Steps to Improve Inclusion Especially for Profoundly Retarded Students Term Paper

Pages: 6 (1560 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 8  ·  Level: College Sophomore  ·  Topic: Teaching

¶ … school inclusion with the goal of showing how an inclusion program, when implemented and understood correctly, can work to benefit all students involved, both special and regular education. This paper is aimed at a New York City middle school where the student population is comprised of both general and special education students, including profoundly retarded and autistic students.

Recently, the school district has implemented a policy that requires inclusion efforts to be made. The typical situation is that a special education student is pushed into a general education course, such as math, literacy or science, where they are accompanied by their paraprofessional. The paraprofessional will provide materials for the special education student, thus the general education teacher does not provide any instruction to these students.

Clearly, there are both benefits and challenges to inclusion. For example, profoundly retarded students tend to enjoy being in the general education classroom. However, these students are limited in terms of interaction and involvement. Thus, this paper will take an approach to establish an inclusion method that focuses on such challenges.

Introduction

The issue of classroom inclusion of students with disabilities is an ongoing pedagogical question and one that remains a controversial subject. Both those who advocate for full inclusion, partial inclusion or no inclusion all have valid points. For example, one benefit of having full inclusion is that gives the student with disabilities an equal opportunity as all other students at receiving a public education. Further, and more importantly, regardless of what the student is able to learn regarding the subject matter, the student with disabilities is able to learn about socialization and be an active member in his or her classroom. A third advantage of having full inclusion is that it creates a classroom setting that mirrors the realities of the world at large. Namely, it creates a classroom setting where everyone is not the same, thus teaching the regular-education students about interacting with all kinds of individuals.

On the other hand, a valid argument against full inclusion is that it does not provide the student with disabilities the special education that they need. This line of argument argues that inclusion actually fails to adequately provide for students with disabilities. In order to get the education and skills that they need per their unique situation, specialized and personal education approaches need to be utilized. These types of education approaches are not feasible in the regular classroom.

The Role of Collaboration

Collaboration is an essential role in the day-to-day routine of the special educator. In order to provide a well-rounded education to students with disabilities, the special educator must collaborate with various individuals both inside and outside the school environment. For example, the special educator must collaborate with the student with disabilities family and parents. Further, the special educator must collaborate with such colleagues as physical education, music, art and other co-curricular activities. More so, if inclusion is used in any manner, the special education teacher must collaborate with the regular classroom teachers in order to find areas within the regular curriculum where the student with disabilities can participate.

Overview of Instructional Practices

In order to assist with the teaching of students with special needs and disabilities within the elementary school setting, various instructional practices and adaptations should be used. An example of such an instructional practice and adaptation is the use of guided reading. Instead of taking the student with special needs out of a reading activity, they can be included by being partnered with a group of students and thus be able to listen to and enjoy the story. Further, they can be asked to participate their thoughts on the story.

In order to successfully teach to a child with disabilities, the teacher must work to create an effective learning environment. When one talks about a learning environment as it pertains to a child with disabilities, one speaks of an environment that encompasses the learning that takes place both in and outside of the classroom. Thus, in order to successfully create this learning environment, the successful teacher must work to create an all-encompassing strategy of inclusion.

Inclusion does not simply mean bringing the student with disabilities into the regular classroom, although this is in deed an important component of inclusion. However, inclusion requires a much broader definition in order to be truly successful. Thus, my personal philosophy of inclusion requires an inclusion of the student's family in the child's learning process along with including the child in the regular classroom. In order to accomplish this inclusion plan, the teacher most dedicate ample time to both outreach to the family and creating an effective discipline program within the classroom.

A Broad Definition of Inclusion

A teacher's work with a student with disabilities is not limited to working only with the child but also includes significant work with the child's parents or family. When first approaching a family with a newborn child with a disability, a professional must consider several things. First and foremost, the professional should demonstrate his or her knowledge and experience on working with children with disabilities. Next, the professional should point that although every child is unique, especially in terms of their educational development, from his or her own experience this is typically what a parent can expect. From here the professional should give a brief overview of the educational process typically used for exceptional children, including benefits and challenges that are likely to be encountered.

It is essential to involve families as partners in education. The time spent in the classroom is only a fraction of a child's learning experience. The vast majority of it occurs outside of the classroom, most often at home. Since continuity is essential in the educational development of a child with special needs, it is important that what is happening in the classroom is carried over and reinforced at home and the other way around. To do this, families must be made part of the school education process in order to understand the methods and progress of the child and what they can do to facilitate this at home.

This being said, the parents and families of a child with special needs plays an important role as not only a parent, but also a teacher. Thus, they must be given some level of educational training. Such things as basic courses in developmental psychology and instructional strategies would be highly beneficial in allowing the parent to provide effective instruction when the child is not in the classroom. Other areas of training include on the status of the law and what is required for their specific situation.

Creating a Classroom Environment Conducive to Inclusion:

Once an inclusion plan is agreed upon and set by the family and educators, the next step is to implement the plan within the day-to-day process of the classroom. Although successful inclusion requires such strategies as group work, one-on-one attention and adapted technologies, the fundamental key to a successful inclusion classroom is a set order and discipline. Without this foundation, no meaningful learning can occur.

The first few days of the school are essential in that they can make or break the learning experience for the remainder of the school year. It is during these first days that the learning environment is created. For this reason, a first year teacher must be both prepared and knowledgeable in how to implement that direction of the learning experience from the ring of the very first bell.

One of the main factors in doing this is to implement a set form of discipline. Regardless of what grade level you teach, the general rule is to never start off being nice. Instead, start as a stickler for rules, you can always become more nice as the students begin to accept the classroom rules. Further,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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