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View Full Version : Special Ed Inclusion: Pro or Con? (Spinoff of another thread).



Lanie
03-19-2009, 10:51 PM
We were discussing elsewhere about integrating kids who have special needs into the classrooms. There are many kids in self-contained classrooms and even self-contained schools. There's a movement to get away from this. It's being argued by experts that "inclusion" (integrating the special needs kids with the general education classes) helps that student out academically and socially. There are different levels of inclusion. Some kids hardly go into Special Ed classes at all. Some kids stay in Special Ed classes all the time and only join the other kids for Special such as Art and PE or for a minimum amount of time in the General Education classroom. I would argue that this also helps out General Education students because they start accepting differences in people better. Another argument in favor of this is that some kids don't belong in special education to begin with. Some people think that it's being overdone, and that some kids are being "dumped" in there, and are not achieving much (depending on their teacher).

So there are some pros. Now for cons. It's argued that when a student is too disruptive because of their special need, the teacher has to use more time on that student. This creates less time for instruction. However, the student does not have to be a disruption. He/she might also have a lot of academic needs that a General Education teacher feels they cannot meet without sacrificing needed time with other students.

Some push for more and more seperate classrooms and schools. Some are in the opposite direction. If they had their way, every single last child would be in the General Education classroom whether it could fit their academic needs or not.

I'm a little in between. I think that we should include as much as possible. If we have to give some kids a one on one or one on three or four assistant to do that, then so be it. However, there are some really extreme cases in which I honestly think the kid should not be with the others. Some kids have problems that make them kick and scream a lot. They will hurt you without meaning to. Some kids have the minds of babies. I don't see how they can possibly function in a regular classroom. I'm also thinking they can get better help with life skills when they have that more intensive teaching. Extreme cases. That's it. Other than that, I wish they would be more inclusive.

So, where should the line be drawn?

PoliCon
03-19-2009, 11:20 PM
speaking as a teacher - I'm all for including children with special needs into the mainstream class room - PROVIDED they can do the work. I am however against full inclusion. Children who are a disruption cheat the rest of the students out of their own education. If a kid needs more than one "handler" that kid would prolly be better off in a special needs class.

Lanie
03-20-2009, 11:29 AM
speaking as a teacher - I'm all for including children with special needs into the mainstream class room - PROVIDED they can do the work. I am however against full inclusion. Children who are a disruption cheat the rest of the students out of their own education. If a kid needs more than one "handler" that kid would prolly be better off in a special needs class.

That's actually the point behind paraprofessionals. It's one person to specifically assist them. I think a lot of them can do the work if they have extra help. Sometimes, general ed teachers can't do as much as necessary. A lot of Special Ed positions are now teachers going into regular classrooms. I don't have a problem with that.

linda22003
03-20-2009, 11:35 AM
speaking as a teacher - that kid would prolly be better off in a special needs class.

:eek:

PoliCon
03-20-2009, 11:37 AM
:eek: yinz guys needs ta lighten up. sheesh. :p

linda22003
03-20-2009, 11:39 AM
yinz guys needs ta lighten up. sheesh. :p

At least you use the regional plural correctly. :p I heard a lot of that accent when we were there last weekend.

PoliCon
03-20-2009, 11:39 AM
That's actually the point behind paraprofessionals. It's one person to specifically assist them. I think a lot of them can do the work if they have extra help. Sometimes, general ed teachers can't do as much as necessary. A lot of Special Ed positions are now teachers going into regular classrooms. I don't have a problem with that.

Most of the special ed in class room teachers are there to deal with children who have behavioral issues and shouldn't be in the regular classroom to begin with if you ask me. We need to stop making excuses for bad behavior. Granted Johnny might have a medical or psychological root to his bad behavior - but that does not either justify or excuse it. He need to be taught all the more self control.

PoliCon
03-20-2009, 11:41 AM
At least you use the regional plural correctly. :p I heard a lot of that accent when we were there last weekend.

Oh I know how to speak it - even if I did grow up in rural Ohio speaking with a nasty hick accent . . . . Mostly though I only trot it out to make a point or for fun. :cool:

Gingersnap
03-20-2009, 11:48 AM
An interesting flip side to entire question is the argument that mainstreaming effectively eradicates a couple of formerly important and vibrant subcultures: the deaf and the blind.

Back in the day, deaf and blind children were often sent to special schools and were more or less immersed in a subculture that was not simply accepting but supportive. A lot of those kids went on to become leaders and advocates, business people, and teachers. When you read their biographies, you can see that the school environment had a tremendous impact on them. Mainstreaming pretty much destroys those special subcultures.

stsinner
03-20-2009, 11:48 AM
I say absolutely not! No parent has the right to cry that his child who did poorly in life's lottery has the right to keep other kids from achieving. My son once has a deaf kid in his class, and he had a person in the front of the class signing to him. It was distracting to the other kids, and I thought it was ridiculous..

Special Ed kids are better suited being taught by special Ed teachers, and vice-versa.. We have to stop being all about feelings in this country and get back to good old common sense..

People act like if we put them in the general population schools they'll never know they're different, and it won't hurt their feelings.. Of course anyone with a brain knows that this is horse crap, and I'd argue that it points out to them and reinforces just how different they are. the would be more comfortable around kids with similar situations.

It holds both the normal kids and the special ed kids back when they aren't taught in their optimal classrooms by their optimal teachers..

Of course anyone who has seen the behavior in inner-city schools and the way the inmates are running the asylums would argue that to take the special ed kids out would decimate the class sizes... Might as well just change the name of the school to incorporate special education somewhere in the title..

PoliCon
03-20-2009, 11:53 AM
An interesting flip side to entire question is the argument that mainstreaming effectively eradicates a couple of formerly important and vibrant subcultures: the deaf and the blind.

Back in the day, deaf and blind children were often sent to special schools and were more or less immersed in a subculture that was not simply accepting but supportive. A lot of those kids went on to become leaders and advocates, business people, and teachers. When you read their biographies, you can see that the school environment had a tremendous impact on them. Mainstreaming pretty much destroys those special subcultures.

We still have very strong and thriving schools for the deaf (http://www.wpsd.org/)and the blind (http://www.wpsbc.org/) here in Pittsburgh. I know teachers at both. :)

PoliCon
03-20-2009, 11:56 AM
My son once has a deaf kid in his class, and he had a person in the front of the class signing to him. It was distracting to the other kids, and I thought it was ridiculous.. I have to admit - that when there is a signer present - my ADD kicks in and I find myself watching them. :o So perhaps there is a point to be made for how the inclusion is made - or perhaps starting inclusion after grammar school - but there is no reason to force these kids out of the classroom altogether.