Inclusive Education Program Narrative & Analysis

Introduction

Inclusive education programs for students with learning disabilities are designed to assist elementary students with mild disabilities in the improvement of their academic achievements in the natural learning environments.  In fact, inclusion stands for “the placement of all students with disabilities in general education classroom without regard to the nature or severity of the students’ disabilities”(Power-deFur & Orelove, 2007,  p.10). The inclusive program narrative and analysis help to better understand the major strengths and weaknesses of the program and compare with other programs. An educational leader should be ready to create the best conditions for students who are educationally disadvantaged due to poverty, language differences, disabilities, interest, and academic performance or lack thereof. As a result, inclusive programs are considered to be the most effective tool for students with disabilities because inclusion helps them in deriving educational benefits and having the opportunity to function in the learning environment appropriately. Students involved in inclusive classrooms get higher grades, achieve higher scores on testing, and demonstrate positive behavioral interventions (Rea et al., 2002). The major goal of this paper is to compile data relevant to the design and implementation of one special program in a district and/or school.  The narrative of the program includes: its history, budget, student population, staffing, curriculum and instruction, coordination, monitoring, and evaluation at the school and district level.

The Narrative of the Inclusive School Program

History

In 1975, the U.S. Congress passed the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, which was renamed as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA). This act states that students with disabilities should be educated in the “least restrictive environment” (Alquraini & Gut, 2012). The implementation of inclusive school programs is based on the U.S. legislation. In recent years, the inclusion of students with disabilities in general education settings has been favored and promoted by the U.S. healthcare providers. As a result, there is considerable increase in the percentage of students with disabilities involved in the inclusion school programs (Alquraini & Gut, 2012). According to the 1998 findings provided by the U.S. Department of Education, “almost a decade after the implementation of IDEA, students with disabilities spent more than 79% of a typical school day in the regular education classroom” (Alquraini & Gut, 2012, p. 42). In other words, in 1998, there was an increase in the percentage of students with disabilities who were involved in educational practices in general education settings from 20.7% to 42.4% in 1998. In addition, the statistical data provided by the U.S. Department of Education shows that in 2004-2005, more than 96% of students with disabilities were involved in general education classrooms (Alquraini & Gut, 2012).

Budget

The money necessary for the implementation of the inclusive school program have been taken from the resources of the school district. An inclusion school program requires the proper resources in the following categories: school and healthcare personnel, staff development, educational facilities, equipment (e.g. computers) and transportation. Besides, each of the categories may generate some additional costs.

Student population

Students involved in the inclusive school program are elementary students with learning disabilities (moderate mental retardation) aged 10-12 years old.

Staffing

Staff members include teachers and healthcare specialists. Actually, the teams of teachers, school administrators, and outside healthcare professionals and experts participated in the planning of the inclusive program.

Curriculum and instruction

Curriculum and instruction are based on the established rules and regulations developed for the general education setting. The program is supported by university faculty who assisted teachers and administrators in the process of planning, preparing teachers for effective   delivery of high quality curriculum and instruction in the inclusive classrooms. In addition, the program is supported by a special education co-teacher and by para-educators. The inclusive education program was built based on the general education curriculum. The program involves the use of effective instructional strategies, such as cooperative learning practices, peer tutoring practices, regrouping of students for intensive instruction, and various evidence-based instructional strategies.

Coordination, monitoring, and evaluation at the school and district level 

Coordination, monitoring and evaluation of the program were provided at the school and district levels. For example, monitoring of individual students progress was conducted at the school level on a regular basis. Coordination and monitoring of inclusion was based on the collaboration between general educators and special educators in order to meet the needs of all students. The process of evaluation of the programs requires thorough investigation of the program’s outcomes. Evaluation was conducted based on semi-structured interviewing. The findings of the program evaluation demonstrate the strengths of the inclusive school programs due to certain attitudinal changes and the availability of special education practices to students with disabilities.

The Analysis of the Program 

(based on the practices identified in additional readings)

The inclusive program for students with learning disabilities can be characterized as well-developed, well-planned and effective. The program helps students with disabilities to overcome not only attitudinal and technological barriers, but also information and communication barriers, and the barriers that are stemming from the established laws and rules. The inclusion practices identified in additional readings provided some information regarding the comparison of achievements of elementary students with learning disabilities who were involved in full time inclusive education settings. The academic progress of students involved in full inclusion programs was compared with the students who did not have any disabilities. According to Holloway (2001), the progress of students with disabilities in the combined model was significantly better than either inclusion model or the “resource-room-only model”. The effectiveness of the inclusion education program depends on students’ academic achievements. Based on the findings provided by Klingner and colleagues (1998), the academic progress of students with and without learning disabilities placed full-time in general education settings depends on the staff development. The inclusive program analyzed by researchers highlighted the role of this factor in students’ achievements. The study conducted by Rea and colleagues (2002) places emphasis on the analysis of special education programs and academic and behavior outcomes for students with learning disabilities. It has been found that teachers and administrators who participated in the inclusive program at Enterprise Middle School were focused on the “model for implementing inclusive special education services based on team teaching and collaborative planning” (Rea et al., 2002, p. 208). Zigmond and colleagues (2009) argue that inclusive programs depend on pedagogical commitment to providing well-developed and appropriate education to all students with disabilities. Deno and colleagues (1990) provided the analysis of the inclusion of students with disabilities involved in the Minnesota Educational Effectiveness Project. They explored the relationship between school program effectiveness and students’ attitudes/achievement. The results of the study failed to support the idea that “general efforts at school improvement will lead to improved outcomes for low-achieving students”(Deno et al., 1990, p. 150). Six studies (Alquraini & Gut, 2012; Deno et al., 1990; Holloway, 2001; Klingner et al., 1998; Rea et al., 2002; Zigmond et al., 2009) that investigated the effectiveness of full-time inclusion of students with disabilities support the inclusive program analyzed in this paper because the overall achievement level of students involves in these programs was high

In general, the results of research on inclusive programs for students with learning disabilities highlight the significance of inclusion in general. The programs provided for students with learning disabilities are both inclusive and efficient. Each of the programs discussed in this paper is worth using in educational settings. Schools should become more “inclusive and more collaborative despite existing organizational barriers that often interfere with effective practice” (Rea et al., 2002, p. 220).

Conclusion

Thus, it is necessary to conclude that there is much evidence on the effectiveness of the inclusive school programs, in which every student wins, and no one loses. Inclusive education enhances the process of learning, providing children with disabilities much more educational opportunities due to the regular education program and effective instructional strategies. The inclusive education program narrative and analysis, as well as six additional readings show that students with learning disabilities educated in segregated school programs fail to achieve positive outcomes compared to students with disabilities involved in inclusive school programs. It is necessary to create more inclusive educational systems in school districts across the United States.

 

 

References:

Alquraini, T. & Gut, D. (2012). “Critical components of successful inclusion of students with severe disabilities: Literature Review,” International Journal of Special Education, 27(1): 42-59.

Deno, S., Maruyama, G., Espin, C., & Cohen, C. (1990). “Educating students with milddisabilities in general education classrooms: Minnesota alternatives,” Exceptional Children, 57: 150-161.

Power-deFur, L. A. & Orelove, F. P. (2007). Inclusive Education: Practical Implementation of the Least Restrictive Environment. Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Holloway, J. (2001). “Inclusion and students with learning disabilities,” Educational  Leadership, 57(6): 86-88.

Klingner, J., Vaughn, S., Hughes, M., Schumm, J., & Elbaum, B. (1998). “Outcomes for students with and without learning disabilities in inclusive classrooms,” Learning  Disabilities Research & Practice, 13(3):153-161.

Rea, P., McLauglin, V., & Walther-Thomas, C. (2002). “Outcomes for students with learning disabilities in inclusive and pullout programs,” Exceptional Children, 68 (2): 203-223.

Zigmond, N., Kloo, A., & Volonino, V. (2009). “What, where, how? Special education in the climate of full inclusion,” Exceptionality, 17: 189-204.

 

The terms offer and acceptance. (2016, May 17). Retrieved from

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"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

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"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

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