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A Guide to Inclusion in Education

What is Inclusion Education

The classroom is now as exciting and as diverse as ever before. Different learners who come from various backgrounds all bunch up into one challenging educational system. Children with special needs, especially those who have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD), Asperger’s Syndrome, or Dyslexia, have been integrated with students in the mainstream. While this may indicate unity in diversity within the bounds of education, general education teachers may not be ready for the upsurge.

Inclusion Education Environment

The educational system today encourages an inclusive setting for all kinds of learners. It is believed that putting them together can create an environment where children can learn from each other’s strengths and weaknesses. For instance, a child who has been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome may benefit well from the social interaction provided in the regular setup. Meanwhile, the child’s classmates will be amazed at the highly-specialized topics that he or she can readily share with them.

On the other hand, children with AD/HD need some customized accommodations. They have been known to maximize their learning when rules have been clearly established, transition times are properly organized, and when they are provided the opportunity for self-regulation.

However, general education teachers may not have been properly trained to carry these out in the classroom. They may end up getting frustrated when what they have been practicing with other children doesn’t seem to work with the others. It is quite clear then that there is a current need for teachers to have additional skills and abilities in order to address the special needs of children.

Inclusion Education Models

With the increasing weight on educating students with disabilities along with their peers without disabilities, the preparation of inclusion education takes on even more importance.

There are a number of models that teachers and administrators alike can successfully implement as part of their preparation. Among these are the teaming and co-teaching models.

Teaming Model for Inclusion Education

In a Teaming Model a special education teacher is assigned to one grade level team of teachers and is given educational sessions per week. The teacher offers the others information, potential instructional strategies, revision ideas for assignments and tests, and other acceptable behavior strategies to be used in class. The team model is recommended because teachers must not work alone to achieve success with special students. Team work is the principle of this model.

Co-Teaching Model for Inclusion Education

With the Co-teaching model, the general education and special education teachers can work together and take turns in teaching students. In this way, learning experiences become concrete and significant. The preparation of teachers will be practiced in this model through instruction planning and delivery, student assessment, and discipline.

Inclusion Education Strategies

As part of the preparation of teachers for inclusion, different strategies should be learned. These strategies can pertain to:

  • Acceptance- the acceptance of individual differences with regards to disability and culture.
  • Individualized Learning – a modification of the large group instruction to answer the individualized learning needs of students.
  • Revised Materials- the revision of instruction from textbooks and print materials to interesting audio-visual aids for the benefit of the students with special needs.

Preparing teachers for inclusion may sound like a big task, but when they are carefully implemented, the classroom becomes a haven for all kinds of learners as well as teachers.