Inclusion (1297 words) Essay

Topic: Inclusion in general education
General purpose: To inform
Specific purpose: To inform the audience of the aspects of inclusion of disabled students it general education classrooms
Thesis: Inclusion is the process by which children and youth with disabilities participate in the same general education classrooms that they would attend if they did not have a disability (
I. Attention-getting device: According to Deborah Smith of Vanderbilt University, inclusion is a movement that seeks to create schools and other social institutions based on meeting the needs of all learners as well as respecting and learning from each other’s differences. The inclusion movement has focused on individuals with disabilities, but it is designed to alter the philosophy for educating all students. Inclusion will inevitably effect each of us in some way, either as a student or as a parent to either a student with a disability or without a disability. You or your children will at some point be learning side by side with a disabled student as long as inclusion is found to be the best learning environment for all students with and without disabilities (Smith 29).
II. Thesis: Inclusion is the process by which children and youth with disabilities participate in the same general education classrooms that they would attend if they did not have a disability (

III. Preview: Today I am going to discuss how inclusion in general education is defined, then I will introduce some of the problems that inclusion has attempted to rectify in education, and finally I will address the areas in which inclusion affects the community.

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[Transition: First I will discuss inclusion in general education is defined along with some of the philosophy inclusion encompassed.]
I. According to Bob Friedman, the director of the University of South Florida’s Department of Child and Family Studies, inclusion in general education involves including every student regardless of disability in a general classroom environment (Freidman).

A. Inclusion means a climate of acceptance is created, no one is rejected or locked out (Horton).

1. The disabled students are accepted not only by the teachers but also by their peers in the classroom.

2. The disabled students are included in all extracurricular activities as well as classroom activities.

B. According to Kelly Horton, the former director of Special Education in Sullivan County, inclusion focuses on everyone’s abilities and possibilities, and disregards any disabilities or limitations

1. Each person’s skills are acknowledged.

2. It is pointed out that no one has to be good at everything.

[Transition: Now that I have given you a working definition and some philosophy behind inclusion in the classroom, let’s move on to some of the problems inclusion is looking to resolve.]
II. Inclusion is characterized by an attitude of problem solving.

A. The implementation of an inclusive classroom looks to solve some of the financial problems currently facing our education system.

1. The Department of Education included in its 20th Annual Report to Congress that the current emphasis on inclusion reflects a concern about the increasing costs of special education services in a time of budget austerity (Department of Education).

a. Including the disabled students in the general education classroom with their peers would cut these costs.

b. Inclusion would also help reduce the need for maintaining a parallel educational structure to meet the needs of the disabled students.

2. The data used by the Department of Education suggests that the per pupil special education expenditures have grown at about twice the rate of general education expenditures.

B. Another problem that inclusion addresses is the fact that many of the youth with disabilities do not leave school with the necessary knowledge and social skills to fulfill adult roles (Department of Education).

1. According to the Department of Education, less than 25% of the youth with disabilities currently enroll in post-secondary education (Department of Education).

2. Inclusion allows disabled students more interactions with their non-disabled peers, thus instilling in them many of the social skills needed in the adult world.

C. Inclusion also engages a concern about the rapid and steady rise in the number of students identified as eligible for special education.

1. This increase in students served in special education programs encourages more inclusive environments by taxing the capacity of special education settings (Department of Education,).

2. The percentage of students ages 6 through 17 receiving special education services increased from 9.6% in 1987-88 to 10.6% in 1995-96 (Department of Education, 1997).

[Since I have discussed the problems that inclusion is aiding to resolve, let’s now talk about how inclusion affects some aspects of the community.]
III. Inclusion not only affects the disabled students, but also those of us without a disability along with the teachers and society in general.

A. Students educated in inclusion classrooms had a greater number of interactions and social contacts with students without disabilities and received greater levels of social support behaviors (Salend and Duhaney).

1. Salend and Duhaney point out in their studies involving inclusion that this interaction with students without disabilities opens up a larger friendship network and enables the disabled to procure more long lasting friendships with students without disabilities (Salend and Duhaney).

2. The data collected also showed that the interactions were more often initiated by students without disabilities (Salend and Duhaney).

B. An important factor in considering the effectiveness of inclusion programs is the effect of the program on the academic and social behaviors of the students without disabilities (Salend and Duhaney).

1. According to the studies done by Salend and Duhaney, the students without disabilities possess positive views of inclusion and believe that inclusion benefits them in increased acceptance, understanding, and tolerance of individuals differences (Salend and Duhaney).

2. They also found that the students without disabilities had a greater awareness and sensitivity to the needs of others as well as an improved ability to deal with disability in their own lives.

C. There have been both positive and negative outcomes of inclusion for teachers due to the individual success in implementing inclusion, the availability of financial resources, and supportive services for the teacher (Salend and Duhaney).

1. Salend and Duhaney’s research identified the positive outcomes to include an increasing skill level to meet the needs of their students with and without disabilities, developing an increased confidence in their teaching abilities, and feeling good about their ability to change (Salend and Duhaney).

2. The concerns that the teachers were found to have were that the education of the students without disabilities would suffer, the lack of funds to support personnel and instructional needs, and the rigid requirements associated with the general education curriculum.

D. The effects of inclusion on society as a whole have been found to have a more positive nature (Alper).

1. Inclusion supports an overall value of equality.

2. It has also been found to teach socialization and collaborative skills as well building supportiveness and interdependence (Alper).

[We are all affected by inclusion in some way or another.]
I. Summary: Today I have given you a better grasp of the concept of inclusion in general education, how it is attempting to solve some of the problems currently facing our education system and how it effects not only students with disabilities but all aspects of society.

II. Closure: Hopefully you were able to gain the insight that inclusion affects each of us in some way from my earlier statements regarding the inclusion movement and its desire to alter the philosophy of education of all students. Maybe in taking this knowledge with you, you may see for yourself the affect inclusion is currently having on your own day to day life.
Works Cited
Alper, Sandra. ?Philosophy of Inclusive Education.? 30 Oct. 2000.

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