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Investigating Meaningful Teaching

3). In inclusive classrooms, students with disabilities attend a regular class part of the day with resource room and other support services provided in the regular class. This can be considered as partial inclusion. However, during the recent times, the concept of full inclusion has been steadily gaining acceptance. The concept of full inclusion "maintains that a child with disabilities - even severe disabilities such as profound mental retardation - should be placed in a regular classroom for most or all of the school day" (Ayres & Meyer as cited in Kearney, 1996, "What is full inclusion" section, para. 1). The proponents of inclusion rationalize this concept on several grounds. First and foremost, inclusion is a right of all students. Students with disabilities learn social skills from their normally developing peers. Disabled students benefit from friendships and social relationships with non-disabled students and vice versa. Inclusion allows friendships among diverse students and help children understand human differences (Price, Mayfield, McFadden & Marsh, 2000, Objectives section, para. 6).
Placement of a child in a self-contained classroom involves removing the child from the general school population to work in a small controlled setting with a special education teacher (Mauro, 2009, Self-Contained Class section). Students in a self-contained class may work at different academic levels with different curricula, as they need different levels of specialization.
Experiences, Observations and Opinions of Special Needs Educators
A couple of teachers working with children with special needs in inclusive classrooms were approached and interviewed to learn their experiences and observations in working in that situation. According to them, special education is most meaningful and fulfils its purpose when children with special needs are capable of overcoming their shortcomings and become independent to the maximum extent possible by them. The same opinion was shared by educators working with children with special needs in self-contained classrooms as well. They recounted examples where children with some issues of dyslexia could be later on included in a regular classroom after initial training in the self-contained classroom. Another example was of a child with learning disabilities whose artistic skills were so encouraged that they could hold an exhibition of his works on the school grounds. His talent caught the attention of not only the students and their parents, but of the public and the media as well. Of course, the children's needs are at different levels and their likelihood of attaining independence is also varying. The teachers following both modes of education feel that they feel maximum satisfaction and contentment on seeing the evolution of a child with special needs to as close to a normally developed child as is possible by them physically, mentally and intellectually. This involves tackling not only academic and developmental issues, but also issues of social etiquette, propriety and decorum. What is most necessary here is being able to view a disabled child as a normal child with certain shortcomings and to ...Show more


Special education is a system of education that involves special procedures, techniques, equipment and materials of teaching and other specific interventions in suitable settings that help students with special needs attain self-sufficiency and thereby success not only in school but in the community and society at large…
Author : lonniecasper
Investigating Meaningful Teaching
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