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Strengths and weaknesses of inclusive education Essay

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Analysing various views of professionals in relation to inclusion, it is easy to see that many of these professionals, including educational psychologists, teachers, social workers and health service professionals, saw obstacles to full inclusion and considered that schools as currently organised frequently find it difficult to meet the wide range of children’s needs (Thomas & Loxley 2001, p. 110).

As a matter of fact, inclusion or exclusion are as much about participation and marginalisation in relation to race, class, gender, sexuality, poverty and unemployment as they are about traditional special education concerns with students categorised as low in attainment, disabled or deviant in behaviour (Booth & Ainscow 1998, p.

3). That is why some people continue to think of inclusive education as a new name for special education, although these two concepts of education differentiate in most aspects. First of all, it is true with regard to models which are applied to inclusive and special education.

The latter was viewed in the past through the prism of the so-called medical model which later has been criticised as inadequate because it “medicalises” or “pathologises” difficulties in education in terms of within-child conditions and disorders, and in so doing ignores social factors (Clough & Corbett 2000, p.

10). In the social model having been usually applied in inclusive education, difficulties in learning are seen to reflect schools which have not accommodated the learning needs of these children.

They are interpreted as calling for organisation change, not for labels which implicate the child’s deficiency in a way that comes to justify separate provision outside the mainstream education system (Clough & Corbett 2000, p. 113). Recently exactly the social model of education is generally recognised, and it is well-founded tendency. Inclusive planning at a school or class level requires taking account of individual children’s additional educational needs. This implies that an individual model cannot exist outside the context of the social, as a social model cannot exist without reference to individuals (Thomas & Vaughan 2004, p.120).

Accordingly, it is difficult to make sense of the individual’s additional or special educational needs without considering how educational institutions and society accommodate and respond to diversity. Similarly, when education institutions accommodate diversity it is necessary to consider what that diversity is in individual terms (Mittler 2000, p. 59). Much of the persuasive force of the social model has come from the commitment to the value of the social and academic participation of all children and young people in mainstream schools.

The social model has provided the basis for an agenda to remove barriers in society and schools to the greater participation of all, including those with SEN, in mainstream schools (Thomas & Vaughan 2004, p. 89). Nevertheless, how the model has come to be represented and used owes much to its role in justifying the push towards greater inclusion and less to the complexities about the origins and causes of learning difficulties and disabilities (Mittler 2000, p. 176).

It is evident that a task of coping effectively in mainstream schools with diverse learners is one of the huge stumbling blocks of inclusive education (Farrell 2006, p. 36). Yet, there is a considerable debate in all circles having relation to education about the adaptability of the curriculum to student difference, as this is of critical importance for effectiveness of inclusive education to realise the capacity of schools to encourage full participation of pupils of differing attainments and diverse educational needs (Robertson 2003, p. 102).

At the same time, a lack of certainty in this issue is seen by some observers as one of the outcomes of creating diverse contexts, and as a stimulant to creativity and collaborative problem solving in inclusive schools (Skrtic, 1995, p. 209). Anyway, the benefits of inclusive education if effectively implemented in practice can be substantial – those children with SEN earlier excluded from active participation in most aspects of public life will be able to contribute to society if get education and proper services in mainstream school (Rieser 2000, p. 156).

As Clark, Dyson and Millward (1998, p.1) reasonably argue, “it seems impossible to consider issues of educational failure [… ], of disability (personal tragedy or public issue? ), of inclusive schooling (ethically necessary or educationally damaging? )

From a purely pragmatic perspective”, but the issues of fundamental values have to be taken into account while considering inclusive education advantages and disadvantages. Anyway, expanding values of inclusion in education to the whole society mankind could benefit greatly from building inclusive society based on social justice, equity and democratic participation (Rose 2003, p. 15).

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Strengths and weaknesses of inclusive education. (2017, Apr 24). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/strengths-and-weaknesses-of-inclusive-education-essay

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