George Lucas Educational Foundation

Full Inclusion

Full Inclusion

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Curious to see how full inclusion is working at your school. Especially elementary level. With all the behavior problems and need of extra support, I just can't see it.

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Explorator's picture

[quote]I believe that full inclusion is the way to go. resource rooms and self contained categories only help to isolate students. done properly, full inclusion can work well, with differentiation strategies and the proper support.[/quote]How is inclusion "done" in your school. The model that we use where I work has done nothing but frustrate all involved. Classroom teachers never thought they would be in charge of teaching large groups of children with learning disabilities, have not had the training, they resent their assignment and in turn are not interested in spending much time in the planning. It doesn't work here. Intrusion would be a better name for it.

Judy Johnson's picture

Inclusion works well at our school. However, I do not believe all students should be put in full inclusion. The part I struggle with is we have 8th graders who are functioning on 3rd and 4th grade level. This can be tough with only 54 minutes a day in resource. I believe if a student can handle it, by all means put them in full inclusion. If the student can't, do not put them in. I taught elementary special education in elementary for many years. However, teachers were not receptive to the idea. Their thought process was it was...your kids...not our kids. Teachers must be on board and accept the students....ALL students who are in their classroom.

Jennifer Mitchell's picture

I agree that full-inclusion is beneficial to students if schools are staffed to support this model. At the end of last school year, my district did away with all classroom and individual paraprofessionals. In order to support our IEP kids, the district moved to a consult model. Each grade level was given one special education consultant to meet the required minutes of our students. This means, in my school, one consultant to meet the daily minutes eight IEP first graders in their home classrooms. This is not working. Our consultant is overloaded, stressed, and unfortunately, the sad reality is that many students are getting the support they need.

Ashley Creviston's picture

Full inclusion is a wonderful idea if the logistics are well-planned and executed. I'm curious to read about how other buildings make it work. In my building, I am lucky to have a cohesive RtI model with flexible grouping throughout grade level teams and productive collaboration. However, four years ago my district spent all this time and money on training for classroom teachers and paraeducators only to RIF all of the paras last year. We have now moved to a consult model. Being in the first year of implementation, it is easy to see that the logistics have not been well-planned. One special education consultant assigned to six classrooms? Her job is to help meet the IEP minutes of the students on her caseload as well as perform interventions for the students identified through RtI. The consult model is not fitting well with our RtI model because our resources are spread too thin. Budget costs/cuts are the reason behind this approach. However, who is this benefiting?

Serena Murillo's picture
Serena Murillo
Elementary teacher in New Mexico

Before I began my student teaching experience, I was full force pro-inclusion. And I still am. However, some need to remember that the law states those with special needs should be taught with their non-disabled peers to the fullest extent possible. For some students, a resource room is just that. We have one student whose needs are taking away from the right to learn of the other students, and I think that is where a line needs to be drawn. But our two other students with IEP do great in the general ed classroom with their interventions.

Gene A.R's picture
Gene A.R
Christian teacher and lifelong learner

Judging from the comments I've read and my experience I don't believe full inclusion really exists. What actually happens is there is a special education group operating in the background, often in a back corner of the room, inside a general education classroom. Teaching special needs kids is not really integrated into the activities of the class as a whole.

Whitney Hoffman's picture
Whitney Hoffman
Producer LD Podcast, Digital Media Consultant, Author

I have two kids with "special needs"- one has ADHD and written language issues, along with working memory challenges; the other also has ADHD, handwriting issues but is in AT classes. Both have had IEPs and 504 plans. I've found without support for differentiating instruction/personalized learning, even kids with relatively mild LD can become disengaged and eventually become behavior issues if their education is not working for them.
Both kids are in "regular" or AT classes all day, every day, but we always have to ask the teachers to give a heads up to help support the kids with the portions of school (largely secretarial issues) that cause them major headaches- it's not so much a comprehension issue as it is a material management and expectation issue.
Does inclusion and RtI and the discussion surrounding both change in a more differentiated learning environment? That's what we're discussing over in the personalized learning group. Come join us!

margaret hickey's picture

[quote]I believe that full inclusion is the way to go. resource rooms and self contained categories only help to isolate students. done properly, full inclusion can work well, with differentiation strategies and the proper support.[/quote]

meggyliz3461's picture
elementary special education teacher

One of the biggest challenge I am currently facing is a district wide frustration. Last school year, I switched to teaching in a magnet school that focuses on project based learning. The school building is K-6 and all of my students are in the general education classroom with their peers. My job is strictly inclusion. Recently I was reprimanded for having a student one on one in another room. I was told, "you are a inclusion teacher...don't you dare pull out any students." Our superintendent has a vision that a inclusion teacher should stay in the classroom and work with their special education students. I am the only special education teacher in my building for kindergarten thru sixth grade. It is impossible for me to be in all classes all day everyday to service my students. My argument of time to progress monitor and to read tests to students did not go very far...which led to much stress in my teaching days. Any one having the same difficulties?

Sheri Haught's picture

I feel your frustration over not being able to pull students out during inclusion. Some people misunderstand the concept. We work with individuals based on their needs. That means if a students hits a snag, we do whatever it takes to help that child out. With inclusion, more staff is needed, not less. Well trained para-educators are great to help meet this need, but a lot of collaboration and planning is needed. I hope inclusion teachers are also able to team teach and work with groups of students based on common needs. We work as differentiation coaches as well. Special Ed teachers have a full plate! Good luck!!! And Stick with it :)

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