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Inclusion - Term Paper Example

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The irrevocable truths about nature are only two; diversity and dynamicity.Everything else is ephemeral. Both of these attributes in any setting provide opportunities as well as resources for developing new concepts and strategies …
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Download file to see previous pages... The irrevocable truths about nature are only two; diversity and dynamicity.Everything else is ephemeral. Both of these attributes in any setting provide opportunities as well as resources for developing new concepts and strategies The concept of inclusion has gathered impetus from this diversity or from being differently-abled rather than social, cultural and even scientific biases categorizing them as “disabled”. However, the issue involves the intricacies of human brain; of the differently-abled as well as of those who are responsible for facilitating their learning. Hence, the problem is much more complex. The ongoing inclusion vs. non-inclusion debate stems from the concerns of educationists, researchers, parents and policymakers for the appropriate learning and development of these differently-abled children, efforts to make them a part of the real world, recognize their potentials and help develop skills enabling an earning, and in the process avoiding any incident that may lower their self esteem, or lead to their further exclusion. Another aspect of the debate is the uniqueness of these individuals, rendering generalizations unfair. History of Inclusion A society is judged by the way it treats its members who are different, weak, disabled and poor. Following this line of judgment, history of human civilization has abundant evidences of society being highly intolerant and unaccommodating. It has failed to provide for the ‘different’ in general; one example of which is its treatment of the differently-abled learners such as the physically, intellectually or behaviorally disabled for long; making amendments only recently. For a long period extending up to the beginning of 18th century, individuals different from the ‘normal’ exhibiting social, political, behavioral, intellectual and physical deviance were rarely tolerated, and usually ostracized. It was only in the middle of 18th century that first reports of education being systematically imparted to the disabled in European countries are recorded; the process accepted as a specific branch of education by the close of 18th century (Winzer, 1993). In USA, prior to 1970, legal provisions allowed educational institutions to deny admission to the disabled considering them unfit for learning (Murdick, Gartin, & Crabtree, 2006). There was also either no provision for special needs students who were allowed in regular schools or they received an excluded education in a segregated classroom or school with a curriculum completely different from the regular classrooms i.e. non-inclusive education. It was only in between the 1960s and 75 that a collaborative effort of parents, disabled individuals and professionals lead to formation of advocacy groups promoting ‘equal opportunity for education’. The enactment of the 1970 education act in 1971 ended the prejudices against disabled children allowing them to be categorized as uneducable. Section 504 of the rehabilitation act passed on September 26, 1973 aimed to overcome the discrimination against individuals with handicap for federal funding (Zirkel & Kincaid, 1995). However with lack of funding and monitoring the legislation was ignored by educational institutions. The landmark Warnock report (1978) in England, Wales and Scotland proved to be turning point in developing public and professional opinion about disabled children. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), (earlier known as the Education for all Handicapped Children Act) or Public law 94-142, passed in 1975 and amended in 1983 and again in 1990; lay down specific eligibilities regarding special education, parental rights and individualized educational programs (IEP). The three conditions that were to be fulfilled for special education drives were stipulated to be: Education of disabled children ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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