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Inclusive Science Education - Essay Example

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Inclusion is the significant partaking of students with impairments in general education classrooms. The Creating Laboratory Access for Science Students (CLASS) project is a distinctive scheme offering training and resources to help educators provide students with diverse material, sensory and learning disabilities equal access in the science laboratory or field…
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Running Head: INCLUSIVE SCIENCE EDUCATION Inclusive Science Education of Inclusive Science Education
Inclusion is the significant partaking of students with impairments in general education classrooms. The Creating Laboratory Access for Science Students (CLASS) project is a distinctive scheme offering training and resources to help educators provide students with diverse material, sensory and learning disabilities equal access in the science laboratory or field. Science as a content area is a principal focus of the general education reform movement. A considerable part of that effort is directed toward students who have been normally barred from the field of science (Hamre, 2004, pp 154-155). The National Committee on Science Education Standards and Assessment (1993) asserted, "The commitment to Science for All entails inclusion not only of those who conventionally have attained encouragement and opportunity to follow science, but of women and girls, all racial and ethnic groups, the physically and educationally challenged, and those with limited English competency" (p. 5). People with physical impairments have long encountered barriers to pursuing careers in science. These barriers come in various forms, including historical, institutional, physical, attitudinal, and curricular hindrances. The CLASS Project uses professional development workshops to prepare educators for inclusive classrooms, thereby helping them do away with obstacles for their students. (Bargerhuff, 2004, p-319) The eventual objective of the project is to augment the depiction of individuals with disabilities pursuing careers in or related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Persons having impairments have worked hard for decades to attain reasonable outcomes in all areas of their lives, employment, independent living, and education. Until the passage of the Education of All Handicapped Children Act (EHA) in 1975, many students with disabilities were regularly excluded from public school. The EHA, now reauthorized as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), permits a free and suitable public education for all students in the least restraining environment. The law requires that to the greatest extent apt, children with disabilities are to be educated alongside their classically developing peers, unless education in general education classes with the use of additional aides and services cannot be achieved adequately (Moroney, 2003, pp 21-22). Commonly known as inclusion, this right of every student to access general education requires special and general education teachers to presume new collaborative roles by sharing know-how and engaging in combined problem solving (Pugach & Johnson, 2001).
Even when there is conformity on the meaning of inclusion, the culture of the classroom and the school, itself, shapes the ways inclusive programs are enforced (Cawley, Hayden, Cade, & Baker-Kroczynski, 2002; Wallace, Anderson; & Bartholomay, 2002). File (1994) found few associations between teachers' beliefs about the significance of children learning social skills and the actions those teachers took to endorse social interactions. Additionally, even though integrating special therapies within early childhood classroom activities and schedules is championed as best practice in early intervention (Stefanich, 2001), "pull-out," or out-of-the-room, treatment continues to be the major model for providing services to students with disabilities in preK-12 settings (Thompson, 2001).

Bibliography

Bargerhuff, M.E., & Wheatly, M. (2004). Teaching with CLASS: Creating laboratory access for science students. Teacher Education and Special Education, 27(3), 318-321
Bell, R.L., Blair, L.M., Crawford, B.A., & Lederman, N.G. (2003) Just do it Impact of a science apprenticeship program on high school students' understandings of the nature of science and scientific inquiry. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 40(5), 487-509.
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Burnstein, N., Sears. S., Wilcoxen, A., Cabello, B., & Spagna, M. (2004). Moving toward inclusive practices. Remedial and Special Education, 25(2), 104-116.
Cawley, J., Hayden, S., Cade, E., & Baker-Kroczynski, S. (2002). Including students with disabilities into the general education science classroom. Exceptional Children, 68(4), 423-435.
Gartner, A., & Lipsky, D.K. (2002). Inclusion: A service, not a place: A whole school approach. Port Chester, NY: Dude Publishing.
Hamre, B., & Oyler, C. (2004). Preparing teachers for inclusive classrooms: Learning from a collaborative inquiry group. Journal of Teacher Education, 55(2), 154-163.
Hammrich, P., Price, L., & Slesaransky-Poe, G. (2001). Daughters with disabilities: Breaking down barriers. Electronic Journal of Science Education, [Online serial] 5(4), article 4. Available: http://unr.edu/ homepage/crowther/ejse/hammrichetal.html
Hassard, J. (2000). Science as inquiry: Active learning, project-based, web-assisted, and active assessment strategies to enhance student learning. Parsippany, NJ: Good Year Books.
Johnson, L. R. (2000). Inservice training to facilitate inclusion: An outcomes evaluation. Reading and Writing Quarterly, 16, 281-287.
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Lang, H. (2002). Clearinghouse on mathematics, engineering, technology and science (COMETS). Available: http://www.rit.edu/comets/pages/ welcomepage.html
Moroney, S.A., Finson, K.D., Beaver, J.B., & Jensen, M.M. (2003). Preparing for successful inquiry in inclusive science classrooms. Teaching Exceptional Children, 36(1), 18-25.
Ormsbee, C.K., & Finson, K.D. (2000). Modifying science activities and materials to enhance instruction for students with learning and behavioral problems. Intervention in School and Clinic, 36(1), 10-21.

Palincsar, A., S., Magnusson, S. J., Collins, K. M., & Cutter, J. (2001). Making science accessible to all: Results of a design experiment in inclusive classrooms. Learning Disabilities Quarterly, 24, 15-32.
Pugach, M. C., & Johnson, L. J. (2001). Collaborative practitioners, collaborative schools" (2nd ed.). Denver: Love Publishing.
Snell, M.E., & Janney, R. (2000). Teacher's guides to inclusive practices: Collaborative teaming. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.
Sousa, D.A. (2001). How the special needs brain learns. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, Inc.
Stefanich, G.P., Callahan, W., & Johnson, C. (2001). Assistive technologies, safety and accessibility. In G. Stefanich (Ed.), Teaching in inclusive classrooms, theory and foundations (pp. 147-172). Washington, DC: National Science Foundation.
Swanson, A.B., Miner, D.L., Carpenter, K., Woods, M., & Nieman, R. (2001). Teaching chemistry to students with disabilities. Washington, DC: American Chemical Society Committee on Chemists With Disabilities.
Thompson, S.J., Quenemoen, R.F., Thurlow, M.L., & Ysseldyke, J.E. (2001). Alternative assessments for students with disabilities. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
U.S. Department of Education. (2001). Twenty-third annual report to Congress on the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Washington, DC: Author.
Wallace, T., Anderson, A. R., & Bartholomay, T. (2002). Collaboration: An element associated with the success of four inclusive high schools. Journal of Education and Psychological Consultation, 13(4), 349-381.
Woods, M., & Stern, V. (2002). Roadmaps and Rampways. Washington, DC: American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Wood, T. S. (2001). Laboratory manual 2001 workshop. CLASS: Creating laboratory access for science students. Dayton, OH: Wright State University, CLASS Project. Read More
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