The Idea Of Inclusive Education Education Essay

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The idea of inclusive education has primarily been inspired by early research evidence that contact with non-disabled peers is likely to increase the achievement of the disable children. A number of these studies focus on the relationship between inclusion and general achieve mentor the impacts of Assistance of non -disable peers to facilitate the educational achievement of his/her disabled peers in primary schools. For instance, to study the academic achievement of non-disabled peers in all-inclusive classroom Sharpe, York, and Knight (1994) applied a pre and post test research design. They evaluated measures of academic attainment of 35 pupils who studied in an inclusive classroom that embodied two students with major Special Need, with the academic accomplishment and behavior of their non-disabled peers who were taught in classes that did not embrace such pupils. The findings revealed no remarkable differences between the two groups on measures of academic achievement that included the Science Research Associates Assessment Survey, the Houghton Mifflin reading series, and the pupils' report card grades for reading, mathematics, spelling, and effort.

In line with this (Cole & Meyer 1991) also suggest that there is an association between the communication and amount of contact of disable children with their non disabled peers and the enhancement of their social skill and mutual interaction. Notion of inclusion supports and advocates the idea that segregation of a kid by recognition of disability is not at all in the interest of the learner (Schleien and Heyne, 1997).Infect disabled students in regular classrooms add more knowledge through their peer group and teacher interaction. They experience balanced relationships and acceptance by their classmates. This results in continuous better performance Grider(1995).Consequently ,parental aspirations would increase as their children bring favorable outcomes.

It is also found that the rate and type of interactions of SEN students with their non-disabled classmates has been found to be statistically interrelated with communication, behavioural, social skills, and academic achievement (Curtis, & Goetz, 1994; as cited in, Katz & Mirenda, 2002). In addition to this promoting independence and positive peer power is strong tool for creating meaningful inclusive learning environment. It is also proposed that friendship among children with and without disabilities is both possible and beneficial. If it can be encouraged by the adults with support and motivation it will help to improve their growth and development in numerous domains (Goldman & Buysse 2008). White, Swift and Harman (1992) conducted a study in which eighty-six percent of parents hold the belief that their children performed better in academics in the peer teaching (or inclusive) model and sixty two percent (62%) accepted behavioral improvement in their children. Of the students questioned, 42% said they have a preference for co-teach (in-group) method while 28% said they favored the long-established "pull out" model. Moreover, Educators have found that skills which are taught in isolation rarely fit to the practical grounds of the regular classroom.

Different efforts have been made to initiate a more inclusive structure for assisting/helping a much more diversified range of learners within regular classroom education (Sailor, 1991; Skritic, 1991 as cited in Cushing & Kennedy, 1997). Affleck et al (1988) in a corresponding study also established that there are no vital distinction in academic achievements when they compared non disabled pupils in an inclusive settings (N=39) to the progress of pupils in a regular classroom settings (in this case, a comparable group in the same school but whose class did not include pupils with SEN). The pupils with SEN had mild 'handicaps', described by the authors as mild learning disabilities, mild 'mental retardation' and severe behavioral disorders. The results showed no significant differences between the groups. The authors conclude that including students with Special Educational Need in a general setting does not improve or deter the academic performance of learners without SEN.

To accomplish the inclusion of students with special needs in conventional regular classrooms, researchers studied and developed strategies like co coaching and peer mediation (Kennedy & Itkonen 1994) . A distinguished feature of these methods is the use of non-disabled peers to offer academic support to their disabled peers. In addition, these approaches call for peers without disabilities to actively encourage the involvement of students with disabilities (Cushing & Kennedy 1997). Tapasak & Walther-Thomas (1999) looked at the ways in which inclusive programs influence the academic and social learning opportunities of pupils with SEN and at how pupils without disabilities are affected by these programs. An inclusion program was implemented by a primary school in a mid-Atlantic state in the USA. Academic and social learning measures were taken in the commencement of the academic year (pre-intervention) and at the closing of the year (post-intervention). Measures included scales collecting data on cognitive, physical, and academic competence, school/college records (e.g. attendance records etc), grades in report card, and teacher comments. The study found that pupils without disabilities rated their own competency and understanding higher at post-inclusion but these differences were not significant.

Kennedy & Itkonen (1994) also claimed that the students with disabilities who participate in peer-mediated program in general education classroom exhibit clear improvement. The investigation carried out by Cushing & Kennedy (1997) clearly demonstrates that non disabled students who directly take part in the inclusive program of students with mild or moderate to major or severe disabilities in GE (general education) classroom will get positive benefits. Sailor (1991) has mentioned that peer mediation strategies are an important approach for including students with disabilities into general education. Additionally, Bond and Custagnera (2006) has claimed that to successfully include students with disabilities in self contained classrooms needs a variety of supports and peer support can play a significant role to create real inclusion. Through identifying the advantage of peer support Bond (2001) also claimed that co coaches have exhibited academic growth in the disciplines in which they are tutoring their disabled peers. Peer can act as both supporter and supported. Students with disabilities have achieved higher in all-inclusive classes with the addition of peer tutor support. In return, peer tutee have made comments such as, "I have learned more about environmental science as a peer assistant than I did when I took the class myself last year!" and "Being a peer tutor in mathematics class has unquestionably made me perform better in my own math class."

Research by Saint-Laurent et al. (1998) was more centered/focused and observed the academic outcomes of placing SEN children in an inclusion program on third-grade learners without SEN/without any disability. Reading, mathematics, and writing performance/achievement of 209 pupils without SEN who were educated in an inclusion program was compared with 232 pupils without SEN who were educated in a conventional GE (general education) classroom, excluding pupils with SEN. The study proclaimed that the reading comprehension and mathematics performance/skills of the students without SEN in the inclusive program was significantly better than that of their peers who were educated in the traditional regular classroom environment or General Education program. However, the two groups showed no significant differences in the writing performance.

In this section, effort has been made to analyse research works on the impacts and benefits of inclusion for both disable and non-disabled students. Pointing out the lack of research on attainment /achievement of students without disability in an inclusive education program , Staub (2005) stated that there is no deceleration in learning of nondisabled children's learning in inclusive classrooms. It is also mentioned that that in term of getting attention and time of teachers there are no significant difference between non-disabled and disabled students. According to a survey on parents and teachers taking part in inclusive education program expressed, that they do not find any harm/disadvantage to the non-disabled children. They hold positive attitude towards inclusive education. Another survey of more than 300 parents of primary children revealed that 89 percent would like to admit/register their children in an inclusive classroom again.

However, some parents of students without disabilities think/believe that in an all-inclusive classroom their children may be made/ become less challenging. They are still anxious about including students with disabilities in a general education classroom (Peck et al. 2004). On the contrary, researchers established that students with SEN often had exclusive/unique/different perspective on topics during discussions, which provide their peers without disabilities, an opportunity to extend their thinking (Copeland, McCall, Williams, Guth, Carter, Fowler, Presley, & Huges, 2002). It is also found/observed that several teachers report positive changes in their students' conduct/behavior and achievement. Students with disabilities were found to be role models/exemplary for normally developing students because they were interested in the subject material and completed their coursework/assignments carefully (Copeland et al. 2002).

One study carried on mathematical achievement of non-disabled students of inclusive classroom and general classroom revealed that there is no significant difference in their performance of mathematics (Trabucco 2011). In line with this, another study parent's response toward showed their feeling toward inclusion depended on the disability of the included child and overall they view inclusion as beneficial. They also showed their willingness for their child and themselves to be educated about disabilities (Staub, 2005).

Different research/ study suggests that being a part of an inclusive education student without disabilities also get some benefits. Inclusive classroom provides to them a window to become skilled at values, know the reality of human differences and appreciate it (Farrell 2000). The notion that all people have weaknesses, and strengths, can both learn and teach, and possess value may increase students' reception of their own capabilities and problems/difficulties, and increase acceptance and tolerance of human diversity (Katz & Mirenda 2002). Along with this it also helps to develop positive attitudes towards peers with disabilities. Moreover, they become more sophisticated and improve interpersonal skills in social interactions with a diverse population. They also learn intrapersonal skills such as maturity, self-confidence, and self-esteem (Kishi & Meyer 1994).One study also suggest that being a student of an inclusive students were more motivated to join serving profession than those who do not have the experience of inclusive classroom ( (Vizziello, Bet & Sandona 1994).

Staub, Schwartz, Gallucci, & Peck (1994) have also identified four types of friendship between this peer groups. They were said to benefit from companionship and to experience increased social status because classmates, teachers, and parents saw them as kind and caring persons. This also helps to develop a sense of leadership among the non-disabled students. This also develops a relationship full of trust, care and support among them and enhances their tolerance. For this reason, students without disabilities who were introvert, silent individuals appeared to find security in the companionship of their friendships with classmates who were disabled.

In a research, that also surveyed/examined self-reports of non-disabled students (Kishi & Meyer 1994) mentioned many similar benefits. Participant learners had regular social contact/interaction with at least one disabled peer. Earlier experienced occasional or no interaction with such peers during elementary education. It was found that students without disability have significantly more positive attitudes (including a greater willingness to have persons with disabilities as friends, neighbours, and co-workers). Non-disabled peers have higher levels of existing/current social interaction with persons with disabilities, and more support for full community participation as a function of early social contact with peers with disabilities (p. 286). Interviews revealed that most students had positive attitudes towards persons with disabilities, enjoyed their experiences with social contact and saw them as more like them than different. Because students are able to work with peers of different abilities and learn social acceptance and they are given a glimpse of the real world where people are all different (Eddy 2007).

In a special education classroom, students are isolated and they have no exposure to any type of appropriate student modelling (Berg 2004). Through joining inclusive classroom student with disabilities can have the opportunity to get a role model of appropriate learning (Eddy 2007). Therefore, a peer tutor learning system is a useful and creative way of meeting the diverse needs of students with disabilities who are in GE classes (Bond & Castagnera 2006).

There are numerous ways of encouraging communication and friendship among students with and without disabilities; suggested by several studies. Parents and educators can play a significant role to foster this relationship. As Goldman & Buysse, (2008) suggeted following ways to build up amity among children with and without disabilities:

Teachers can create situation or environment to keep one pair busy with each other excluded other classmates.

They can also employ small & cozy space just to encourage closeness of a pair.

Teachers can also conduct multiple version of similar task which let them perform similarly and make communication.

Teacher can also employ the parents of those two children as matchmakers.

Along with this numerous research, works have supported the idea of employing non-disable peer's support to facilitate the achievement of the students with disability (Bond & Castagnera 2006, Cushing & Kennedy 1997, Turnbull 2010). More specifically, Bond and Castagnera (2006) explained two strategies of employing peer support and they are CWPT or Class-Wide Peer Tutoring and CAPT or Cross Age Peer Tutoring. Peer Assisted learning strategies (PALS) is one version of CWPT, which is also explained. Along with this they also proposed four ways of helping that must be common in all inclusive classroom and they are: requesting help, providing help ,accepting help, refusing help and. They also mentioned a distinguish feature of CAPT which is another possibility/chance that an older student with disability can coach a younger student. While the younger student is learning new skills, the older student is reinforcing specific content skills and learning tutoring skills. Cross-age tutoring supports inclusive education in that it may abolish the need for pull out by the resource specialist. Teachers sometimes, taking advantage of the benefits of tutoring structure their classes so that all students participate in tutoring at some level (Bond & Castagnera 2006).

For the implication of peer tutoring strategies, an important fact is selection of students for the group or pair. Different methods have been followed in different studies. For example in one of the study, criteria have been fixed for the selection of students with disabilities and non-disabled students are chosen based on academic performance (Bond & Castagnera 2006). The focus for selecting peers was to categorize/identify individuals who once in a while/infrequently were academically engaged. Peers without disabilities were chosen using the following norms:

(a) They were studying in the same class with the students of moderate to severe disabilities,

(b) They showed/exhibited desire to work with a student with disabilities, and

(c)The general education teacher recognized their academic involvement with class activities as being lower that of other students.

These criteria were used to identify peers in classrooms where a student with moderate to severe disabilities also participated. If a peer was identified in a classroom and both peer, and student agreed to work together, they formed a peer support day (Bond & Castagnera 2006).