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Chapter Eleven. Creating Inclusive Classrooms. The Ability/Disability Continuum and the Health Dimension. Rationale for Inclusive Classrooms. Over the past 175 years, public education in the U.S. has continually broadened the definition of who shall be educated. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Text of Creating Inclusive Classrooms

  • Creating InclusiveClassrooms

    The Ability/Disability Continuum and the Health DimensionChapter Eleven

  • Rationale for Inclusive ClassroomsOver the past 175 years, public education in the U.S. has continually broadened the definition of who shall be educated.Today, that definition includes students with a variety of disabilities and those with chronic health problems.There is both a philosophical and a legal basis for inclusion in public schools.

  • The Philosophical Basis for InclusionThe belief that communities of learners are, by definition, inclusiveThe belief that each member of a learning community is a unique individual, different from every other memberThe belief that heterogeneity is both unavoidable and desirable Continued

  • A belief in the concept of normalization, or the idea that the lives of exceptional individuals should be characterized, as much as possible, by the same kinds of experiences as those without disabilitiesA belief that normalization can occur when adaptations and supportive services are available and offered as unobtrusively as possible

  • The Legal Basis for InclusionElements of Civil Rights LegislationSection 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act (1973) prohibits discrimination based on disability in agencies and settings receiving federal funds.P.L. 92-194 (1975), amended in 1990 as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), mandates education in the least restrictive environment.ADAthe Americans with Disabilities Act (1990)extends these prohibitions to the private sector.


  • Public Law 94-142, reauthorized as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (1990)Recognizes a continuum of potential placements for individuals with disabilitiesMandates that, to the maximum extent possible, placement be in the least restrictive environmentContinued

  • Like societal inclusion, inclusive education implies fully shared participation of diverse individuals in common experiences.The concept of inclusion is interpreted somewhat differently by different people.Full inclusion means that a student will attend the same schools she would if she had no disability, and participate with all of the same groups of learners as she would if she had no disability; she will, however, have supportive services as needed.

  • Definitions of ExceptionalityAbility/disability and health are distinct dimensions of human exceptionality.Some individuals may have a physical or developmental disability (e.g., a hearing loss or intellectual giftedness or impairment) and have no health problems.Other individuals may have health difficulties (e.g., asthma) but no particular physical or developmental disability.

  • The Ability/Disability ContinuumFederal guidelines under IDEA define 13 disability categories in the following dimensions:Sensory differences (vision and hearing)Other physical differences (motor, vitality)Communication differences (speech)Cognitive, intellectual, and information processing differencesEmotional and behavioral differencesContinued

  • Explicit definitions of each category are important because the allocation of financial resources is involved.Schools must ensure that eligible students receive the services to which they are entitled.Differentiating exceptionality from normality in the course of a childs development may be somewhat arbitrary.Nevertheless, most exceptional children have the same needs, interests, and concerns as their more typical peers.

  • Historical Perspectives on Special EducationSpecial education emerged in the context of social reform.It was inspired by a belief in natural rights and individual worth, and the conviction that, through education, every person can contribute to society.

  • Pioneers in Special EducationHorace Mann (1840s) believed that the goal of education as preparation for citizenry applied to all childrenSamuel Gridley Howe founded the Perkins Institute for the deaf in the 19th centuryJean-Marc Gaspard Itard French physician who taught Victor, the wild boy of AveyronValentin Hauy founded the worlds first school for the blind in Paris (1784)

  • Some Historical HighlightsIn 1860, nearly two-thirds of those individuals in American almshouses were children with sensory or other physical impairments or mental retardation.By the 1870s, a major child saving effort was undertaken by the National Conference of Charities and Corrections.Continued...

  • The major concerns of 19th century reformers were proper care, some form of instruction, and maximum independence and integration into society.While 19th century facilities were often called asylums, they were intended as schoolstraining schools, using utilitarian pedagogy to enable students to become, as much as possible, able to support themselves.Continued

  • Specialized instruction began its gradual move into the common schools at the beginning of the 20th century.At the same time, schools were struggling to accommodate massive numbers of immigrant children, a fact that had important implications for special education:Steamer classes, designed to expose immigrant children to English, led to programs for children with speech impairments.Continued

  • Classes for unrulies were the forerunners of classes for children with behavior disorders.Fresh air schools for children with tuberculosis or who were physically weak led to classes for children with other health impairments.Continued

  • Ungraded classes for those who just didnt fit led to classes for students with mild retardation.

    Special pedagogy was secondary to the perceived need to separate students who were different as a way of making schooling more manageable.


  • Although many early special education classes sought to integrate their students into the regular school activities, over time special education became a system within a system.In the 1920s, early efforts were directed toward children who were academically gifted.By the 1930s, schools were adopting IQ testinga seemingly more scientific approachthat led to different life skills curricula for students with disabilities.Continued

  • Special pedagogy, however, took a second place in the education of exceptional children.With the increasing implementation of exclusionary policies, children with special needs were more likely to find themselves somewhere other than the public school, primarily in residential facilities.Those who remained in public school were not offered any particular adaptations or pedagogical supports.Continued

  • In 1975, however, Public Law 94-142, the Education of All Handicapped Children Act, required schools to identify all children with disabilities and to provide them with an appropriate public education, documented in an IEP (Individual Education Program).Interest in gifted education has waxed and waned over the years. Two problems remain:The inclusiveness of schools definition of giftednessThe identification of gifted students who are ethnic and linguistic minorities


  • Subsequent amendments to P.L. 94-142 (IDEA and ADA) have added requirements for schools:Extended provisions to children as young as threeAdded a family-focused early intervention component for infants and toddlersStipulated a required transition plan by age 16Distinguished autism and traumatic brain injury from other forms of disability

  • The Health DimensionWhile some forms of illness require major adaptations or medical intervention, that number is relatively small.It is the case, however, that all of us may experience a health problem at some time or other that interferes with our daily functioning, and this includes school children.The need and eligibility of children with chronic illness for special education services depends on whether their condition adversely affects educational functioning.Continued

  • The number of severe cases of chronic illness has risen in the past two decades, due, in part, to:Life-saving interventions at birth for premature infantsMedical advances in bringing some childhood diseases into remission in the first yearIncreases in drug-affected pregnanciesHIV transmission to newborns

  • Implications of Health Needs for InclusionThree principles to remember:We can all expect to experience serious health problems at some time in our lives.Serious health impairment in children is not a new phenomenon.A health problem is not a persons only identifying characteristic or need.Continued

  • Another implication is the fear:Of infection (all school personnel are advised to adopt universal health precautions)Of harming children with special needs, or of neglecting so-called typical childrenOf the unknown; in general, the more knowledge one has of a childs condition, the more able a teacher feels to accommodate that child

  • Characteristics of an Inclusive ClassroomTwo fundamental ideas underlie the relation of inclusion and human diversity:A major purpose of schooling is to prepare the young for life in a heterogeneous democracy.Today, the young must also be prepared for life in a global economy.These ideas hold for all children, whether they have disabilities or not.Continued

  • Another fundamental idea collaboration emerges from general education and goes further than the legal requirements of special education.The law requires multidisciplinary participation in assessing, planning, and monitoring students with special needs.Collaboration suggests continuing interdisciplinary teamwork on the part of regular and special educators in implementing the students program.Continued

  • The law requires that parents give informed consent prior to a multifactored evaluation, participation in