodations, and Modifications
According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), students with special needs have the right to receive necessary curricular adaptations. Adaptations include accommodations and modifications. Students who receive accommodations are held to the same academic expectations as their general ed classmates; on the other hand, modifications entail making changes that lower these expectations. Curricular adaptations vary based upon each learner’s individual needs. Individualized education programs (IEPs) list what accommodations or modifications a student should receive. To obtain a more comprehensive glimpse into adaptations read Adaptations, Accommodations, and Modifications.
The General Ed Teacher’s Guide to the Inclusive Classroom
The complexity involved in integrating students with disabilities into general education classrooms can make this process seem intimidating or overwhelming to a general education teacher. If you feel this way, take comfort in the realization that you are not alone. Actually the fact you find yourself currently exploring this website indicates you are journeying down the right path. As already noted, a knowledgeable approach proves vital to a thriving inclusive environment. So, be sure to consider the strategies shared within The General Ed Teacher’s Guide to the Inclusive Classroom.
If you’re a teacher looking to advance your career with a special education degree, check out our comprehensive list of master’s degree programs by state focused on special education.