Over the past three years I have worked educating children with different needs. Far too often, general education teachers make every attempt to exclude students from “their classroom” who they feel “don’t belong”. I believe that in order to change these beliefs teachers have to be confident in their ability to provide an education for all students. This confidence will develop only with support, hard work, the pledge to work together and proper training. I have decided to focus my attention toward inclusion because I feel that inclusion is not utilized effectively and exclusion does not work. I have observed the power struggle that exists in and outside of the classroom and want to aid in a solution to eliminate this struggle. The problem that I will examine in this action research is how the working relationship between the general and special needs educators in the inclusive setting affect learning in the classroom. I believe that teachers preparing to teach in an inclusive setting need more training. This lack of training creates an inability for inclusion to be utilized and our children miss the opportunity of an appropriate education. The way the system currently works excludes certain students who have the right to be included in their local school educated with their peers. Transporting students to another school other than their local neighborhood school segregates them. Restricting an individual from being included is against their civil rights as an American.
“Separate is not equal. If something is offered to all children it must be accessible to all children. Access should not be denied based on disability or any characteristic alone. Children with disabilities have a right to go to the same schools and classes as their friends, neighbors, brothers and sisters. They have a right to be afforded equal opportunities. Giving every child a sense of belonging, value and worth enhances their overall quality of life. Including children with disabilities in general education classes models acceptance of diversity. It teaches children how to function together with others of different abilities” (www.kidstogether.org/right-ed.htm).
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