This book provides new information on how various inclusion policies have been implemented in different schools and school districts in North America and in a range of European countries.
The purpose of inclusion policy is to prevent the marginalization of people who experience unfavorable circumstances in life. It is an approach to the education of students with disabilities that is based on a commitment to what all members of a free society deserve in order to become fully participating members--a fair chance to find a meaningful place in their own communities.
This book is a kind of status report on what inclusive education has achieved and what it may achieve in the future for children and youth with disabilities. It describes the philosophical, legal, and practical terrain covered by inclusion policy in general and inclusive schooling in particular. Contributors assess inclusion policy and suggest ways to reconceptualize it, bringing to their data analysis a depth of experience and knowledge about public schooling in their respective countries.
Although inclusion of students with disabilities in general education classes has been embraced by politicians and educators calling for equal opportunity in our society and is being incorporated into national and international education laws, it continues to be controversial and the debate is sometimes heated. A goal of this book is to shed some light on this debate. Is inclusion mostly about student placement? Are students with disabilities attaining social and learning membership in general classrooms? Have they benefitted from inclusion? How about students without disabilities? What have been the benefits? Must learning take second priority to socialization and friendship? Are teachers getting the training they need? How do parents feel about inclusion programs? How do students feel? What kind of curricular accommodations should be made? These and other questions are addressed.
This volume is based on original papers presented by the contributing authors in October 1997 at the Rutgers Invitational Symposium on Education on Inclusive Schooling: National and International Perspectives.
Contents: Foreword. Preface. D.E. Mithaug, The Alternative to Ideological Inclusion. S.J. Vitello, The Law on Inclusion. D.L. Ferguson, Changing Tactics: Embedding Inclusion Reforms Within General Education Restructuring Efforts. M.J. Mclaughlin, K. Henderson, L.M. Rhim, The Inclusion of Students With Disabilities in School Reform and Restructuring: An Analysis of Five Local School Districts. M.E. Snell, Characteristics of Elementary School Classrooms Where Children With Moderate and Severe Disabilities Are Included: A Compilation of Findings. D.K. Lipsky, A. Gartner, Factors for Successful Inclusion: Learning From the Past, Looking Toward the Future. L.C. Soodak, Parents and Inclusive Schooling: Advocating for and Participating in the Reform of Special Education. M.A. Winzer, Inclusion Practices in Canada: Social, Political, and Educational Influences. S. Hegarty, Challenges to Inclusive Schooling: A European Perspective. O. Vormeland, Inclusion Implementation and Practices in Scandinavia.