George Lucas Educational Foundation

Full Inclusion,partial...self-contained??

Full Inclusion,partial...self-contained??

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Just wondering what the opinions are in real situations on what works. I have taught at schools that did self-contained, partial inclusion, and full inclusion only. I have my opinions but wondering what everyone else is finding.

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frederica davis's picture

I think that inclusion is a great thing, but sometimes it is done by words only. There is no real inclusion in many of the clasrooms as it should be.  In my opinion, the word inclusion has different meanings  to school administrators.

Dave's picture
Special Education Resource Teacher (9-12)

It depends entirely on what is best for the student. A free and appropriate education is what every student with disabilities is entitled to, regardless of what the school's preference for practice is.

Our job as special educators is to ensure our students are being placed in the right settings and document absolutely everything pertaining to it so that, if things are not being implemented correctly according to the student's IEP, we can speak up and be their advocate.

Mrs. W's picture
Mrs. W
5-8 Language Arts and History Teacher

I have also had experience with a variety of settings. It really depends on the student and what is best for them. Inclusion has many benifits and is appropriate for most students. I worked in a self-contained emotional disabilites classroom, and for those students who had severe behavior problems they were in the program because they did not make it in an inclusion school. I depends on the student and their needs, and I believe we having the continum of services that stand currently is a good way when followed that students get the services they need.

Devon Isherwood's picture

I am in charge of designing the district's Inclusion Model...any experiences you would like to share will be appreciated.

Ross Jones's picture
Ross Jones
Substitue Teacher: Sp Ed, Life Skills, Learning challenges, Early Elem

As a substitute with Sp Ed I have seen an extremely wide variety of inclusion. Some work, usually with children who are able to keep up with the teacher's presentation. However, I have seen too many that do not do as well. Example: a CP boy who has normal intelligence, but is severely physically disabled and unable to talk (also wheelchair bound). He is taken into a regular science class, which is fine for his ability to understand the information. However, he cannot respond in a timely manner, cannot ask questions, and cannot take notes. I felt he was getting very little out of the experience. What he needs is for the person who takes him to the science class is to take notes, be able to communicate with him (ASL - which I can do), relay questions etc to the teacher, and then go over all the material with the student when we get back to the Sp Ed room. None of that was done, and I feel the student is not getting the education he needs.
I have many more examples of this type of 'inclusion' that does not work. The school districts seems to put children into regular classrooms with no assistant and without training the regular teacher - not a good situation. They put students into classes without proper support from the person with the Sp Ed student and without the regular teacher taking any interest in the student.
I will cut this short, but I am sure others have experiences where the "system is working", but not for the student.

Devon Isherwood's picture

By definition, what you describe is not inclusion. Inclusion is attending gen ed classes with the supports and services needed to successfully learn appropriate skills and content...participating in learning as a member of the class. Special education teachers and gen ed teachers collaborate, paln and teach together. In the case of the student with CP, he needs alternative ways to respond and show what he has learned. There is no way to determine if he has benifitted otherwise. What is for sure is that he learned more science than if he hadn't been in class.

Kim's picture

As our school has offered more and more accelerated classes and also has to meet the needs of students who have done poorly on state assessments, our hands have become tied with scheduling. There are only so many periods in a day for students to get their needs met; accelerated classes and Support Classes have made it so that the "heterogeneous" classes have become very homogeneous. Just curious if I am wrongly frustrated when my class contains 16 IEP students and only 8 gen. ed. students. My other classes have only a couple of IEP students in each. I want to have a conversation with my CSE chair, but no sure if I am off-base.

Preston Webster's picture
Preston Webster
Education Consultant

My specialty is instructional design, not special education. But I can offer an observation from ongoing work at many schools. Inclusion for special education or ELL students seems far more successful when all teachers are involved in creating and adapting classroom materials that increase understanding. Where content area teaches and special education teachers share an understanding and ability to use visuals, guides, organizers, chunking, and more, more students in the classroom seem engaged and benefiting; and there's a higher degree of collaboration among staff. I may be wrong, but it seems where these tools and strategies are missing special education and ELL teachers and students are more isolated, and the effort not as effective.

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

We're starting a new group here at Edutopia on Personalized learning- we'd love to have you join and discuss challenges meeting students needs in the classroom there as well :)

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

We're starting a new group here at Edutopia on Personalized learning- we'd love to have you join and discuss challenges meeting students needs in the classroom there as well :)

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