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Inclusion

 
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heidi1972



Joined: 01 Feb 2005
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 1:56 am    Post subject: Inclusion Reply with quote

I am a graduate student studying special education. I am currently working on a project concerning inclusion.
If anyone would like to answer these questions, my deadline is Friday, Feb. 4.

Please give a little background about yourself. Are you a parent, teacher, or student? What age group do you teach or what is the age of your child/yourself?

Questions:

1. Do you agree or disagree with inclusion? Why or Why not?

2. What is your philosophy of inclusion, or how would you like to see it implemented?

3. What do you think are the reasons for the emphasis on including children with special needs in a regular ed classroom?

4. In your experience, what have the attitudes of students without disabilities been toward their peers with disabilities?

5. What are the advantages and/or disadvantages or inclusion?

6. Please share any experiences you have had, good and bad that relate to inclusion.

Thanks in advance to everyone responding. Please let me know if there are any resources I should check out to learn more about inclusion.
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Tara B



Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Posts: 126
Location: Sterling, VA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2005 11:17 pm    Post subject: Don't like it Reply with quote

Sorry it's past your deadline, but I'm going to reply anyway because I'd like to get a discussion going about this.

It is my first year teaching in an Inclusion ESL program on the east coast. I teach 6th grade at a middle school and work with a team of 5 other teachers; most of my students are hispanic. I am from CA and never heard of inclusion before I got this job. I have been very frustrated this year; I think there are ways of doing inclusion better, but even so I think there are more effective ways of meeting our kids' needs.

Questions:
1. Do you agree or disagree with inclusion? Why or Why not?
It depends what you mean by inclusion. I agree with including ESL students in mainstream classes, especially intermediate and advanced students. I disagree with the team-teaching system because I think it's ineffective and wasteful. Instead of having two teachers that halfway know what they're doing, we need one who is trained in both their subject matter, and ESL adaptations. In my job I am responsible for providing accommodations for 4 different subjects (lessons, homework, quizzes and tests) daily. It's harder than it sounds; a lot of the tests need to be totally re-written, and on short notice. However, each teacher, if they had the right training could accommodate their own lessons and homework and then repeat it 5 times. That, really, would be no big deal.

2. What is your philosophy of inclusion, or how would you like to see it implemented?
The philosophy is that the "included" children are better off academically and socially when they are not separated from the others. I would like to see inclusion with training for participating teachers, instead of the team-teaching.

3. What do you think are the reasons for the emphasis on including children with special needs in a regular ed classroom? ----It keeps the expectations high for them. In the real world, LD students will be competing with everybody else for jobs, etc. If a student can learn to compensate for disabilities instead of always being adapted to, that will be better for him/her in the long run. ---The school day is only so long. Every time they are pulled out for special services, they miss something that the other students are getting. ---It gives them and other kids the chance to be friends, and it gives non LD kids the chance to learn about learning disabilities. ----For ESL students it gives them invaluable opportunities to interact with native speakers.

4. In your experience, what have the attitudes of students without disabilities been toward their peers with disabilities?
In my experience they have been quite accepting. In many cases they are unaware of the disability.

5. What are the advantages and/or disadvantages or inclusion?
If you mean including ESL students in mainstream classrooms, I think the advantages have already pretty much been covered. As for disadvantages, many of the students are uncomfortable participating in class if they know their skills are low. I think they need at least one period of self-contained where they can work on thier skills at the right level and be in a "safe" environment. In addition, having low-skilled students can slow the rest of the students down. Providing "alternative" assessments, such as visual or oral projects (instead of the traditional report) takes away opportunities for the mainstream students to use and develop their written skills. As a student in this type of class (it wasn't that long ago!) I felt kind of silly doing art projects in a high school class. -------If you mean team-teaching, in a middle school setting, I have found it hard to team-teach with 4 different people. It almost impossible for one person to make necessary accomodations for 4 different classes. The regular teacher, if trained, could make the accomodation for his/her one class, and then repeat it for 5 periods.

6. Please share any experiences you have had, good and bad that relate to inclusion.
The program I work in has a very rigid, all-or-nothing philosophy. I would like to see a mixture of inclusion and self-contained classes, which is what is done in special ed. I don't believe that a Level 2 ESL student belongs in a regular 6th grade English class. ------------- In addition, because of the limitations on my time, the regular teachers need to take at least some responsibility for the inclusion students if the students are going to be successful. My teachers are happy to let me do my thing as long as it doesn't interfere in their lives. As an ESL professionsl, I can see that some of them will have to make some major changes in order to be successful with the ESL kids. But since I am their co-worker and not their boss, I don't really feel like I have the power to do anything about this. If this program is going to work, somebody above us needs to require us to do planning together.


***I am very interested in learning about other teachers' experiences. If you have worked in inclusion, please respond!***
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