Inclusion essentially refers to the concept in which students and learners are placed in the most non restrictive environment of learning. This would occur despite the differences in the students arising from disabilities in some of them. Inclusion, therefore, departs from the practice of exclusion in which disabled students are restricted and separated from the normal learning environment. The rationale behind inclusion is the argument that the students would be exposed to a non restrictive world ultimately. Consequently, it beats logic to educate them under restriction and then later release them into the free world. The inclusion advocates insist that it would be prudent if disabled students were exposed to the real life situations and only compelled into following subtle adjustments that have to be inevitably used.
Inclusion calls for additional input by the teachers and guardians who have to understand the student of child fully. It calls for the modification of the curriculum to be all inclusive and sensitive to the handicap nature of some students. Teachers must appreciate the cultures, the attitudes and the reasoning of the students to be able to accommodate them. The main motivation entails the maintenance of the disabled students under the same roofs as their normal student counterparts during the learning process. Advocates argue that the exposure would enable disabled students blend with the normal ones and learn the typical and common concepts and talents. As such, the disabled students should be able to execute the activities that they would ordinarily desist from when in restricted environments. These activities include dancing, swimming and activism. The non restrictive environment suffices for purposes of challenging them into normalcy. They must behave and carry themselves out normally.
The disabled students would benefit in various ways from the practice of inclusion. The non restrictive environment ensures the students gain the following types of services. Normal curriculum coverage; this essentially implies that the students are able to learn under normal circumstances. They cover the educational curriculum in detail and without unnecessary adjustments. They are exposed to the challenges that would likely face them in their educational journey at higher levels. They are equipped and prepared for the society. Secondly, the disabled students would be able to learn from their peers. In the restrictive environments, the normal peers would not be available. The accommodation of the students under the normal classrooms setting enables them meet their peers. They accommodate and engage each other from which they learn various concepts and get ideas that govern their operations and conduct. This set of students is arguably better equipped for the society, as opposed to the disabled students excluded from normal learning environments. The inclusion advocates argue that then students would be later released into the real world where the restrictive conditions are unavailable. In addition, the peer education concept has been appreciated by scholars as a fundamental pillar of learning. Although most learning occurs through teacher to student interaction, peer learning also suffices as an effective learning mode. Thirdly, inclusion avails to the disabled students’ exposure services that would enable them adopt in the competitive yet accommodative world. They are able to learn how to use their talents even with their inherent limitations which arise from their disability status. They are able to horn their skills in diverse applications such as singing, dancing, playing, orating, advocacy, among other services. This ultimately positions the disabled students favorably in the world in relation to competition for opportunities.
Advantages and disadvantages of inclusion
Inclusion essentially accrues advantages to the disabled students. It suffices for purposes of boosting the self esteem of the students. The students are presented with the opportunity to advance themselves socially and economically. They are able to effectively learn and adapt to the real world environment. In addition, inclusion bridges the societal, social gap that arises between the disabled and the normal people. The exposure during the inclusive learning allows students to disprove the stereotyping that usually exists in the larger society. This knowledge enables them to interact freely later during their lifetimes. Further, inclusion would give disabled students opportunities to adapt fully to the world despite their inherent weaknesses. This would be as opposed to the restrictive environments that would not be as facilitative.
The disadvantages that accrue from inclusion revolve around the modes of interaction. For starters, due to the inherent weaknesses in of the disabled students, the learning approach has to inevitably be altered to accommodate the abilities of the disabled students. These alterations vary in degree and methods. However, the common thread in all the alterations is the slower pace of learning. In addition, the teacher would require additional knowledge and technical knowhow. Disabled students should be specially handled and even in the events of inclusion, the mode of interaction between the teacher and the disabled student cannot be the same as in a normal teacher student interaction. Lastly, disabled students may themselves fail to adapt to the non restrictive learning conditions with some suffering from cases of low self esteem.
Coffield, F. (2008). Improving Learning, Skills and Inclusion: The Impact of Policy on Post-Compulsory Education. New York: Routledge.
Evans, L. (2007). Inclusion. New York: Taylor & Francis.
Grimes, P., & Ekins, A. (2009). Inclusion. New York: McGraw-Hill International.
Turnbull, A. P., Wehmeyer, M. L., & Turnbull, R. H. (2010). Exceptional lives: Special education in today's schools. New York: Pearson.