INCLUSIOIN

What Does It Mean To You?

Who Am I?

Hello, my name is Destiny Cromer. I am a junior at Towson University majoring in Elementary Education. As a requirement for my major I must take and pass a course called Introduction to Special Education. Within this course we study many disabilities and exceptionalities we may face when we begin to teach. We also learn techniques and strategies on creating and maintaining an inclusive classroom environment. In order to do so I figured I needed to be sure I fully understood the concept of inclusion.

Inclusion Defined In My Words

When asked to define inclusion the first thing that comes to mind is the state of feeling or being involved.
Involvement is participation; when a child is included in a classroom, he or she is participating in the activities. Without involvement the child would be considered excluded or not apart of the classroom.
When including students, a teacher must be sure to peak the interests of every student in the classroom. Principles of UDL (Universal Design for Learning) help teachers create a lesson that is sure to intrigue the audio learner and the visual learner. Having engaging activities, expression direction in different ways and representing the material being taught helps with having all students involved and on task.
Inclusion also is important when students with disabilities are added to the mix of a general education classroom. Though disabilities may hinder academic success, inclusion can help keep these exceptional students on a good path.

Why Is Inclusion Important?

Inclusion is important in making sure all students are on a path to academic success. Having children involved in all activities aids in their learning.
Inclusion is a right. All kinds of laws were passed to ensure inclusion took place in the classroom. "IDEA mandates that not only should individuals with disabilities be provided a publis education, they also should have the right to learn in the least restrictive environment" (Vanderbilt).
The benefits of inclusion aid in providing a sense of belonging for students. When children feel apart of something, this fulfills a basic need which leads to motivation. This motivation can be taken and put towards anything.

What Makes Inclusion Difficult?

Inclusion is difficult in trying to reach every child's interest. Not all children like the same things, as a teacher you must find a common ground to be sure you grasp the attention of all students.
Helpful Inclusion Guidelines

Helpful resource for teachers

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Summarization of Guildlines
Collaboration
  • Getting ideas and involving other adults
Management
  • Create a good classroom environment
Structure
  • Be as flexible as possible
(School of Education, 2004)

What I've Learned
  • Inclusion is a right identified by IDEA
  • Inclusion is helpful in social and academic aspects
  • Inclusion is a requirement for most schools in the US
(Vanderbilt)

What Helped Me
  • The exceptionality project helped me learn about inclusion the most. We got to teach and learn about all different type of disabilities and focused on strategies on how to teach students with such disabilities. A lot of the strategies include inclusion. A lot of the assistive technology for these disabilities are made for inclusion in the classroom also. At first when I thought of inclusion I assumed it wouldn't as important to focus on or that it would could come automatically. I've learned that it doesn't, that teachers must provide/create that feeling and that a child could definitely have a disadvantage if not.

Inclusion Is Everywhere

Reminder
Inclusion isn't just within the classroom either. Inclusion can be in a social setting as well. For example on the playground, children want to be including in games and conversation to feel apart of something.

References

Effective Teaching Practices for Students in Inclusive Classrooms. (2004, November 1). Retrieved December 2, 2015, from http://education.wm.edu/centers/ttac/resources/articles/inclusion/effectiveteach/


Vanderbilt, K. (n.d.). Inclusion in the Classroom. Retrieved December 2, 2015, from http://kc.vanderbilt.edu/kennedy_files/inclusioninclassroomtips.pdf