Do you feel that inclusion of special needs children in the regular classroom is detrimental to the education of regular ed students?When students are included in my classroom, a special education...

Do you feel that inclusion of special needs children in the regular classroom is detrimental to the education of regular ed students?

When students are included in my classroom, a special education teacher does not come in with them.  I have to spend too much time modifying lessons for these students, which takes away valuable time for my regular ed students.  I believe it's dragging down the students who are capable, and doing no benefit for the students who are 2 or more years behind.

Asked on by lindalou2

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kiwi's profile pic

kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

All of us are special in one way or another, and all of us require support to learn something at some point in our lives. Differentiation within the classroom may be hard work, but our job as educators is to teach our STUDENTS not our SUBJECT. I know that often the system does not support us in this, but it should be our aim.

Full mainstream inclusion takes planning, resources, time and motivation on all sides, and we do not regularly get this magic formula in schools. However we need to do the best for all of our students, labels aside. In classes where I am expected to conform to a grade average I mark my SEN students on a scale according to their learning level. My students can all aim for C and above, but some may be working on lower levels of the NC National Curriculum to achieve their C. We need  to measure everyone's success (or not) in terms of value added performance, and remember it takes all sorts to make a world.

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trophyhunter1 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

As a teacher of an inclusion class, I have to say that everyone learns differently whether they are labeled special ed or not. That said, many times, the kids labeled special ed have emotional or behavioral issues, but, they are definitely capable of mastering the content. Likewise, the same can be said of the general ed. students. Most of it requires desire and the ability to keep trying without getting frustrated. I do not think I am going any slower than in any of my other classes, however, the extra support and differentiated instruction helps all the students in the class.

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I think it depends on how the inclusion is handled.  Most schools don't have the resources to do it properly, so we end up with special needs children just thrown into the classroom of an already overburdened teacher.  When done properly, inclusion can be magical.  It really does require extensivetraining and trust on both teachers' parts.

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megan-bright | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted on

I would definitely say that inclusion has certainly made the teaching and learning process more challenging. It is a great idea in theory; however, too few schools and districts are implementing this theory in a successful way. Some schools seem to do fine, but from my experience, many schools are not providing teachers with the support and resources that they need. The paper work, meetings and other demands have certainly increased though.

I think some Special Education students can do well in a mainstream classroom, but there are some with severe emotional and behavioral issues that do stress other students and disrupt their learning.

I believe that their are other ways for children to interact and grow socially. Parents can place their kids in various programs to help them grow socially (just as parents of regular education students do). I do not believe that it should be up to the schools to improve a child's social life at the cost of other students (particularly if the school is not providing enough resources for the teacher).

 

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larrygates | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Inclusion is an excellent example of the unwritten curriculum that we as teachers should inculcate in our students. The special ed students are not competing with others for grades, and I would think that the extra time they need does not deter from the other students' learning, although it may disrupt the pace of the lesson. It is important that kids of all abilities be properly socialized and learn something of those in the world who are less fortunate than they. It is not so much a matter of appropriate behavior as it is of acceptance. When they leave us to enter the real world, they will mix with people of different abilities and intelligences. They need to learn that social skill now.

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Socially speaking, I am in favor of inclusion.  I think it is important for children to be socially integrated with all sorts of people who are different from them in order to learn how to behave appropriately in the face of those differences.

Educationally speaking, however, I lean on the side of "ability grouping" in almost all grades as a measure of dealing with large class sizes.  I too have struggled to hold the attention of a large class in public school where there is a wide range of ability/understanding.  In my opinion, most often, kids on both ends are being cheated out of a complete education.

On the other hand, I've also had the priveledge of teaching/counseling in a very small private school as well as a very small residential camp (for at-risk youth) for a time.  I found in both of these situations that all students, regardless of ability, experience, even grade level, could be successful because it was easy to provide one-on-one time for each.  My perfect world would be public school classrooms with a cap at 15 students.  I would feel confident teaching any students in the entire school if class sizes were small enough to diversify and build close personal relationships.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I can give them whatever as long as they pass.  I have to admit that I have always just figured that they're not going to be applying to college and so what their grade is really doesn't matter.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Most classes I've taught have had such a range of students that it hardly matters when you throw in Special Ed kids.  Partly, though, this is because our Special Ed teacher (small school -- only one Special Ed teacher) generally just wants the Special Ed kids to be in my class and do what they can.  She does not really demand much in the way of modified lessons for them.

So, for me at least, it hasn't been a huge deal because I don't have to do much modification of my lessons and there are plenty of regular students who have gaps of 2 years or more in their abilities already...

jdjames's profile pic

jdjames | High School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

In response to post #14, I have to disagree.  You say, "Above all , most of our scientists and poets have been such special learners who did not confine to the normal standards of schooling," yet history does not support this.  True, Einstein and Thoreau were not traditional students.  However, others of "genius" standard like Bill Gates, Maya Angelou, Robert Frost and Stephen Hawking were fairly conventional in their school.  I think it makes great headlines to say that Einstein was a horrible student, etc...but he (and others like him) are not the majority. 

Sadly, to be successful, current society demands some sort of acclimation to accepted norms.  To teach children that they don't have to attempt to fit these norms is a disservice to them.  I'm not saying we all have to conform and be identical, but the world is not a friendly place to people who don't at least try to follow its "rules." 

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nancyprince | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

I would definitely say that inclusion has certainly made the teaching and learning process more challenging. It is a great idea in theory; however, too few schools and districts are implementing this theory in a successful way. Some schools seem to do fine, but from my experience, many schools are not providing teachers with the support and resources that they need. The paper work, meetings and other demands have certainly increased though.

I think some Special Education students can do well in a mainstream classroom, but there are some with severe emotional and behavioral issues that do stress other students and disrupt their learning.

I believe that their are other ways for children to interact and grow socially. Parents can place their kids in various programs to help them grow socially (just as parents of regular education students do). I do not believe that it should be up to the schools to improve a child's social life at the cost of other students (particularly if the school is not providing enough resources for the teacher).

 

Every human being is in one way or other responsible to give back something to the society from which he/she takes so much to enrich life. And most of these special children are almost like ' angels in distress.' Its not that they do not think enough or think straight . Rather... they do think differently.They are more wronged against than wronging. Sparks of genius varied ways have been noticed in such special learners . They are capable of excelling in their areas of strength, if guided properly and patiently. Special, ordinary or extraordinary ... a student is a beneficiary and the teacher a benefactor or facilitator. The real ,big world is a medley- mix of all kinds of people and the classroom must be a miniature of the same. this will help in enhancing the basic values of the learners. Above all , most of our scientists and poets have been such special learners who did not confine to the normal standards of schooling.

econnot's profile pic

econnot | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

As a special education teacher, I think that inclusion does have its advantages for both the special ed student and the regular ed student.  It gives the SPED student the feeling of belonging if the regular ed students accept him/her.  However, I feel that the regular education teacher should know how to deal with the sped student in the absence of a SPED teacher to be able to  deal with situations that arise between the SPED student and the regular ed student.  If that is not possible, then the special ed teacher should either be in the classroom with the sped student, or both teachers should sit down and discuss tactics and methods that would guarantee satisfaction and learning for all students involved.

 

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krcavnar | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted on

I have both Spec Ed students and students who have severe discipline issues in my classes.  It is almost impossible to accommodate these students for if I attempt to take time to modify a lesson or slow down for these students the other students can become disruptive.  However, I find that modifying for all  students often helps the entire class, such as reading test questions allowed or giving fewer questions. My students all tend to be on the same level due to excessive absences or suspensions.  

 I believe that at a normal campus tests should determine a separate inclusive class with those students performing at the lowest levels. While it may not be socially the polite thing to do I do think that those students could get the benefit of more one-on-one teaching.  Most of my spec. ed students do not like having the co-teachers helping them in the classroom.  It makes them feel "stupid" and creates a bigger difficulty for them within the school structure. 

casakate's profile pic

casakate | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

I agree that it is very difficult to have inclusion students when you already have to plan for 30 (or more) students in your class.  When the special ed teacher is involved in your planning process, they can help to create the lesson plans that will most benefit the child.  Inclusion students do need the social interaction when it will benefit them but if there is no measurable benefits, the inclusion process is quite stressful for all.

lindalou2's profile pic

lindalou2 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

I can give them whatever as long as they pass.  I have to admit that I have always just figured that they're not going to be applying to college and so what their grade is really doesn't matter.

Their grades do matter.  Their grades, like all students' grades, should be a reflection of their progress.  Putting special ed students in regular ed classes and inflating their grades only gives these students and their families a false indication of learning.  I say, put these students at the level where they are comfortable and capable, and grade them accordingly.  We actually have special ed , who can barely read, making the Principal's List with inflated grades.

lindalou2's profile pic

lindalou2 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

Socially speaking, I am in favor of inclusion.  I think it is important for children to be socially integrated with all sorts of people who are different from them in order to learn how to behave appropriately in the face of those differences.

Educationally speaking, however, I lean on the side of "ability grouping" in almost all grades as a measure of dealing with large class sizes.  I too have struggled to hold the attention of a large class in public school where there is a wide range of ability/understanding.  In my opinion, most often, kids on both ends are being cheated out of a complete education.

On the other hand, I've also had the priveledge of teaching/counseling in a very small private school as well as a very small residential camp (for at-risk youth) for a time.  I found in both of these situations that all students, regardless of ability, experience, even grade level, could be successful because it was easy to provide one-on-one time for each.  My perfect world would be public school classrooms with a cap at 15 students.  I would feel confident teaching any students in the entire school if class sizes were small enough to diversify and build close personal relationships.

I agree 100% with your post.  My school district doesn't understand the meaning of IEP.  They believe that all students can learn at the same rate, in the same format, in the same class.  I struggle daily with modifications at both spectrums in my class.  All students are capable of learning, only at different levels, moving at different paces, and  being taught using different strategies.

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