Students With Disabilities
Inclusion refers to the placement of the student with disabilities into the mainstream education centers. It involves committing the students with special needs to the regular and classrooms. It involves bringing the support services and system to the children rather than moving the students to the system (Cline & Frederickson, 2009). It assumes that the student with disabilities will benefit by learning in regular education schools instead of been trained in isolation from other students. Many debates have been raised as to whether inclusion should be encouraged or discouraged. Some of the stakeholders are for the inclusion while others feel that student with special needs should not be taken into a regular class. The purpose of this paper, therefore, is to argue for and against inclusion.
The stakeholders in the teaching of the students with the disability feel that every student has a right to attend school with the same facilities as those enjoyed by his or her peers. Inclusion of the students with disabilities can only be achieved by ensuring that all students are learning in a single school (Smith & Doughty, 2011). The students are also able to enjoy equal benefits with their peers.
When the parent takes their children into the special education setting instead of the general education classroom setting they become venerable for victimization. Their pear will start associating them with their disabilities and hence stigmatizing them. Inclusion helps them to become confidence as they see they can compete with the students without a disability (Ruijs & Peetsma, 2009).
Special Education Classroom
Compared to the special education classroom inclusion provide an environment that stimulates the learning of students with special needs. This environment promotes learning and enriches the growth of the special education students. The past study indicates that student with disabilities that are introduced to an inclusion program get more time to engage with the instructor and hence become more exposed in academic activities (Gal & Engel-Yeger, 2010).
The student gets role models in the regular education classroom who help to facilitate social, communication and adaptive behavior. Inclusion contributes to give examples of appropriate social behavior and appropriate classroom behavior to the students with the unique needs (Obiakor & Algozzine, 2012). The expectation of regular class is very high, and hence this modeling happens naturally. Those student isolated in special schools are not exposed.
Inclusion also has the advantage of helping the student with a disability to make new friends and share their experience. The students are exposed to the new sector with a population of many students from diverse background. They can develop a close relationship with other student and hence lead to acceptance irrespective of their disabilities. The students are also able to create a friendship with the community surrounding the school. Parents who take the children in the public school believe that they will be able to work in a diverse population since the community can accept the despite having the disability (Hodge, 2012).
Developing a Sense Of Self Worth
Another advantage of inclusion is that it enhances self-respect and self-esteem of children with special needs. After they start to integrate with the regular education teachers and students, they develop a sense of self-worth (Pijl & Flem, 2008). The students start feeling good about themselves and their experience in school. The competition in the general classroom setting makes them to feel that they have the same potential as their peers without disabilities.
Inclusion helps the regular education teacher learn new teaching methods that are relevant to all teachers. Special student requires special treatment, and hence this makes the teacher more creative in his work avoiding monotony hence come up with new ways of delivering information to the students. It also helps the teacher to develop the teamwork skills. The teachers will remain in school most of the time so as to interact with other professionals such as the specialist, the principal, regular education teachers and special education teacher. This is for the benefit of working together to address the challenge affecting the inclusion of the students with disabilities (RossHill, 2009). Through teamwork, the teachers can develop new ways of solving problems.
Inclusion has also advantage to the student without disability learns more from the student with special need. This removes the fear the regular student in regards to their classmate who have disabilities. This makes them accept their peers that have disability hence not seeing their disability as inability. The regular are therefore able to understand and able to deal with the student who has disabilities.
Integration With the Students With Special Needs
Through integration with the students with special needs, the regular students can learn intellectual, emotional and physical diversities are part of every person in the word. The student starts to develop the taste of societal difference with the classroom. This helps the student to able to tolerate and respect one another.
On the other hand, there are those who see inclusion to have more harm than good. Proffessionals see it unrealistic forcing all students into the regular mode of learning. The past literature has there indicated that inclusion has the dark side of it and hence should be avoided. One of the disadvantages of inclusion of students with special needs is that socializing in the education is more important than academic work (RossHill, 2009). Those opposing the inclusion feel that it is not prudent to take socialization to be the primary goal of education while ignoring the school performance. Integration focus on the student sharing the same classroom without considering the academic performance of the student (Armstrong & Spandagou, 2011).
Inclusion is also disadvantageous to the teachers as most of them they are not comfortable in handling and controlling of the students with disabilities. Most of the regular teachers are not trained to deal with students with disabilities, and they should not be made to adjust to meet the needs of a small group of people (Cline & Frederickson, 2009).
Teachers In the Special School
As compared to the teachers in the special school, teachers in regular school lack adequate training and support. Most of the regular teachers do not required training on how the students with disabilities are taught. The teachers in regular education centers also lack the skill required in collaboration and planning the time for the student with disabilities. Because of this issues, the regular education teachers feel frustrated and develop a negative attitude toward the concept of inclusion of students with special attitude in their classroom (Estell & Rodkin, 2008).
Sometimes the special education feels the regular student will harm them and hence feel unsafe in mainstream education school. The regular student may refuse to accept they are going to share the same classroom with disable children and hence making them a target for teasing, harassment or calling them names. This can make the student with disabilities to develop stress and finally result in depression.
The student with disabilities requires special education classroom to be comfortable as they learn. Some of them require limited disturbance, and individualized education program, which is not present in the mainstream school setting (Bender, 2008). Therefore, the student with disabilities ends up lacking the basic needs required for them to learn. It has been reported that self-esteem of the children with disabilities may be affected as most often mainstream life is characterized by frustration, isolation, fear and ridicule. Some of are also discouraged from being unable to do what their peers can do hence making them feel depressed, academically inadequate and overwhelmed compared to their classmates who are non-disabled.
Degree Of Conflict Between the Special Education Students and Regular Education Students
Inclusion also affects the regular student negatively in that it create a degree of conflict between the special education students and regular education students. The students without disabilities feel that student with special are given more specialized instruction and wonder why the same should not be done to them. In addition, the regular student may argue that the amount of workload given to them is more compared to that given to the students with disabilities. Because of this conflict, non-disabled students may start tormenting, teasing and ridiculing the students with special needs hence developing a negative relationship between the two groups (Sze, 2009).
The teacher involves in teaching fear as they are not sure the student are going to fail or to be successful while taking their education in an ordinary classroom. Since most of the regular school teachers are not trained to handle the student with disabilities, hence they lack the confidence in dealing with the student with disabilities.
Inclusion being one of highly emotional and controversial topic in the education of the students with special needs its success depends on the implementation process. The stakeholder should develop a positive attitude to have good outcomes. The administrative support, appropriate training of teachers and support staffs, adequate resources and proper time management is critical in the inclusion of students with disabilities. From the discussion, it can be concluded that inclusion has benefit as well as disadvantages to the teachers, the student with, without disabilities, and to the parents. To make that there is no much debate as to whether the inclusion should be promoted or not the stakeholder should strike a balance in ensuring that the student perform well academically as well as their social life is impacted positively
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