Benefits of an inclusive education
Inclusive Education benefit the teachers, parents and the students. One benefit of an inclusive education for teachers is that they always have the challenge of changing their curriculum to benefit all the students each year. This gives the teachers room to grow and learn with the students. Inclusive education benefits the parents by giving their children with special needs the normal life they wish for them. An inclusive education can benefit the children in lots of different ways. The students with and without special needs can learn from each other in an inclusive setting. The students with and without special needs can develop a positive connotation with each other. This positive connotation can minimize bullying. The students become educated about the differences students have which allows the students to appreciate diversity and minimize prejudices. Students often develop friendships in an inclusive setting. It has been argued that everyone benefits from being in an inclusive setting because it provides “continuum of supports” for the children with and without special needs. The students have support coming from all angles of the classroom instead of just one specialist. Inclusive education follows the standards given to schools regarding students with special needs. Inclusive education abides the law that requires special needs students be given an education in the “least restricting environment” while still catering to the needs of children without special needs. Finally inclusive education gives all the children regardless of special needs or not the same opportunities and experiences. Advocates of inclusive education claim that “inclusive education is not a location” but rather it is a “model where the child with disabilities is a full member of an age appropriate general education class in the same way she/he would be were the child not disabled”. Advocates of inclusive education far exceed the critics yet there are still arguments over inclusive education that exists.
Although most agree that inclusive education is beneficial to students, parent, and teachers some people have criticized inclusive education. Some believe that inclusive education is not the best economical way to spend the schools budget. These people believe there are cheaper ways to spend the school’s budget and be just as effective if not more effective than inclusion. People also feel that alternatives such as special education and ESL classes are a better alternative to inclusive education because it gives the students personal attention “to meet their unique needs”. According to inclusion discussion held by The City University of New York (1996) critics argue that special needs students need individual attention from specialists that an inclusive education cannot offer. The students are all taught in the same way not addressing individual needs. The education takes a “one size fits all approach”. Some people argue that inclusive education holds back the children without the special needs. This is because the children without the special needs are forced to learn at the speed of the special needs students. Inclusive education only has benefits for children with special needs, but there are no positive outcomes for the children without special needs. Another criticism in The City University of New York’s (1996) discussion is that teachers are not prepared to teach in an inclusive education classroom. The teachers will not know how to come up with curriculum to address the needs of all students. This may even be impossible to do. Finally critics argue that inclusive education is advocated by “few ideologically driven professionals and some emotional parents of student with disabilities” (The City University of New York, 1996, p. 4). These people feel that inclusive education is not possible and is almost more dreamlike than reality. They argue that only people who care about inclusive education is the people who have children with special needs and they do not care about the best interest in the whole classroom.