Inclusion in education is the concept of integrating children of all abilities into a common stream of education. This is in contrast to exclusion by which children with learning disabilities and handicaps are schooled in different environments that are developed to be sensitive to their special needs. Inclusion in education thus advocates general education over special education.
Arguments in favor of inclusion in education
Proponents of inclusion in education stress the need to integrate special children into the mainstream as early as possible. They fear that separating students at this age will just result in special children being stigmatized. There is thus concern that special children will suffer from retarded growth forever. They also believe that students can help each other learn irrespective of background. These people also believe that diversity is a hallmark of any education and incorporating special children into general education is the best means of preparing for a healthy tomorrow where we are able to accept differences among people.
Arguments against inclusion in education
Not all educationists are in support of inclusion in education. There are strong arguments in favor of exclusion as well. Proponents of exclusion strongly believe that many children suffer from strong handicaps and disabilities that prevent them from functioning in a typical environment. They are in favor of separating out special children and developing programs tailored towards their condition. They feel this is the only way to allow these children to develop without burdening them with the need to keep up with children in general education. This allows the focusing on special children whether they require speech or writing therapy.
A compromise in inclusion in education
Still other players in this debate have hit upon a reasonable compromise. Their objective is to integrate special students into the general classroom as much as possible. But they accept there are limitations to this approach. Thus special children are separated from the mainstream classroom for specific courses in which it is felt that it is damaging for all students to be present together. This allows general and special children to learn together most of the time. But it still allows for the distinct needs of special children. Critics feel this program is too complex to be successful but is it in use in several communities that believe in it.
Future of the debate
There is no conclusion to this debate in sight. Different communities have adopted different approaches to the issue. Among universities in the United States, it is common practice to confirm a commitment to not discriminate against students on the basis of disabilities. Campuses include disability resource centers that focus on providing students with handicaps with assistance. This could take the form of getting help from other students to take notes or special campus centers that are wheelchair friendly. The UNICEF charter also confirms a commitment towards giving all children equal opportunity. In practice most of our communities have managed to devote resources towards the needs for special children but their inclusion in education is at varying levels.
Frequently Asked Question(s)
Q:What are the basic benefits of Inclusion In Education?
A:Inclusion in Education refers to combining special education students with average students in a single classroom. The basic advantages of this kind of education have been mentioned here: increased participation, increased collaboration, confidence development, enhanced skill development, increased social networks, and peer models for academic goals, improvement n social skills, and access to general curriculum.
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