What are the pro's and con's of inclusion?
From what I have seen over only a few years working in Special Education, the pros of inclusion have much do do with the social interactions and growth that are available to out exceptional students, and the cons tend to go along the lines of how our students presence or behaviors can become a distraction to the general populations learning environment. In other words, inclusion helps those we work with, and it hurts those we are trying to include our students with. I know this is a gross generalization, and you guys can argue instance after instance where the general ed. students were positively effected by an exceptional student. However, these moments come at the expense of the gen.ed. teacher being able to direct and drive a class in the way they normally do, and it comes at the expense of a structured teacher being able to exert such structure on classes that include exceptional students. By default, we are asking the general population to make exceptions and concessions for our exceptional students. And I will be the first to say that the positives that inclusion provides our students with is proceless, but how has it hindered the general population? Do we even care about the loss of focus, or the constant distractions, or the missing structure that happens in these classes? Do we even care as Special Educators? Are our students that mush more valuable than the general population? How can we help bring a happy medium into these inclusion instances where the student is a distraction, but they need the social interactions that the class offers? How can this be reconciled?