What is your attitude towards inclusion?

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by keriann_brown, May 4, 2007.

  1. keriann_brown

    keriann_brown New Member

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    May 4, 2007

    Greetings Colleagues! :)

    My name is Keriann Brown and I am a student teacher from Marymount Manhattan College currently teaching at P.S. 175. As a psychology major and education minor, I am interested in finding out more about your experiences with and your attitudes toward inclusion. Please take 5-7 minutes to complete an online survey. Your responses will be totally anonymous. I plan to compile the information that I receive from those who respond and share it with educators at conferences and in schools.
    If you are able to complete the survey please email me for a link at keriann_brown@yahoo.com

    If you know of anyone who may be interested who is in any field in education, in any location, please forward this email.

    Thank you so very much for your time.
    Keriann Brown :thanks:
    Any questions please send a private message to the poster. (Other person's name removed for privacy.)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 26, 2007
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Hi Kerriann, and welcome!!

    Sorry, I teach in a Catholic HS-- we have no special ed kids. So I'm not the one to answer your survey.

    But, since I'm on LI and have had lots of students attend Marymount, I wanted to welcome you!
     
  4. keriann_brown

    keriann_brown New Member

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    May 4, 2007

    Thanks

    :) Thank you so much for the welcome!!!:)
    Keriann
     
  5. Jill420791

    Jill420791 Companion

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    Personally I am on the fence about it. I think SPED kids being in the room with others can disrupted other students from learning i say this because i have seen it. But at the same time the SPED kids need to be treated fairly and equally. This is a tough subject!!!
     
  6. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Yes, a very difficult topic. I wouldn't feel free to say this to just anyone and anywhere, but...

    Having special education students can without question negatively impact the learning of the regular education students. Additionally, in my situation, because there is not a special education teacher with them at all times and we do not have assistants, then the special education student also seems to suffer. In many cases I feel they should be in a classroom with peers closer to their level of learning.

    I know this is not politically correct, and I DO know the benefits of having them included in the regular classroom, but...
     
  7. Jill420791

    Jill420791 Companion

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    I know I totally agree with you. Here my situatiuon though I am going to be teaching 1st grade next year and I will have 3 SPED kids in the room. They will go out for outside help, I will also have a collab teacher who will come in and PAPRO who help out but not all the time. My one kid has Autism and is a behavior problem I am just worried about my kids learning in that enviroment its going to be a difficult year.
     
  8. Jill420791

    Jill420791 Companion

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    its a regular first grade class with these 3 in the room its a transition class.
     
  9. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    It will be challenge, but everyone will learn if you focus on the child, and not so much the disability.
     
  10. iteachk-1

    iteachk-1 Rookie

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    I may be in the minority, but I welcome them in my classroom. I have three special needs students in my class. I prefer the special education teacher to come in and work with them rather than take them to a resource room. All three students have made tremendous gains this year and I believe it is in direct correlation to the amount of time they are with their peers. The other students are always eager to help these students. I believe it is good for both special education students and regular ed students. The opportunity to work with the special ed students has taught my students compassion and patience. Everyone has learned that we are all special in our own way.
     
  11. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I agree with iteachk-1. Students should all be in the same classroom. I have a special ed student in my class this year. I do not have a special ed teacher. He is doing wonderful, and doesn't hold the other students back at all. Next year 25% of my class will be in special ed, again no special ed teacher.
     
  12. Jill420791

    Jill420791 Companion

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    Maybe its just me but dont you think they should be with a special ed teacher because thats what they are trained for how to teach certain students with disabilities. I have no SPED training I am going to a workshop for two days on Autsim but really I have no training in that area and I dont want to fail the student in anyway . Just a thought!
     
  13. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I have taken special education classes so I would know how to accommodate all students within my class.
     
  14. Jill420791

    Jill420791 Companion

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    I have never taken any SPED classes I guess thats why i am so worried.
     
  15. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    I'm staying out of this one and I'm sure you're all glad. Besides, you already know how I feel.
     
  16. Amers

    Amers Cohort

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    I agree that inclusion is a very difficult subject. I will start my first year teaching in the fall, but I have been working as a sub since completing my student teaching. The schools I've worked in have SPED teachers. The students spend most of their time in the regular classroom, but do get pulled out at certain times. While I think it is important to keep SPED kids in the regular classroom as much as possible, I also think the extra one-on-one help they get in a SPED room is crucial. Let's face it, in a class of 25-30 kids, it's not always possible to get each and every student the one-on-one help they need.
     
  17. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I agree with inclusion. Mostly because at one point teachers were so inexperienced with the idea that they couldn't include even higher functioning kids. Those kids definately benefited the most with not being made to feel so "different." With experience, teachers are learning to appreciate differences and work with them and it benefits the child to learn how to adapt and cope in general society.

    Now.....the other side of my opinion....

    In practice, more teachers are getting better about all of it but it isn't fair to place kids with them without having any proper training for that child. It isn't fair for the child either because the teachers are having to relearn strategies rather than building on previous ones especially when the teacher doesn't have an arsenal of strategies for that particular issue to begin with. General education teachers tend to have large class sizes and they are difficult enough to manage. I also find that for some schools the included child doesn't get enough resources outside of the general education teacher. So not only does she not have much knowledge but no one else is coming to help the student and provide a bridge either. For some students, they don't need this as much as other students. Last, but not least, some students (particularly with behaviors attached) take up more class time than is fair to all involved. So I agree with the children being somewhat matched based on levels (but not necessarily on disability).

    So bottom line is this, I would love to fully support inclusion, but there is too much work that needs to be done to make it a more balanced system.
     
  18. christinna

    christinna New Member

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    Hi,

    I am new here but have a lot to say about inclusion...
    Christinna
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 26, 2007
  19. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    I have yet to see full inclusion.
     
  20. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    What a great question. I began working with a child with Down's Syndrome 13 years ago! I was a support person outside of school, but I did spend a lot of time in the school and in regular activities with her. Her parents really stood up for her when inclusion was new. I could go on literally for hours about this topic. I got to see things from a different perspective than parents or teachers.

    Here is what I saw:

    Teachers stretching beyond what they thought they were capable of or trained for, and being successful. "Normal" students learning things that are not in any curriculum. Kids reaching out and helping those who are weaker. A little girl with Down's reading in Kindergarten, because of the people who were willing to put in hour after hour teaching her words and sounds - she read before half of her K class could read. A little girl (my daughter) who was motivated to learn to read at 3 and 1/2 because her retarded friend could read! Girl Scouts, swimming, pep squad, dance class - "normal" kids cheering on the child who worked 5x as hard as they did to learn something simple.

    Forward to high school. She graduates tomorrow! When she was given her award for community service the entire high school of "normal" kids gave her a 5 minute standing ovation. Her elementary school, 6'4" Mr. Teacher presented the award with tears streaming down his face.

    She is known by hundreds of people in the community, supported, and will start job training this summer. Someday maybe one of those "normal" kids she went to school with will remember, "Hey, she won the Scholastic reading award in 3rd grade, she sold the most Girl Scout cookies in my troop, she got an award for her volunteer work - I bet she would do a good job for me in my business!"

    Even as I write this I can't find the words to say how inclusion affected the peers of this young woman. They got everything out of the deal. She just got to be treated like a real live person, instead of spending her school days in a classroom with kids just like her who wouldn't stimulate her to do better.

    By the way, did I tell you she is teaching me French?
     
  21. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    We have inclusion at my school, but I don't think you could really call it full inclusion. Only certain teachers have special ed kids in their rooms. Most rooms have a para in them to assist, but not all. The kids do more or less the same as the the other kids, but not always. In most cases, if there is a para, they do the teaching to the included kids. In my room I love to include everyone. In fact, my included kids end up being my group leaders often for activities. They do the best. They aren't afraid to go for it. I do a lot of grouping in my room so it usually works well with inclusion.
     
  22. christinna

    christinna New Member

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    Yes, I totally agree with you. Inclusion is great in theory. Teachers are not trained. They have so much of their plate with NCLB. The paras are teaching. The kids are nestled in the back of the room in their own private schools. The paras aren't trained. But in our district there is tons of outside the classroom support. BUT I HAVEN'T HEARD ANYONE MENTION HOW THE ATTORNEYS ARE RUNNING THE SHOW!!!
     
  23. jenglish97

    jenglish97 Devotee

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    I am an inclusion teacher and love what I what I do. This year, I have 5 special education students in a class of 20 and they all benefit from the regular education classroom.

    In my situation, I am in a classroom all day with a regular education teacher and works well. Since our teaching styles are so different. She is more textbook oriented and I try to create projects and modifications for all the students to benefit from. I do a lot of peer mentoring in the room. Regular ed children helping special ed and vis versa.

    I have to say, I think every teacher should be certified in both regular education and special education. Or at least taking some special education courses in school. If I was not an inclusion teacher, I would have been a regular education teacher with the special education students in my classroom.

    I have to say, I was a special education student with a hearing problem and was 6 months behind all my peers as I was growing up. I love being with my peers and learned a lot from them and they learned a lot from me.

    Just a few of my words. I could go on but need to go at this time.
     
  24. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Jenn,

    You sound like an amazing teacher. My goal is to really have a "textbook" inclusion class. I really want these kids to benefit, and I only wish I could observe or find a class to observe that fits that description. Obviously, I know, textbook is just that, but you sound like you have it down! I am certified El Ed and Sped, and I agree it should be mandatory to be certified in both. If inclusion is to work, then as teachers we should be knowledgeable in both areas.

    I am interviewing and hoping for a sped position and hope to make my dream a reality.

    Jenn, I noticed you have a hearing problem... does this affect you in the classroom. I have some hearing loss as well, and I worry about it.
     
  25. tracieann

    tracieann Rookie

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    First off, Mamacita, like they say, if you have nothing nice to say... It's a tough concept. I'm glad to see you're here reading though. Hopefully it will give you something to think about. :)

    As I see it, school districts are heading toward inclusion classes and inhouse preschool classes. Both could be great IF states and districts do it right. I teach 3-5 year olds in a private preschool. One day in frustration I said that I felt like I was in an inclusion class. My SEIT laughed at me and said "you are!" I currently have two spectrum children (identified), two seriously in need of OT, one who screams ADHD (parents in denial) and several who need speech. This is out of 15 children.
    My philosophy is to modify my style to the learning styles of my students. When I am more animated and "up" to keep the attention of my wandering group, the rest of the class is more attentive also. I am a believer in inclusion if the teachers are trained and supported by administration and the children placed are done so appropriately. A child with serious behavior or emotional issues needs extra support and it should be placed in the classroom WITH the general ed teacher.
    Inclusion only works if there is a team approach in the classroom. I've seen some horrible classes where the attitude is 'those are your children, these are mine.' NOT GOOD!
    I am currently going for my masters, Early Ed, birth to 2 AND SpEd. I can understand why districts are looking for this when hiring. They figure if they have teachers with this background they save on hiring SPED teachers and staff!!
    When districts acknowledge that ALL children having different learning styles and needs and that SpEd children can handle and do need inclusion classes it will be a better classroom for all children.
     
  26. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Thank you so much Jaime. It's not impossible. Special ed students should not be viewed as a burden. These kids are not "stupid"! They learn differently. Teachers ARE trained in how people learn. What teachers need to be taught is not to fear a label.

    It is a mistake for anyone to fear having a child with a disability in their room. If you get to know the child first and focus on the ABILITY you will be able to do it.
     
  27. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    I think inclusion works really well WHEN IT'S DONE CORRECTLY for kids who can benefit... but i still don't think it's always appropriate for everyone.
     
  28. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    And, really, why do we lump all special ed students in one big group> That is crazy. Children should be placed individually where they each will be best served and where the group will be best served. There is a world of difference in, say, placing an autistic child in a group of 30 primary kids with a single teacher who is not trained in the proper techniques and modifications, and placing a child with a language processing disability in a group of 18 kids with a teacher and an aide.
     
  29. Research_Parent

    Research_Parent Cohort

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    I think Upsadaisy has it. Inclusion is not the be all-end all. It will work for some, but not all.

    There are several variables that need to be considered:
    -the number of total students in the room
    -the training of the regular educaton teacher
    -the number of "regular" students
    -the number of "special" students
    -whether or not there is additional aide/support in the classroom
    -the actual "disability" and how it can be best served
    -the mental development of all the students
    -the cooperative vs. "clique" behavior of the students in the class
    -parents understanding

    and, I'm sure there's more to be considered.

    As UpsaDaisy said,
    "Children [not matter their ability] should be placed individually where they each will be best served and where the group will be best served."
     
  30. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Until that can happy in reality, the important goals of inclusion just won't be met.
     
  31. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I have no right to an opinion here; my Catholic HS doesn't do Special Ed.

    But I'm guessing that the problem with inclusion is in the statement quoted above. I would imagine that serving the individual is frequently in direct conflict with serving the group.
     
  32. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Those in favor of inclusion would claim that the group is better served by including everyone.
     
  33. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    I think includison works if you have a special education teacher or an aide helping them. If these students are not given the extra support they need they are set up for failure and it could have a negative impact on the regular teacher's attitiude toward serving these students. I think it is criminal to dump these students in a regular ed. classroom without the support they need. Terry G.
     
  34. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Terry, that's pretty much what my post was going towards.

    This about it this way: A child who needs to learn/practice social skills can NOT do that in a room where none of the kids have good social skills. They also won't learn them if they're plunked into a class and essentially ignored because they're "wierd." But if they have assistance from a COMPETENT, QUALITY aide or special ed teacher who will help them gain the skills they need (and a teacher who helps the regualr ed kids in the class understand!!!), they can SOAR.

    But do I think full inclusion, even with assistance, is appropriate for all kids? Absolutely not.
     
  35. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    To truly do inclusion correctly, shouldn't the child be placed in the least restrictive environment? If so, then in general those students with greater cognitive disabilites are usually not in general ed classrooms because they would be lost there.
     
  36. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    That would make far too much sense, although I agree. I've seen classrooms where the kids are working 3-4+ grade levels below their typical peers... but for whatever reason, someone's decided that's still the most appropriate placement.
     
  37. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I truly believe that students with disabilities should be in the classroom as much as possible. They can learn so much from working with peers. There are times that pull out works for direct instruction, but students should all be together at points through out the day.
     
  38. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    That's a big part of the problem around here. Pull out doesn't happen at all any more.
     
  39. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    As a Special Ed teacher (and a classroom teacher until last year) I see both sides of the issue. I only work with kids with LDs, ADHD and some behaviour issues, so keep that in mind. In many cases, I think that the students should be integrated with their class as much as possible, and that they should only be pulled for brief periods of time for a reading group or to reinforce a concept. The rest of the time they should be with their class, working to the best of their ability towards the goals outlined in their IEP. The peer modelling is not something that can be duplicated in a pull-out program. The "behaviours" of my grade 7 and 8 students are so much worse when they are in the Resource Room because they don't have the peer pressure and models to behave appropriately. In order for this to be successful, however, appropriate and sufficient support must be available for the teacher and student. We use a Resource Room model (replacement programs in math and english) this year because we don't have the staffing to do anything else. Next year, we will be moving to in-class support for our grade 7 and 8 students, because they have difficulties with the social stigma of withdrawal. I'm not yet sure how we'll staff this appropriately, but hopefully it can happen.

    Whatever model is used, all students and their needs must be at the forefront of the decisions made, and all teachers must be on-board (or at least willing to work within the model being used).
     
  40. jenglish97

    jenglish97 Devotee

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    Hi Miss Frizzle,

    I did a new thread on my hearing loss since I did not want to hijack this thread...

    Jen
     
  41. kabd54

    kabd54 Cohort

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    May 29, 2007

    I, too, am a Special Ed teacher and as Upsadaisy and Mrs. C have both pointed out, there are many different levels of Spec Ed. In our school we have Spec. Ed. (slow learners), LD students, LI (Language Impaired) students - which is my class, and an ME class (Multiple Exceptionalities - mainly autistic students of varying abilities). We (the entire staff) have block timetables, so that our Spec Ed kids can be integrated into the regular classrooms in order to be able to participate in French, art, gym, music, and all the other "fun" subjects.

    An EA accompanies the ME students to the regular classroom; my EA, timetable permitting, helps our primary division students and the classroom teachers. The only LD and Spec Ed students who have EA support in the classroom are the Blind/Low Vision students.

    I firmly believe that it is so important for the Spec Ed students to be integrated into the regular classroom, for social skills as well as a varied curriculum. I remember, [oh so many years ago ;)], when I began teaching, I had two Special Ed students in my classroom who were pulled out when it suited the Spec. Ed teacher. Those poor kids got nothing but Math and Language all day long!! They would be pulled out during Science or Art and be sent back during my Language block. I always thought that was so unfair; as a result, I do my best to schedule the blocks so that the children get the most benefit.
     

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