Inclusive Education in UK - Essay Example

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Education in the United Kingdom has undergone various changes over the past few decades. The government has passed laws that discourage less use of special schools; instead there is more focus on integration. These changes have sparked a wide range of reactions and discussions about the topic…
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Some philosophers argue that inclusion is the act of inviting others in or integrating others into the mainstream. (Asante, 1996). This premise stems from the fact that some people in society have always been treated unfairly. Society has been historically unjust to certain categories of individuals. These include racial minorities, handicaps and others. Proponents of such a definition claim that people who have been sidelined in the past need to be 'invited in'. One can therefore extend this definition of inclusion to the field of education where inclusive education may be defined as a form of education that facilitates integrating those who have been neglected in the past 'in'. However, one cannot help but see some of the loopholes that emerge from such a definition. First of all, who has a right to invite others in Additionally one should examine what are the causes of exclusion in the past. It should be understood that all persons have equal rights in education. No single person should have the upper hand to decide another's fate. (Hanson, et al, 1998) A more acceptable way of looking at inclusive education should include the acknowledgment of the fact that all human beings are born equal and that society is given the responsibility of supporting those who have special needs.

The Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education came up with a more comprehensive definition of inclusive education. They state that inclusive education refers to inclusion of all manner of children in schools (high school, universities, colleges and preschool) regardless of their disabilities provided they are given all the support they require. They assert that inclusion should encompass the community and life in general. It involves the acknowledgment of the fact that some pupils or students may need more support. The support should be provided by a number of stakeholders ranging from local governments, education agencies and education sponsors among others. However, there is a need to modify this kind of definition because it does not include the element of continuity. (Lieber et al, 1998)

The most acceptable and comprehensive definition was put forward by CSIE, two years later. They described inclusive education as the continuous process of including students in mainstream classrooms, the community and local culture. It also involves reducing the level of exclusion in the latter mentioned realms. It also involves the elimination or reduction of obstacles in education and participation. It should be noted that this definition is more dynamic and highlights the fact that schools/ communities cannot adopt inclusion overnight. This is something that gradually changes with time. It should also be noted that this definition avoids the use of integration and emphasises inclusion instead. The reason for this is that integration tends to imply that some people are more equal than others and that the former have a right to 'integrate' others into their own systems.

Advantages and disadvantages of inclusive education
Advantages
Inclusive education is more beneficial than it is detrimental. Even criticisms labelled against inclusive education are simply based on the fact that the program was not implemented properly. If it is implemented in the right way, then inclusive ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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