Full Inclusion: The Best Option for Students?

Full Inclusion: The Best
Option for Students?
By Lauren Johnson and Maria Le
What is the difference between
Inclusion and “Full” Inclusion?
• Inclusion: Meaningful participation of
students with special needs in general
education classrooms and programs.
• Full Inclusion: Full time integration in
general education classrooms of all
students with special needs, regarding the
severity of their disabilities.
Lewis & Doorlag, 2006
What is the purpose of Inclusion?
• Implications of social
• Participation
• Exchange and shared
• Build student’s
competence both in
and out of school
• Become full, active,
learning members of
the school community
Feguson et. al, 1992
Benefits of Inclusion for
Students with Special Needs
• Mainstreaming and
inclusion provides
students with mixed
ability an opportunity
to seek assistance
from one another
rather than receive
direct support from
the teacher.
Koutroulis, Champlin College
Reasons for Full Inclusion
• To create a world in which all children are
welcome, comfortable to grow up with, knowledge
about, and supportive of all kinds of children.
• To be consistent with multicultural education,
with wanting to create a world in which many more
people have opportunities to know, play, and work
with one another.
• For children to be members of a broader
• To avoid labeling special needs students so that
schools can go about “business” as usual (~ SaponShevin).
O'Neill, 1994-1995
Reasons for Full Inclusion
• Advocates of full inclusion subscribe to the basic
tenet that students are more alike than different
(Mock & Kauffman, 2002).
Reasons for Full
• “Inclusion will succeed to the extent that it links
itself with other ongoing restructuring efforts” ~
Sapon-Shevin (O’Neill, 1994-1995).
The Other Side of the
• A student does not have much fun and does not
learn much in an instructional setting that is not
well matched to his or her prior knowledge.
• General education teachers are extremely unlikely
to be able to teach all or even most students with
disabilities well, even if they are very good at
teaching most students without disabilities.
• Students are discriminated against when they are
not provided with instruction that is appropriate
to their needs, regardless of where they are
Kauffman et. al (2005)
The Other Side of the
• Image the difficulty in adjusting lesson plans to
more than one student who is fully included in
your classroom.
• In terms of grouping arrangements- are the
advanced students appropriately challenged?
• Are we working harder at inclusion than at
appropriate instruction? Is appropriate
instruction a more compelling social right than
• Schools fail students when image reigns and
substance is relegated to second place.
Kauffman et. al (2005)
The Other Side of the
• The place of
should not be
allowed to trump
the nature of
Kauffman et. al. (2005)
To fully include, or not to fully
include… that is the question.
• Is full inclusion the best option for
students in order for them to function
properly with mainstream students?
• Is the special education classroom treated
as a safety net to avoid a clash of
differences between mainstream students
and special education students?
Ferguson, D. L., Meyer, G., Jeanchild, L., Juniper L. & Zingo, J.
(1992). Figuring out what to do with the grown ups: How teachers
make inclusion “work” for student with disabilities. Journal of the
Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps, 17 (4), 218 – 226.
Kauffman, J. M., Landrum, T. J., Mock, D. R., Sayeski, B. &
Sayeski, K. (2005). Diverse knowledge and skills require a
diversity of instruction groups: A position statement. Remedial
and Special Education, 26 (1), 2-6.
Koutroulis, P. N. (Accessed 12/3/2006). Electronic Portfolio:
Champlain College. Burlington, Vermont.
Mock, D. R. & Kauffmann, J. M. (2002). Preparing teachers for
full inclusion: Is it possible? The Teacher Educator, 37 (3), 202 –
O’Neill, J. (1994-1995). Can inclusion work? A conversation with
Jim Kauffman and Mara Sapon-Shevin. Educational Leadership,
52 (4), 7-11.
Case Study:
• You are the new second grade teacher in the
rural, Eagle Lake Elementary School in Cook
County, Minnesota. You are looking over an IEP of
a student named Dale. Dale is severely autistic
with some muscular dystrophy. He was not fully
included in kindergarten or first grade. Dale’s
mother has expressed interest in full inclusion for
him because she feels that socially, this is
important as he is an only child with working
parents. Dale’s mother is very involved with Dale’s
academics; however his father has excluded
himself when it comes to Dale’s development.
Case Study: Continued
• Dale is able to walk on his own, with some
assistance on the stairs. He is nonverbal, but
does make humming noises. Dale’s medium for
letting others know how he is feeling is through
the tone of his humming. He enjoys music, books,
and the outdoors (he is often caught standing by
or looking outside the window). In addition, Dale
likes to press buttons, such as the buttons on
the TV or VCR. Dale is sensitive to loud noises
and has difficulty with large groups. Dale wears
diapers, and is accustomed to being “changed.”
Dale is socially inappropriate, at times touching
himself and invading others’ space. He has
trouble maintaining eye contact and sometimes
Case Study: Continued
• Dale is developmentally equal to that of a
three or four year old. He likes to color,
but tends to scribble. Dale likes numbers
and is able to demonstrate very basic
mathematical functions with the help of
pictures and tactual objects. He has been
to known to have troubles sitting still for
longer than two minutes. In his special
education class, Dale works best with
bodily kinesthetic activities, such as
ordering and spreading alphabet blocks
across the room.
• Get into groups of 3-4.
• A copy of the case study will be
handed out along with two questions
• Discuss with your group and be ready
for a class discussion.