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Inclusion in Education: Comparing Pupils' Development in Special and Regular Education

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Essay title: Inclusion in Education: Comparing Pupils' Development in Special and Regular Education

Peetsma, T., Vergeer, M., Roeleveld, J., & Karsten, S. (2001). Inclusion in Education: comparing pupils' development in special and regular education. Educational Review, 53, 125-135. March 14, 2007

Longitudinal data on the differences of children’s cognitive and psychosocial development in a variety of special and mainstream schools are reported in this article. The study focuses on comparing the development of children in mainstream and special education classrooms. Originally segregation of children with special needs was stemmed from the ideas that the children’s cognitive needs would be better met in small classrooms with teachers specially trained. It was believed special education classes would help a child’s psychosocial development and increase their self- confidence. As the number of students in special education began to increase the idea of segregation became a concern. The argument was that children with relatively minor educational problems should be taught in the mainstream setting. Based on reviews of analyses special needs students who are educated in regular classrooms do better academically and socially than the student solely in special education classrooms. The report indicates positive effects on academic, behavioral, and social outcomes of students with disabilities when integrated in a classroom. However, a small percent of special needs students have more success in a special education class, and for those students special education may be a better solution. One could conclude that children in special education would not be negatively affected after inclusion in a regular educational classroom, but instead would probably make more progress academically. Studies of regular and special education demonstrate that children who are in special education classrooms perform at a lower level of cognitive task and function less psychosocially.

Udvari- Solner, A (1996). Theoretical indulences on the establishment of inclusive practices. Cambridge Journal of Education, 26. 101-119. March 14,2007

The study was designed to examine the strategies used by teachers to include students with disabilities in elementary general education classrooms. Schools across the country are establishing a mainstream to include students with significant intellectual, emotional and physical disabilities. The goal of inclusive education is to bring all students, including those with special needs, together in their school community. Inclusive practices have become a new paradigm of thought in the educational system. The United States Department of Education has funded a study to examine effective strategies for including students with disabilities in general education classrooms. The study focused on two main questions: what elements of classroom culture and teacher behavior make a classroom inclusive, and what factors appear to influence a teacher’s ability to instruct a diverse group of learners. Through observations among selected classrooms constructivist, Vygotskian and multiple intelligence theories were identified as critical constructs influencing the instruction in the classroom. The research consists of five classroom observations along with interviews with each teacher. The classroom teachers all appeared to have an understanding with the idea that the curriculum, instruction, environment and materials may need to differ for any child. Each teacher believed he/she had a personal responsibility to get to know the child as a learner, meet the student at his/her level of understanding and mold and shape learning experiences with that knowledge. With this idea each of the five teachers demonstrated adaptation within their classrooms. The basic nature of multiple intelligence, constructivist or Vygotskian orientations is for educators to see the differences in learning styles and promote a differentiated curriculum for all students. Teachers may examine actions of students and seek applications of skills within a learning content. When a teacher is able to become aware of the students strongest modalities and use those strengths as vehicles to promote the acquisition of skills in less developed areas of performance, he/she is making the learning environment more flexible and adaptable for all students. This study offers insight into theoretical approaches that may have positive impact on teachers' efforts to establish inclusive classrooms.

Ochs, E., Kremer-Sadlik, T., Solomon, O., & Sirota, K. (2001). Inclusion as social practice: views of children with autism. Social Development, 10(3). 399-419.

Inclusion is a federal policy which promotes integration of children with disabilities into general educational settings. This study focuses on the effect of inclusion on social interaction and development in highly functioning Autistic students. Contact with typical peers is thought to be a crucial point

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