It’s a term that is bandied about quite a lot by politicians and top educators for its groundbreaking education parameters. A full inclusion education is becoming the norm in classrooms around the country for its method of making certain that students of all abilities and capabilities receive the same form of education. However, no system is without its flaws. The advantage of inclusive education is multi-layered, but it also has its inherent disadvantages.
Intended Goal of Inclusion Education
How do children benefit from inclusive practice? In many ways. The intended goal of inclusion education is to mainstream all students into the general education population regardless of their special needs. Its objective is to make sure that everyone gets a quality education. There are a few reasons that full inclusion is being embraced by educators around the country.
It adheres to civil rights and educational laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Education Act, section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act. It also offers students who have learning disabilities, from autism to dyslexia, easier access to quality educational material and lessons that they would otherwise not have if they were segregated into a special education setting.
How Inclusion Education is Effective
To make inclusion in a general education classroom effective it needs to have the correct practices, technology usage and assistance for students that pinpoints their disabilities. These accommodations need to be in place in order for those who are at a disadvantage to easily and quickly access the materials and lessons that are being taught.
Disadvantages of Inclusive Education
The benefits of inclusion are many. However, no matter the intention, there are disadvantages of inclusive education as well. Not all students learn at the same pace or have the same skills mastered, particularly those with learning disabilities. The students with disabilities, such as auditory processing disorders or Asperger’s syndrome, may be severely affected to a point where they can’t stay in step with the classroom curriculum regardless of what practices or methods are put in place to help them rise up to meet their peers.
In this case, the struggling student may be placed in a least restrictive environment, or LRE. This can be where the student is placed outside of the classroom to gain the skills they lack that their peers have in the typical classroom setting. Each student with a disability is unique and can’t be lumped into a below-grade group simply because they haven’t mastered algebra by the correct grade.
Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing about education, jobs, business and more for The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Today’s Parent and other publications. She graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from UNLV. Her full bio and clips can be seen at www.vegaswriter.com.