Capstone: Critical Analysis I

Description

Often there are many contributing causes in the development of a specific problem/issue. These causes may be complex and may involve individuals, institutions, and/or environmental factors, for example. This complexity increases the difficulty in creating a solution for the problem. Thus, prior to developing solutions, there must be a critical analysis of the problem/issue. The analysis must address the many potential causes of the problem/issue and determine which had the most impact on its development. Critical analysis relies on the literature and resources that address the specific problem. In this Application, you will focus on a critical analysis of the problem utilizing the findings from the literature collected in previous weeks.


To prepare:

  • Review the resources you collected and summarized in Weeks 4 and 5.
  • Think about the causes of the problem/issue; effectiveness of inclusive classrooms, and consider who or what are the major contributors to this problem.
  • Think about the impacts of the problem.


The assignment:

In 3 pages, discuss the following points:

  1. Briefly describe the problem/issue and the problem statement you developed.
  2. Identify the major contributors to the problem (who, what) and briefly explain how they contribute to/cause the problem.
  3. Explain at least two causes of the problem.
  4. Explain at least two effects of the problem.

Support your response using the appropriate references. APA Format. 3 pages.

Running header: PROBLEM STATEMENT
Problem Statement
Problem Statement
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PROBLEM STATEMENT

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Education is crucial for economic growth and human development. Inclusive education
involves combining children with and without disabilities in the same learning environment
where they can participate and grow together. It is aimed at enhancing the educational system
and providing education for all regardless of one’s abilities. According to Corbett (2001), this
model of education is based on the understanding that children are diverse individuals with
unique abilities and backgrounds and approaches to enhance quality should thus be based on
knowledge and strength of the learner.
Inclusive education has been identified to be beneficial to children with and without
disabilities. According to Hwang and Evans (2011), through inclusive education, children gain a
better understanding of themselves and of others. As they attend the same lessons, children are
able to reflect on the prevailing diversities in the real world. Schnorr et al (2000) asserts that
inclusive education enables children to gain fundamental academic skills. For children with
disabilities inclusive learning classrooms serve to foster a sense of belonging and appreciation by
their peers and society. Engaging the students into effective social interaction with their peers
will increase their general acceptability resulting in long term positive impacts. Inclusion
benefits the students without disabilities through increased understanding of diversity and
acceptance.
Various researches have been completed on the approaches and importance of inclusive
education but there have been little attempts to connect the approaches employed and resulting
benefits hence the effectiveness of inclusive education has not been fully explored. The
endorsement of inclusive education has been very slim, an indication that its effectiveness is in
doubt (Gaitas and Alves, 2017). According to Gaitas and Alves (2017), inclusive education has
been challenging to integrate within schools irrespective of empirical evidence that is extremely
PROBLEM STATEMENT
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supportive of this model. The aim of this paper is to establish the effectiveness of inclusive
classrooms for students with special needs/developmental disabilities in the school system.
The critical considerations are important in addressing the issue of the uptake of inclusive
education. The slow adoption of the model can be associated with ethical factors such as
inadequate treatment of students by teachers based on their capabilities and trainings. Social
change factors entail how the model will affect the interaction of children in society. Globalism
factors include how the global community formulates policies to boost the implementation of
inclusive education. Diversity factors will focus on the fact that students with disabilities who
are not receiving education are from less fortunate and uninformed backgrounds.
PROBLEM STATEMENT
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References
Corbett, J. (2001). Teaching approaches which support inclusive education: a connective
pedagogy. British Journal of Special Education, 28(2), 55.
Gaitas, S., & Alves Martins, M. (2017). Teacher perceived difficulty in implementing
differentiated instructional strategies in primary school. International Journal of Inclusive
Education, 21(5), 544–556.
Hwang, Y.-S., & Evans, D. (2011). Attitudes towards Inclusion: Gaps between Belief and
Practice. International Journal of Special Education, 26(1), 136–146.
Schnorr, R. F., Matott, E., Paetow, M., & Putnam, P. (2000). Building-based Change: One
School’s Journey toward Full Inclusion. Middle School Journal, 31(3), 44–52.
Running head: CAPSTONE: CRITICAL RESOURCE REVIEW
Week 4 Assignment- Critical Resource Review
A Homework Assignment Submitted by Emily Self
Walden University
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CAPSTONE: CRITICAL RESOURCE REVIEW
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Meeting the Needs of Special Education Students in Inclusion Classrooms
Inclusion involves students with disabilities learning alongside their non-disabled peers in
a general education classroom. By using both the regular classroom and individualized
time, learners are exposed to peer socialization but get the attention they need for their specific
challenges. Research has suggested that including disabled children in the conventional
classroom improves academic achievement, self-esteem, and social skills. However, research has
also shown that while there is increased peer interaction and social skill growth, the overall needs
of the special education student do not end up being met in a general education classroom. For
this reason, there is a need to improve these students’ educational experience in the inclusion
classroom.
Summary of the research study
The research study Meeting the Needs of Special Education Students in Inclusion
Classrooms, sought to determine the perceived needs as well as greatest challenges that a general
education teacher encounters when handling the needs of special education students. This is in
effort to determine ways administrators can support general education teachers so as to provide
the appropriate supports and resources in order for them to accomplish this goal.
The two research methodologies used in the research study were the qualitative as well as
quantitative methodologies. Quantitative data was obtained using an electronic questionnaire that
sought to determine the needs and challenges of staff members who were tasked with serving
special education students in inclusion classrooms in a mid-sized Title I elementary school
campus in Texas. Qualitative data was obtained via a multi-grade level focus group that involved
participants discussing questions relating to how to meet the needs of special education students
in an open forum.
CAPSTONE: CRITICAL RESOURCE REVIEW
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The needs and challenges of general education teachers that were identified included,
lack of professional development opportunities needed to serve children with disabilities, a
poorly structured system with regard to progress monitoring, grading, scheduling and student
placement, lack of collaboration between special education team, administration and general
education teachers as well as communication breakdown between said departments. This implies
that administrators should focus on resolving these challenges in order to improve the learning
experience and quality of special education students in a general education classroom (LeDoux,
Graves, & Burt, 2012)
Critical analysis
The research study Meeting the Needs of Special Education Students in Inclusion
Classrooms was carried out by a team three researchers who sought to determine ways to
improve the learning experience of students with disabilities when in an inclusive classroom
setting.
The credibility of the source
The research study is a credible source of information relating to ways administrators
can utilize to enable general education teachers to be able to serve special education students in a
better way since it is a peer-reviewed journal. This is so since prior to being published, this
source was reviewed by other experts who specialize in working with special education students
in an effort to ensure that the article contained quality material.
Basis of information
The conclusion drawn was based on the analysis of both qualitative as well as
quantitative data. Additionally, past research that seeks to identify the challenges and needs of
general education teachers who were tasked with serving special education students already
CAPSTONE: CRITICAL RESOURCE REVIEW
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carried out were used to draw the conclusion. These materials were then referenced to confirm
the sources of information.
Researchers
The three researchers who conducted the study and analyzed the results were Cathy
LeDoux, M. Ed. From McWhirter Elementary School, PDLS, Shanna L. Graves, Ph.D. from the
University of Houston- Clear Lake, and Winona Burt, Ph.D. from the University of HoustonClear Lake. With all three researchers being educators with extensive academic expertise that is
depicted by their credentials, it is quite evident that the research study is a credible source.
CAPSTONE: CRITICAL RESOURCE REVIEW
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Reference
LeDoux, C., Graves, S., & Burt, W. (2012). Meeting the Needs of Special Education Students in
Inclusion Classrooms, 12(3), 117-118. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8578.1985.tb00623.x
CAPSTONE: CRITICAL RESOURCE REVIEW
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Capstone Resources
Bricker, D. (2000). Inclusion: How the Scene Has Changed. Topics in Early Childhood Special
Education, 20(1), 14.
Buli-Holmberg, J., & Jeyaprathaban, S. (2016). Effective Practice in Inclusive and Special Needs
Education. International Journal of Special Education, 31(1), 119–134.
Fisher, M., & Meyer, L. H. (2002). Development and Social Competence after Two Years for
Students Enrolled in Inclusive and Self-Contained Educational Programs. Journal of the
Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps (JASH), 27(3), 165–74.
Garfinkle, A. N., & Schwartz, I. S. (2002). Peer imitation: increasing social interactions in
children with autism and other developmental disabilities in inclusive preschool
classrooms. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, (1), 26.
Garrick Duhaney, L. M., & Salend, S. J. (2000). Parental Perceptions of Inclusive Educational
Placements. Remedial & Special Education, 21(2), 121.
Green, K. B., Terry, N. P., & Gallagher, P. A. (2014). Progress in language and literacy skills
among children with disabilities in inclusive early reading first classrooms. Topics in Early
Childhood Special Education, 33(4), 249–259.
Hestenes, L. L., Cassidy, D. J., Shim, J., & Hegde, A. V. (2008). Quality in Inclusive Preschool
Classrooms. Early Education and Development, 19(4), 519–540.
Justice, L. M., Logan, J. A. R., Lin, T.-J., & Kaderavek, J. N. (n.d.). Peer Effects in Early
Childhood Education: Testing the Assumptions of Special-Education
Inclusion. PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE, 25(9), 1722–1729.
Kurth, J. J. K. ed., Gross, M. M. co., & Lovinger, S. sel66@nau. ed. (2012). Grading Students
with Significant Disabilities in Inclusive Settings: Teacher Perspectives. Journal of the
International Association of Special Education, 13(1), 41–57.
LeDoux, C., Graves, S., & Burt, W. (2012). Meeting the Needs of Special Education Students in
Inclusion Classrooms, 12(3), 117-118. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8578.1985.tb00623.x
Lindsay, S., Proulx, M., Scott, H., & Thomson, N. (n.d.). Exploring teachers’ strategies for
including children with autism spectrum disorder in mainstream classrooms. INTERNATIONAL
JOURNAL OF INCLUSIVE EDUCATION, 18(2), 101–122.
Majoko, T. tawandamajoko@gmail. co. (2018). Effectiveness of special and inclusive teaching
in early childhood education in Zimbabwe. Early Child Development & Care, 188(6), 785–799.
Magiera, K., Lawrence-Brown, D., Bloomquist, K., Foster, C., Figueroa, A., Glatz, K., …
Rodriguez, P. (2006). On the Road to More Collaborative Teaching: One School’s
Experience. TEACHING Exceptional Children Plus, 2(5).
McLeskey, J., & Waldron, N. L. (2007). Making Differences Ordinary in Inclusive
Classrooms. Intervention in School & Clinic, 42(3), 162–168.
CAPSTONE: CRITICAL RESOURCE REVIEW
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Smith, D., & Tyler, N. (2011). Effective inclusive education: Equipping education professionals
with necessary skills and knowledge. Prospects (00331538), 41(3), 323–339.
Stites, M. L., Rakes, C. R., Noggle, A. K., & Shah, S. (2018). Preservice Teacher Perceptions of
Preparedness to Teach in Inclusive Settings as an Indicator of Teacher Preparation Program
Effectiveness. Discourse and Communication for Sustainable Education, 9(2), 21–39.
Sunardi, Maryardi, & Sugini. (2014). The Effectiveness of a Two-Day Inclusion Workshop on
Teachers’ Attitudes, Understanding, and Competence in Inclusive Education. World Journal of
Education, 4(5), 77–85.
Running Head: RESOURCE SYNTHESIS AND INTEGRATION
Week 5 Assignment- Resource Synthesis and Integration
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RESOURCE SYNTHESIS AND INTEGRATION
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Introduction
Inclusive education is an educational practice where children with and those without
disabilities are combined in the same learning environment where they can participate and grow
together. The practice is aimed at making the educational system efficient and providing
education for all regardless of one’s abilities. The effectiveness of inclusive education has been a
controversial debate among various stakeholders in the educational sector. Several studies have
been done to determine whether the results of inclusive education have been beneficial to all
participants. The studies tend to present varied results in respect to different aspects of the
prevailing conditions under which the study was conducted.
The effectiveness of inclusive education in a typical education environment can be
enhanced based on the degree of the disability of every individual student and the aid provided
by all stakeholders taking part in the program. With the program, many students have been able
to realize their potentials in various areas. These areas include reading and language
development, peer interactions and social skills, and self-esteem and positive attitudes.
Nevertheless, there are various significant factors in enhancing the effectiveness of inclusive
education and failure to address all factors may lead to detrimental consequences. This paper will
sample and analyze a number of scholarly articles in the build-up to the research on the
effectiveness of inclusive classrooms for students with special needs/developmental disabilities
in the school system.
Inadequate training program for teachers
According to LeDoux et al (2012), the participating teachers in the forum admitted that
there existed a communication gap. General education teachers are not well briefed before the
RESOURCE SYNTHESIS AND INTEGRATION
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introduction of children with disabilities in their classrooms. The specific areas of concern
pointed out include understanding the goals and objectives of the program and prior briefing to
changes in the schedule to incorporate children with special needs. There is a need for resource
teachers and administrators to clearly comprehend the effect of introducing children with special
needs to a classroom on the performance of general education teachers. The study suggested that
extra time for planning instruction, scheduling, and the social dynamics, and behavioral concerns
of all students in the classroom is necessary (LeDoux et al, 2012).
Buli-Holmberg and Jeyaprathaban (2016) performed research considering traditional
teaching practices in the classroom and found that teachers were unable to align their teaching
techniques with the needs of all students especially those children with special needs. The
teachers lacked the necessary special instructional techniques which are unique when it comes to
accommodating all children in the classroom. Buli-Holmberg and Jeyaprathaban (2016) further
identified that teachers at some instances lacked the capacity to involve the children who were
unable to learn through the traditional techniques.
Sunardi (2014) used a case example of a two-day workshop to assess the impact of
training teachers on the effectiveness of inclusive education. The results showed that teachers
gained more confidence in teaching inclusive classrooms following the workshop training. it is
important to note that a teachers’ competence is determined by understanding, knowledge, value,
interests, skills, and attitudes. In addition, Kathleen Magiera, (2006) identified the importance of
initial training undertaken by Marilyn Friend on improving teacher competency. The teachers
who undertook the training showed improvement in areas such as co-teaching as well as
teamwork.
RESOURCE SYNTHESIS AND INTEGRATION
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Poor stakeholder collaboration
Challenges arise when children with disabilities are ‘dumped’ into the classroom with
reduced budget allocation and without proper planning and collaboration framework (LeDoux et
al, 2012). It was noted that teachers were concerned about poor management in the institution
which had translated to unavailability of specialized services required by the children living with
disabilities. Other teachers cited a disconnect between general education teachers and the
department responsible for special education.
Buli-Holmberg and Jeyaprathaban (2016) identified three levels of collaboration which
are essential for the success of inclusive education i.e. teacher – teacher interaction during
planning and teaching, student-student interaction and teacher-student interaction. The study
further asserts that these collaborations are the basis for effective inclusion education. LeDoux et
al (2006) cited C.C. Ring School as a perfect example where collaboration among the staff had
enhanced the effectiveness of inclusive education.
Parent’s and teacher’s attitude towards the program
Attitude is a key factor in determining the commitment of stakeholders on any program
and inclusive education is not an exemption. A positive attitude towards inclusion is a
significant step towards enhancing educational experience among children with disabilities in an
inclusive classroom. With a positive attitude, teachers and parents will foster their full support
and commitment to ensuring that every child receives the specific needs for their education
(LeDoux et al, 2012). In addition, Buli-Holmberg and Jeyaprathaban (2016) asserts that attitude
RESOURCE SYNTHESIS AND INTEGRATION
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goes hand in hand with teachers knowledge and competence forming the basis for effective
inclusion. Professional development is a vital approach in boosting the attitude of general
education teachers as well as parents (LeDoux et al, 2012). According to Sunardi, (2014), a twoday inclusive workshop improved the parents’ attitude beyond the positive attitude held before
the workshop.
Conclusion
From the analysis of the articles, there is a gap between the approaches used in the
inclusion program and the benefits accrued. The studies indicated that there exists a correlation
between the level of training, the collaboration between stakeholders, and the attitude of parents
and teachers and the effectiveness of the program. Through professional development and
training, teachers’ knowledge, attitude, and competence can be improved which translates to
effective inclusion in classrooms.
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References
Buli-Holmberg, J., & Jeyaprathaban, S. (2016). Effective Practice in Inclusive and Special Needs
Education. International Journal of Special Education, 31(1), 119–134.
LeDoux, C., Graves, S. L., & Burt, W. (2012). Meeting the Needs of Special Education Students
in Inclusion Classrooms. Journal of the American Academy of Special Education Professionals,
20–34.
Magiera, K., Lawrence-Brown, D., Bloomquist, K., Foster, C., Figueroa, A., Glatz, K., …
Rodriguez, P. (2006). On the Road to More Collaborative Teaching: One School’s
Experience. TEACHING Exceptional Children Plus, 2(5).
Sunardi, Maryardi, & Sugini. (2014). The Effectiveness of a Two-Day Inclusion Workshop on
Teachers’ Attitudes, Understanding, and Competence in Inclusive Education. World Journal of
Education, 4(5), 77–85.
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SPECIAL EDUCATION
Vol 31, No: 1, 2016
EFFECTIVE PRACTICE IN INCLUSIVE AND SPECIAL NEEDS EDUCATION
Jorun Buli-Holmberg
University of Oslo
Sujathamalini Jeyaprathaban
Alagappa University
The present study attempts to evaluate the effective teaching practice for children with special
learning needs. The research question framed in the present study for investigation is which
practice will be effective in different inclusive classroom settings and what are the factors that
contribute for effective practices? Qualitative research was carried out in the present study using
the case study method of embedded single case design to answer the research question. This study
was carried out in South Norway. Twenty four Schools from four municipalities in three counties
were sampled for the present study. Eighty three observations were carried out in the classrooms
of selected schools where different inclusive classroom practice was followed. The study observed
different inclusive classroom settings namely traditional practice, variety and flexible practice,
one to one support practice outside and within the classroom and small groups outside the
classroom. The investigators derived different criterion under three categories: 1) interaction 2)
support and 3) adaptation for analysing the best inclusive classroom practices. The following
criteria were used under the interaction category; teacher interaction and collaboration, teacher
and students interaction and collaboration. The criteria used in the support category are general
teacher support, special teacher support, teacher supporting student participating in the learning
community. The adaptation category has following criteria; classroom facilitation, learning
materials and teachers instructions. The result of the study showed that each type of practice has
its own advantages and disadvantages in the education of children with special needs. The
strength and weakness of each practice were analysed. The finding from the traditional practice
shows that those students that need special support do not get the support they need to master
their learning. Under the one to one support practice the students got the support they needed to
master their learning and they had positive interaction with the teacher in the students’ learning
process, and the same results were found with one to one support inside the classroom. In small
group practice the students had more support and a closer interaction with the teacher than in the
traditional practice. The present study concluded that varied and flexible practice in the
classroom had met all the criteria listed by the investigators and served the necessary learning
requirements of children with special needs. Whereas the remaining four practices had served
children with special need to a certain extent only. The study stated that there is a lack of expertise
on the part of the general teachers to deliver adapted teaching learning process in an inclusive
classroom practice. The study implied a need to build competencies on the part of the general
teachers and provide necessary teaching – learning interaction, support and adaptation in all type
of inclusive practices.
Introduction
This research paper dealt with the effective practices in Inclusive and Special Needs Education. Inclusive Education
means that all students in a school, regardless of their strengths or weaknesses in any area, become part of the school
community. The term Inclusion generally means ending all separate special education placement for all students and
full time placement in general education with appropriate special education supports within that classroom (GarvarPinhas & SchmelkinPedhazur, 1989; Lipsky & Gartner, 1996). There are some individuals who by virtue of their
physical and mental abilities require a more relevant or appropriate instruction than is usually available within
formal and informal educational structures. A domain of education has been constructed to satisfy their learning
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requirements (Laura & Ashman, 1985). This domain is called ‘Special Needs Education’. This field of Special
Needs Education encompasses heterogeneous groups who demand varied services: visually impaired, hearing
impaired, mentally retarded, orthopaedic handicapped, children with behaviour disorders, gifted or talented and
finally the learning disabled or children with learning difficulties. Special Needs Education meets the needs of
children with specially designed instructional programme to compensate/overcome their disabilities/difficulties. In
past, the learning requirements of these children were provided in special settings, such as special classes, special
schools and special residential schools or institutions. Recently, inclusion emerges out with the constitutional
provision of equal opportunity for all these individuals. The concept of integration’ stemmed out from the
perspective of democracy. Integration leading to inclusive schools cannot be about renegotiating the roles of
‘special’ educators to meet the needs of ‘special’ children in ordinary classrooms (Stainback, Stainback & Forest,
1989, p.ix).
To achieve a quality in Inclusive Education school plays vital role. All individuals are unique and ‘special’ with
their strengths and weaknesses. As education binds us together, it has its root in the past and is meant to equip us for
the future. It transfers knowledge, culture and values from one generation to the next. It promotes social mobility
and ensures the creation of values and welfare for all. For the individual, education is to contribute to cultural and
moral growth, mastering social skills and learning self-sufficiency. It passes on values and imparts knowledge and
tools that allow every one to make full use of their abilities and realise their talents. It is meant to cultivate and
educate so that individuals can accept personal responsibility for themselves and their fellows. Education must make
it possible for an individual or a person to develop so that they can make well-founded decisions and influence their
own future. It is all about participating in a society to a maximum extent for a successful life. Inclusion is a concept
where social and cultural interactions are the main focus (Buli-Holmberg & Ekeberg, 2009). As Inclusive education
is the knowledge of putting one’s potential to maximum use it has the power to develop every citizen to be the
potential contributor for their nation. Any nation’s progress lies in the hands of well educated and talented citizens
(Strømstad, M., Nes, K. & Skogen, K. 2004). Hence it is a binding duty of every nation to provide quality education
to their citizen irrespective of their ability, caste, creed, race, religion and other differences.
Concept of Inclusion
In every country, the paradigm shift in Special Needs Education is to promote the inclusion for children with special
needs in academic, vocational and social aspects. The idea of Inclusive Education was given impetus by two
conferences set up under the support of United Nations. The first of these, held in Jomtein, Thailand in 1990,
promoted the idea of ‘education for all’, this was followed in 1994 by a UNESCO conference in Salamanca, Spain,
which led to a Statement that is being used in many countries to review their education policies. The Salamanca
Statement proposes that the development of schools with an ‘inclusive’ orientation is the most effective means of
improving the efficiency and ultimately the cost-effectiveness of the entire education system. Inclusion is a
collaborative process among students, parents, and educators which enables students with and without disabilities to
learn together in the same class to the greatest extent possible utilizing appropriate support services (GrapevineColleyville ISD Inclusion Task Force Report of 1997, P.1). The Federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
(IDEA) and its 1997 amendments make it clear that schools have a duty to educate children with disabilities in
general education classrooms. Later on, in 1997 ‘The International Journal of Inclusive Education’ persuades the
same broad outset of ‘Inclusive Education’, involving an examination of all the processes of inclusion and exclusion
in education. The instruction of special needs students in the regular classroom may well deviate from the ‘normal’
programme. Individual educational plan, more instruction time, individual attention, other instructional methods or
specialised professional skills and materials or the resources required to serve better for the children with special
needs. In addition to these, resources teachers knowledge, attitude and competencies form the basis for effective
inclusive educational set up (Sujathamalini, 2002; Reddy et al, 2006). Skogen & Holmberg (2002) quoted that a
common understanding of the term inclusion, a high level of expertise (formalised through training or informal
expertise acquired through long practice and the exchange of experiences through various types of co-operation) and
systematic work within the field with local development workers are important factors for practice inclusion well.
Effective practices in Inclusion
Inclusive Education is a challenge for teachers who must instruct a classroom including a combination of children
with diversified needs and children with special needs. Inclusive classroom settings are arranged in a different ways
to attain mastery in learning among a diverse group of learners. In some inclusive schools the previous traditional
classroom practice was adopted without any change in the instruction and material (Buli-Holmberg 2008). In this
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type of inclusion the children with special needs are included as such where traditional teaching practice followed in
the regular classroom without any priority arrangements or adaptations made. But in some schools the concept of
inclusion is done with teachers’ collaboration for planning and delivering the instruction, preparing and use of
instructional materials to suit the needs of children with special needs. Special teachers are assigned to assist the
children with special needs within and outside the classroom for meeting the learning requirements of this diverse
group of learners. Opens school system with flexible classroom arrangements with creative instructional methods
are also done in some inclusive school system. Thus various forms of practices are followed in inclusive settings to
promote mastery in learning among children with special needs. As there are lot of practices followed in an inclusive
setting, it is needed to find out the effective practices in inclusion. In every practice there are certain important
features that need to be carried out to promote mastery in learning among children with special needs. They are
interaction including teacher collaboration and students’ collaboration, different kind of student support and variety
and flexibility in instructional and material adaptations.
Interaction – Teachers collaboration
Teacher Collaboration is a strategy that has been successful in various classrooms (Lederer, 2000). It is not a new
instructional technique in the field of Special Needs Education. It is more effective in inclusive settings. The
collaborative teaming model is the ideal model in inclusive classrooms because it capitalizes best on the talents and
skills of the participating teachers (Boudah, Schumacher, & Deschler, 1997; King-Sears, 1995; Miller & Savage,
1995; Minke, Bear, Deemer & Griffin, 1996; Pugach & Seidl, 1995; Villa, Thousand, & Chapple, 1996; WaltherThomas, Bryant, & Land, 1996). The variation in teaching roles and responsibilities required in collaborative
arrangements require a belief that all students can learn, coupled with competent communication and problemsolving skills (Friend & Bursuck, 2006; Gable & Hendrickson, 2000). Collaboration requires an important amount
of faith between partners and a flexible approach in lesson planning and implementation of instructional strategies.
Collaborative programs should be well planned with a structure in which the teachers’ roles and responsibilities are
specified and carried out along with daily management and instructional decisions and classroom interactions (Cole
et al., 2000; Friend & Bursuck, 2006; Wood, 1998).
Interaction – Teachers and Students Collaboration
The school is a mini society where the children learn to live in together (Buli-Holmberg & Ekeberg, 2009). The
concept of inclusion helps children with special needs to stay in a more society based life at their school age
(Strømstad, Nes & Skogen, 2004). In an inclusive set up they get more exposure than what they would get from
exclusion, this can help to mould them for their future life. There is more focus on social inclusion in the school and
classroom than the academic and cultural inclusion (Buli-Holmberg 2008, Buli-Holmberg, Guldahl & Jensen 2007).
Therefore, an inclusive school is more focused on a place to learn to live together rather than to live together to
learn. Vygotskys’ main emphasis is on the interaction between the individual and the environment (1978). He claims
that development is dependent on surrounding conditions such as home conditions and the learning environment in
schools. Vygotsky describes the proximal zone of development as follows: It is the distance between the actual
developmental level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development as
determined through problem solving under adult guidance or in collaboration with more capable peers (Vygotsky
1978:86). He says that the proximal zone of development is between the actual and potential zone, and considers
that development happens when a child moves from the actual to the potential zone of development. Vygotsky
attaches great importance to cooperation with more competent others, adults, youth or children in the process of
development. Children can attain a higher level of development and achievement through cooperating with others,
than they will manage without this consideration. The more competent interactions and collaboration a learner
receives may help the learner progress in the process of learning. Wenger (1998) claims that learning is not limited
to education, he also includes learning from daily life. He describes how identity is created through participating in
the community of practice. He point out four components which he says from the wholeness in the process of
learning; practice, community, identity and meaning. Learning depends on being a real participator in the
community of practice. Through participating and negotiations about meaning in the community of practice the
individual develops a personal identity. Practice is an expression for one’s historical and social resources, frames
and perspectives that can support mutual engagement when one acts. The Community represents participation, where
one’s actions are considered as valuable and where one’s performing and participating can be identified as
competence. Identity represents how learning changes who a person is. Meaning is an expression for one’s (often
changing) ability to experience one’s life and world as meaningful that one creates histories of being.
Adaptation – Variety and flexibility in Instructional and Material
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There is different instruction methods commonly used to cope with this varied learning environment. Even though
the inclusive educational practice is a challenge for regular school teachers they are the active agents exposed to a
lot of problems in implementation. Even then they have to develop and implement the inclusive education policies
and bring out satisfactory outcomes for themselves and for the pupils. As inclusion stemmed out from the right for
equal education of all children, teachers should provide education to them based on their abilities and disabilities.
Teaching all students in the same way no longer meets the rigorous academic demands of today’s education reform
(Hitchcock, Meyer, Rose, & Jackson, 2002). Effective teaching of diverse students requires different instructional
methodology, curriculum materials, and assessment methods (Bateman & Bateman, 2002; Hitchcock et al., 2002).
Students who are actively involved and engaged in planning and evaluating their own learning experiences are more
likely to improve academic achievement (Choate, 2000). The independence of students with disabilities, in terms of
effort and task persistence, is essential in an effective inclusive services environment (Choate, 2000; Friend &
Bursuck, 2006; Gee, 2002). Students with disabilities often lack an awareness of their strengths and weaknesses
(Brinckerhoff, 1994; Scanlon & Mellard, 2002) as well as skills in self-determination and advocacy (Durlack, Rose,
& Bursuck, 1994; Field, 1996; Janiga & Costenbader, 2002). All students with or without disabilities need to learn
three types of skills: 1) dispositions and habits of mind, such as inquisitiveness, diligence, collaboration, work
habits, tolerance, and critical thinking; 2) content area knowledge, in science, social studies, language arts,
computers, the arts, etc; and 3)basic academic skills such as reading, writing, and mathematics (Jorgensen, Fisher,
and Roach, 1997). These three types of skills should be included in the curriculum of general education classes as
well as in various types of inclusive settings. Student’s collaboration, teaming and problem solving strategies in the
classroom accommodating a diverse group of learners are common approaches in quality inclusive curriculum
(McGregor, Halvorsen, Fisher, Pumpian, Bhaerman, & Salisbury, 1998; Tichenor, Heins, & Piechura-Couture,
1998).
To perform such multidimensional role the teacher’s plays a vital role. The teacher should develop a plan within the
curriculum that suits all the children with diversified needs. Deschenes, Ebeling, & Sprague (1994) noted a variety
of instructional approaches for teachers to design curricula that accommodate a wide range of learners. They are: cooperative learning structures, Multidimensional student grouping, and multilevel instruction, Peer supports, Concrete
experimental learning activities, community based instruction. Effective Inclusive Education is based on a
multidisciplinary approach which warrants regular teachers, special teachers and other professionals’ competencies.
Special teachers and regular teachers work together for framing curriculum for the children with special needs.
Teachers with special teaching competencies in Special Needs Education will always automatically and intuitively
adapt the curriculum and instruction to meet the needs of each student. An inclusive curriculum that involves
collaboration with colleagues makes this task even easier, enabling the educators to facilitate changes and
adaptations (Snyder, 1999; Tapasak & Walther-Thomas, 1999; Tichenor, Heins, & Piechura, Couture, 1998). A lack
of expertise and training for general and special teachers, insufficient resources, inadequate shared planning time,
and the absence of administrative support are the primary barriers to inclusive efforts (King & Youngs, 2003;
Scruggs & Mastropieri, 1996; Scruggs et al., 2007, Baker & Zigmond, 1995; Schumm, Vaughn, Gordan, &
Rothlein, 1994). General and special teachers’ exposure to a variety of inclusive services models influences their
willingness and readiness to implement inclusive practices (McLesky, Waldren, So, Swanson, & Loveland, 2001;
Van Laarhoven, et al., 2006). Teachers skilled in scientifically based reading instruction, classroom organization and
behavior management have the competencies to establish classrooms conducive to learning and improved results in
reading (Oliver & Reschly, 2007; Smartt & Reschly, 2007). Over time many educators have noted that different
individuals within their classroom perform better at some tasks than others and that an individual who performs well
in one activity may perform badly in another and vice versa (Buli-Holmberg, Guldahl & Jensen 2007, Dunn & Dunn
1993, Vermunt, 1995). Drawing from these observations, educators and theorists have concluded that individuals
possess varying learning styles that correspond to the individual’s differences in perceptive ability, cognitive
processing, information management, and sensory variability. At this juncture a teacher should understand their
students’ learning styles and plan instructional procedures based on their students’ learning styles, abilities and
disabilities. The teachers have to adapt the teaching instructional methods and instructional materials to suit the
students’ needs and abilities for better inclusive educational practice. As there are so many practices stated for an
inclusive education, it is the need of an hour to explore which one is an effective practice that interacts, support and
adapt the instructions to suit the diverse learners in an inclusive classroom. Therefore the present study has been
undertaken to answer the following research questions.
Research Questions of the Study
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There are different practices carried out in an inclusive education. We are not quite sure which practice will benefit
the children with special needs in an inclusive classroom. To identify the pros and cons of different practices
followed in an inclusive classroom the present study had lead the following research questions. Which practice will
be effective in different inclusive classroom settings and what are the factors that contribute for effective practices?
Methodology and Design of the Study
The qualitative research was adopted in the present study. Case study method of embedded single case design was
used to answer the research question. Case study method is relevant because it is helpful to investigate specific
individual or specific context for in depth analysis. There is no single way to conduct a case study, and a
combination of methods (e.g., unstructured interviewing, direct observation) can be used. In the present study, case
study design with direct observation method was adopted. The concept of inclusion is complex and requires
observations to investigate the research question from different point of view in their natural settings (Yin, R. K,
2003).
This study consists of multiple observations as the study environment is not confined to one setting it covered
multiple sites to draw qualitative analysis (Padegett, 1998). In our observations we have selected them from five
different ways that the schools organised their inclusive practice. These are 1) Traditional teaching practice in the
classroom, 2) Variety and Flexible teaching practice in the classroom, 3) One to One teaching within the classroom
4) One to One teaching outside the classroom 5) Teaching in Small Groups outside the classroom. Several
observations were done related to each of these three inclusive practices. The validity of the findings is obtained
with these multiple observations in each inclusive practice were embedded and analysed.
Sample of the Study
Three counties from South of Norway (Oslo, Akershus and Buskerud) served as a locale for the study. Twenty four
schools in four municipalities in the above counties were selected based on simple random sampling technique. The
83 students with special needs from first grade to tenth grade in inclusive settings were the sample for the present
study, and the investigators observed 83 students with special needs in different inclusive classroom settings. The
result from the 83 observations showed five ways of organisation of inclusive classroom settings. The 83 cases were
divided in this five different teaching practice in the inclusive classroom settings; 23 cases from Traditional teaching
practice in the classroom ( 23 of 24 schools), 17 cases from One to One teaching practice within the classroom (11
of the 24 schools), 5 cases from One to One Teaching Practice outside the classroom (5 of the 24 schools), 31 cases
from Teaching Small group outside the classroom (all of the 24 schools) and 7 cases from Variety and Flexible
teaching practice in the classroom (1 of 24 schools).
Data Analysis
The investigators developed different criteria to analyse the effective inclusive practices for children with special
needs. With the theoretical framework the investigators listed the most important criteria to analyse the effective
practices out of those five different inclusive classroom settings. The listed criteria have categorised in three
dimensions namely; interaction, support and adaptation. The ten criteria are illustrated in table 1 below.
Table 1: Criteria of Effective Inclusive Practice
Interaction Criteria
1. Teacher collaboration
2.
Teacher
and
Students
collaboration
3. Students collaboration
Support Criteria
4. General teachers role
5. Special teachers role
6. Students participating in the
learning community
Adaptation Criteria
7. Mastery of learning
8. Classroom facilities
9. Learning materials
10. Instructions
Interaction
Teacher collaboration: It is important in inclusive settings to have interaction within teachers for planning the
classroom instruction and delivering. This teacher’s interaction promotes better learning environment to the students
with special needs (Cole, et al., 2000; Friend & Bursuck, 2006; Wood, 1998).
Teacher and Students collaboration: Interaction of teachers with students creates motivation within the students to
learn better. This interaction helps the students to come out with their strengths and weaknesses. In turn the teacher
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can adapt the teaching procedures and instructional materials according to the students’ ability level (Bateman &
Bateman, 2002; Hitchcock et al., 2002).
Students’ collaboration: Students’ interaction plays a vital role in the concept of inclusion. To improve collaboration
between students with and without special needs it is necessary realizing the vision of inclusion. The inclusion is
successful when the students without special needs accept the students with special needs which lead for peer
acceptance and peer tutoring (McGregor, Halvorsen, Fisher, Pumpian, Bhaerman, & Salisbury, 1998; Tichenor,
Heins, & Piechura-Couture, 1998). Interaction within students promotes peer guidance in learning process.
Interaction within learning community helps them to learn together and identify their competencies (Wegner, 1998).
Support
General teachers’ role: Students with special needs require additional support from general teachers than other
students to attain mastery in learning. This support from general teachers helps them to work out their classroom
activity without any difficulty (Vygotsky, 1978, Wenger, 1998).
Special teachers’ role: Support from special teacher is vital for students with special needs and require specific
assistance and adaptation in the instructional procedures and the students activities (Hitchcock, Meyer, Rose, &
Jackson, 2002).
Students’ participating in the learning community: As inclusion focus on holistic involvement of students with
special needs in regular classroom it is important to have a supportive from learning community. This supportive
learning community will provide effective peer guidance and peer tutoring (Vygotsky, 1978; Wenger 1998, BuliHolmberg, Guldahl & Jensen, 2007).
Adaptation
Mastery of learning: This adaptation from the general and special teachers helps students to meet their unusual
needs that are required to be fulfilled for attaining mastery in learning (Vygotsky, 1978; Skogen & Holmberg 2002,
Buli-Holmberg & Ekeberg 2009; Dunn & Dunn, 1993; Vermunt, 1995).
Classroom facilities: Inclusion of students with special needs doesn’t result in successful learning if the classrooms
facilities are not adapted to the diverse learner. We can’t teach all the children in the same way. The classroom
environment need to be adapted to make it barrier free and least restrictive environment for the children with special
needs to move around and use the classroom facilities in a full-fledged manner (Hitchcock, Meyer, Rose, & Jackson,
2002).
Learning materials: The students with special needs require adaptation in the learning material to suit to their
current ability level and achieve mastery in learning. These adapted learning materials will make the students with
special needs to feel at ease in learning environment (Bateman & Bateman, 2002; Hitchcock, et al., 2002).
Instructions: Teacher needs to adapt their teaching methods to meet the needs and abilities of children with special
needs. The effective teaching of diverse learners requires different instructional methodology (Bateman & Bateman,
2002; Hitchcock, et al., 2002).
These criteria were formulated by the investigators with a literature background to analyse the effective inclusive
settings for children with special needs. The obtained data was analysed in relation to research questions with the
above criteria. This criterion has been developed based on our literature overview and theoretical framework for
effective practice in inclusion. At the same time, on the basis of information received from the sample were also
crystallised in the results of the present study. In this way, the analysis involved both inductive and deductive
thinking on the part of the investigators. Our general understanding has been rooted in a tradition that focused on
lived experience which requires hermeneutic ability to make interpretive sense of the phenomena to find out the
school situations and relations of children in classroom (Van Manen, 1997). Therefore the obtained data was
analysed with the framed criteria with real school life situations. The grade points one to ten of each criterion under
three dimensions are the coding procedures in the analysis of data. The obtained data were analysed and discussed to
answer the research questions. Under each of the five different practices the investigators have narrated one typical
observation and analysed the positive and negative points to pinpoint the best practice in inclusive classroom. The
qualitative data have also been quantified in the table that combines the type of practice and the criteria used for
analyses.
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Results and Discussion
The data gathered through direct observation were analysed with criteria to find out the effective practices of the
different inclusive classroom settings based on critical evaluation related to the research question. In the presentation
of the result the investigators have chosen one typical observation from each of the five different inclusive
classroom settings. The observation was interpreted with its advantages and disadvantages in view of the children
with special needs. Later on in the discussion of each of the observation we have also used the criteria to find out the
effective practice out of different inclusive classroom settings. Overall, five such observations are presented for the
five types of practices in an inclusive classroom.
Traditional teaching practice in the classroom
We as investigators have chosen to define the Traditional Teaching Practice as a classroom where children with and
without special needs are included without any special support. In the regular classroom there is no modification
done for the students with special needs and therefore we categorised this as Traditional Practice. We have twenty
three observations from traditional practice in the inclusive classroom. To illustrate the trend in the analysis of our
findings we have chosen one example. There are twenty three similar observations from Traditional Practice at
different grades in 23 of the schools that showed almost the same practices as in the below example. The example
present below is from one observation where maths subject was taught to seventh grade to twenty five students with
one teacher.
The teacher started the class with general introduction to all the students about the topic. After the introduction the
teacher asked questions on the prior knowledge and tried to link to the present problem. Some students answered the
teacher’s question. He connected the theoretical framework of the problem with practical examples from the
students’ daily life. After that the teacher gave exercise to all students and went around in the class to give support
to the students. The students who got doubts raised their hands. He went to the students who had raised their hands
and helped them to solve the problem. Some students did not do the exercise. There were also some students with
special needs who failed to solve the problems even with the support of the teacher.
Investigators comments to this observation: The teacher did not manage to individually adapt his teaching to all the
students’ needs and particularly those with special needs. They needed special instructional techniques that are
different from regular students. At some point the teacher wasn’t able to succeed with the students that did not learn
in the traditional way of teaching. When the teachers teach traditionally some students will feel that they aren’t
included.
Investigators analysis of these observations related to the ten criteria: In this observation we evinced that in the
interaction dimension criterion No. 2 (interaction with teacher and all students) was met when the general teacher
gave instruction to all students. Interaction with teacher and all students showed that all students were taught in the
same way. The teacher first gave an introduction to all the students in general irrespective of the students’ abilities
and needs. In a way, he hasn’t given an adapted education to the diverse ability of the students in introduction part.
We have the same results from our analysis of the other 22 observations that shows that all students can’t be taught
in the same way to meet the academic demands of diverse learners (Hitchcock, Meyer, Rose, & Jackson, 2002).
We also evinced in this observation that criterion No.4 (support from general teacher) under the support dimension
was met. The teacher created a situation to break the abstract concept into a concrete concept, when he connected
the theoretical framework of the problem with practical examples from the students’ daily life. By his way of
explanation some students in the class understood the concept. When he explained from simple to abstract he
reached more students in understanding the steps to solve the problem. In introduction part the teaching style is less
inclusive way but when he went to the students to clarify their doubts then it is more of inclusive class than before.
This may be because he might have thought that the introduction part is more general to all and then for the
explanation part he had adopted the ability to cater to the diversity of the students because he had to meet their
individual needs. At some point he couldn’t reach the children with special needs because the students hadn’t come
out with their special needs and because of that he wasn’t able to solve their needs. It is also difficult for a teacher to
reach all the students with diverse needs in an inclusive classroom with traditional teaching methods. On the other
hand, he also needs some special education techniques to solve the diversified needs of the students in an inclusive
classroom.
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It is evinced in this observation and the other 23 observations that there is a lack of special education techniques to
promote an inclusive classroom. It is a need of an hour to develop certain techniques among teachers in these
traditional classrooms with such special teaching techniques. Hence successful inclusive education should engage
diverse students with diverse instructional methodology, curriculum materials and assessment methods (Bateman &
Bateman, 2002; Hitchcock, et al., 2002).
One to One Support teaching practice outside the classroom
We as investigators have chosen to define One to One support practice outside inclusive classroom to a student with
special needs from one teacher. This is analysed based on five observations. Five similar one to one Support
practices outside classroom are observed by the investigators and the same practice was evinced. The example
observation below was in fourth grade and language was taught.
The student with special needs was together with her class. The general teacher motivated all the students with and
without special needs about the topic they are going to learn. She questioned to get prior knowledge on the task and
then she presented the material. After explaining the concept she gave them exercise to do. The student with special
needs received the same instruction as other students. Then the student with special needs went together with the
special teacher to the resource room. The special teacher helped the student to understand how to solve the task by
adapting the materials to the student level and ability. This adaptation by the special teacher helped the student to
complete the task. After completing the task the student with special needs returned to classroom.
In the above observation as the general teacher gave the same instruction to the student with special needs as given
to other students the criterion No 2 (interaction with teacher and all students) under interaction dimension was met .
Then student went to resource room and got help from special teacher. The student worked with special teacher in a
separated room and it is a hindrance for these students to interact with other students. She got the special support and
adaptive devices for the learning that helped her to demonstrate mastery in learning, but in a closed circumstance,
where the concept of inclusion is not taken its full functioning. As the term inclusion is that of making a child to
learn to live together and live together to learn. This method lacks an interaction among students with and without
special needs even though they attain mastery in learning. The mere learning doesn’t make them to be successful in
their social life. So there is a need to have total inclusion. This is possible only when there is full time placement in
general education classes with appropriate special education support within that classroom is provided (GarvarPinhas & Schmelkin-Pedhazur, 1989; Lipsky & Gartner, 1996). But at the other extreme the one to one support
outside the inclusive classroom helps the students to actively involve and engaged in planning and evaluating their
own learning experiences and improve their academic achievement (Choate, 2000). In this observation the criterion
No. 5 (support from special teacher), No. 7 (adaptation for mastery of learning), No. 8 (adapted classroom facilities),
No. 9 (adapted teaching materials) and No. 10 (adapted teacher instruction to meet the needs and abilities of children
with special needs) were effectively met. When the students are outside the classroom they are aware of their
strengths and weaknesses (Brinckerhoff, 1994; Scanlon & Mellard, 2002) as well as skills in self-determination and
advocacy (Durlack, Rose, & Bursuck, 1994; Field, 1996; Janiga & Costenbader, 2002).
One to One Support teaching practice within the classroom
The investigators have chosen to classify One to One support practice within the inclusive classroom to a student
with special needs with two teachers in the classroom (one general and one special teacher). Seventeen similar
classes are observed for analysis and almost the same practice was evinced. The example observation below was in
sixth grade and science subject was taught.
It was early morning the class started with 25 students handled by a general teacher and there was a special teacher
near the student with special needs. Before the class the general and special teachers interacted with each other and
planned their instruction hours together. The general teacher gave the introduction to all the students and the
special teacher explained the introduction adapted to the student’s with special needs level. After giving the
introduction the general teacher explained the activity to all the students. The student with special needs was
supported by the teacher to start the activity explained by the general teacher. The special teacher simplified the
activity to meet the level of mastering the particular task. All the time the special teacher was with the students with
special needs and gave the support to do the activity and follow up the students’ progress. With the special teacher’s
support the student with special needs managed to complete the task given by the general teacher. At the same time,
the general teacher was guiding the other students to do the activity.
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The analyses revealed that under interaction dimension the criterion No.1 (interaction with teachers during planning
and teaching) was met in the investigators observation as the two teachers interacted with each other and planned
their teaching process. As the general teacher gave a common introduction to the all students including the students
with special needs and then the special teacher gave introduction once again to the students with special needs in an
adapted way and made sure that these students understood what the general teacher is explaining the criterion No. 2
(interaction with teacher and all students) is also effectively observed in this practice. A lot of focus was made on
the students with special needs by the support teacher rather than the general teacher. At the same time the general
teacher did not interrupt what the support teacher was doing for the students with special needs. The split of work by
the general teacher for the other students, and the special teacher for the students with special needs was observed
where it is only physical inclusion was taking its form rather than full inclusion. In a way it is an excluded classroom
because the general teacher has not taken the full responsibility of students with special needs. On the other side, the
special teacher only focused on the students with special needs and there was no interaction with the general teacher.
In the above observation the students have attained the mastery in learning and the criterion No. 5 (support from
special teacher), No. 7 (adaptation for mastery of learning), No. 8 (adapted classroom facilities), No. 9 (adapted
teaching materials) and No. 10 (adapted teacher instruction to meet the needs and abilities of children with special
needs) were effectively met. On the other hand there are some criteria like interaction within teachers and interaction
of teachers with all students which are important for the best practice in inclusive classrooms which are not
observed. The full inclusion will be followed if both the teachers take their turn to introduce the topic and the
activity they are supposed to carry out in an adapted format. Then there will be an interactive session within the
teachers and students with and without special needs. Collaboration between teachers is an instructional technique
in the field of special education. It is more effective if teachers collaborate to create inclusive settings as it
capitalizes best on the talents and skills of the participating teachers (e.g., Boudah, Schumacher, & Deschler, 1997;
King-Sears, 1995; Miller & Savage, 1995; Minke, Bear, Deemer & Griffin, 1996; Pugach & Seidl, 1995; Villa,
Thousand, & Chapple, 1996; Walther-Thomas, Bryant, & Land, 1996).
Small Group outside the classroom
The investigators have chosen to classify a small group outside the inclusive classroom for three to six students with
special needs with special teacher. Thirty one similar small group practices are observed by the investigators and
almost the same practice was evinced during observation. The example observation below was in seventh grade and
a science subject was taught.
A science topic was going on in a classroom with five students. It was a small group with special needs students and
special needs teacher. The teacher motivated and gave the same introduction for five students about the topic they
are going to learn. She questioned on their prior knowledge and then she presented the material. After explaining
the concept she gave them practical exposure on the topic. The teacher explains the concept and helped the students
to finish the exercise. The students with special needs worked together with the teacher’s help to complete the task
and learnt the material. The students were in interaction with the special teachers when they were working with the
exercise. There was little interaction between the students in small group while they were doing exercise. But there
is no interaction of these groups with other students in the school.
Students in this observation received the same instructional procedures from the special teacher as in a traditional
classroom and a criterion No.2 (interaction with teacher and all students) is met. The students were outside the class
they belong to receive special needs education. The teacher was able to concentrate on each student as the group was
small and cater to their special needs within the class to attain mastery in learning and met a criterion No. 7
(adaptation for mastery of learning). This small group also facilitated the teacher to have individualised support
when required which in turn facilitated mastery in learning (Vygotsky, 1978). The criterion No. 5 (support from
special teacher), No. 8 (adapted classroom facilities), and No. 10 (adapted teacher instruction to meet the needs and
abilities of children with special needs) under support and adaptation dimensions were also effectively met. The
students within the group were interacting with each other but they haven’t got the chance for interaction with the
other students in the class (Wenger, 1998). It is more like special class rather than an inclusive class set up.
Variety and Flexible teaching practice in the classroom
The investigators have chosen to classify variety and flexible teaching practice in the classroom. Seven similar
classrooms were observed by the investigators and evinced successful inclusion practice. The example observation
below was in second grade and a social science subject was taught.
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It was early morning the three teachers went to a classroom with prior discussion for planning their teaching
together. They went to handle a social science class. The students with and without special needs were in the
classroom. Two teachers were sitting inside the class along with the students. One teacher gave the introduction and
other teachers also supported with additional information and with adapted techniques to explain the concept in a
more clear way to benefit the students with special needs. Then the students were assigned to work within small
groups where the students with special needs are also there within the group. While all the students are working the
three teachers were going around and helping all the students with and without special needs. The classroom
facilities were also adapted by the teachers to the suit all the students needs. All of them were able to support with
adapted and special techniques required to meet the diversified needs of the students in the classroom. At times
teachers also gave individualised instruction to the students who need additional support. At some point one teacher
worked with one student and the other teachers were guiding the rest of the students. At the end of the session it was
quiet surprising that all students gained mastery over the topic which they were planned to do with their
collaborative, individualised and small group work for students with and without special needs.
This observation evinced a variety and flexible classroom teaching. All the criteria under three dimensions –
interaction, support and adaptation in inclusive classrooms were observed by the investigators. Under the first
dimension of interaction – all the teachers took similar responsibility and shared their work. The teachers interacted
with each other and at the same time they also interacted with all students (Criteria No.1 & No.2). Students also
interacted with each other within the class (Criteria No.3). In the second dimension support – teachers were moving
around the class area and helping the students when they needed individualised instruction (Criteria No. 5). The shift
in different ways of working by teacher instruction & interaction, student’s individual work and group activity had
created flexible and creative learning environment (Criteria No.10). In this practice a better classroom climate was
maintained by general teachers’ support (Criteria No.4) which provided a supportive learning community (Criteria
No.6) which is important for the diversified needs of the students. Under the adaptation dimension – the teachers
provided adapted mastery of learning (Criteria No.7) and classroom facilities (Criteria No.8); they also tailored
learning materials to the current ability level of students with special needs (Criteria No.9). The teachers also
personalized their instruction to meet the needs of children with special needs (Criteria No.10). Thus the observation
under three dimensions clarify that all the criteria have met. This result is comparable to the literature stated by
Deschenes, Ebeling, and Sprague (1994). They noted a variety of instructional approaches to curricula that
accommodate a wide range of learners. In the above result we confirm that they give importance for co-operative
learning structures, multidimensional student grouping, multilevel instruction, peer supports, concrete experimental
learning activities and community –based instruction. All the above instructional approaches were observed in the
above practice in the flexible and creative inclusive classroom. The above observation shows the faith between
partners and the flexible approach in lesson planning and implementation of instructional strategies. In this
observation collaborative teachers are prepared with a structure in which the teachers’ roles and responsibilities are
specified and carried out along with daily management and instructional decisions (Cole, et al., 2000; Friend &
Bursuck, 2006; Wood, 1998).
Summary of Number of Observation in Schools and Criteria met under different inclusive settings
Table 2 presented below shows the summary of the types of practices, observations carried out in different inclusive
settings and criterion met in each type of inclusive practice for analysing successful effective inclusive practice.
Table 2: Type of Practices correlated to Criteria of Effective Inclusive Practice
S.No
1
2
Type of Practice
Traditional
Practice in
classroom
the
One
to
One
Support Practice
outside classroom
Schools
Criteria met in
each type of
inclusive practice
No. of
Observation
No. of
(N- 24)
23
23
2 &4
5
5
2,5,6,8,9&10
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3
4
5
One
to
One
Support Practice
within inclusive
classroom
Small
Group
outside classroom
Variety
and
Flexible practice
in the classroom
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17
11
1,2,5,6,8,9&10
31
24
2,5,6,8,&10
7
1
All
Total – 83
Total – 24
Conclusions and Interpretation
To answer the research question: Which practice will be effective in different inclusive classroom settings and what
are the factors that contribute for effective practices, the investigators used the criterion analyses to find out which
practice will be effective and the factors that contribute to the effective inclusive practices. To conclude the results
from the observations were correlated with the criterion listed by the investigators to know the effective practice and
the factors responsible for inclusive settings. The results have also been supported with theoretical background and
found out the best practice for an inclusive practice.
I. Interaction in the classroom
As mentioned earlier, we have three criteria under the dimension interaction in inclusive classroom. There are
different types of interactions:1) teacher – teacher interaction during planning and teaching, 2) teacher – student
interaction and 3) student – student interaction. Those interactions form a base for effective inclusion of children
with special needs and the classroom practice that involve all those three interactions effectively will serve for better
inclusion.
Criterion 1: Interaction within teachers: Our analyses show that in the traditional teaching practice, there was only
one teacher in the class and there is no possibility for interaction between teachers. The similar observation was also
found in one to one support and small group practices. At this point, the variety and flexible classroom had the best
interaction between the teachers. When there is more than one teacher in the classroom there are more possibilities
for interaction between teachers. It paves a way for effective collaboration, teaming and reciprocal teaching
(Boudah, Schumacher, & Deschler, 1997; King-Sears, 1995; Miller & Savage, 1995; Minke, Bear, Deemer &
Griffin, 1996; Pugach & Seidl, 1995; Villa, Thousand, & Chapple, 1996; Walther-Thomas, Bryant, & Land, 1996,
Friend & Bursuck, 2006; Gable & Hendrickson, 2000). The variety and flexible environment gave the teachers
possibilities flexible to interact with each other and help the students with special needs. This type of collaboration
helps the teacher to share their competencies and this will certainly benefit the students with special needs to interact
with the teachers with various skills and talents (Cole, et al., 2000; Friend & Bursuck, 2006; Wood, 1998).
Criteria 2: Interaction with teachers and students: In the traditional classroom it was one way process where the
teacher was lecturing and the students were listening. Our analyses show that the teacher’s interaction with the
students with special needs is very limited. There was weak interaction between teachers and students in this
practice. In other types of practice the interaction were not so strong than that of variety and flexible classroom. The
variety and flexible practice had created more opportunity for interaction between teachers and all students. The
learners benefit from their teachers’ and students interaction (Bateman & Bateman, 2002; Hitchcock et al, 2002).
The environment is least restrictive and conducive for the learners to concentrate and learn in other types than the
traditional method. But in a flexible classroom the environment demonstrates better option for effective interaction.
Criteria 3: Interaction of students with and without special needs: In the variety and flexible classroom there was a
good opportunity for interaction between students with and without special needs. The results show that those
teachers in the flexible classroom used the opportunity in a positive manner for effective inclusion. We didn’t saw
interaction between students in the traditional classroom and very rare in other practices. Participation in group and
pair create possibilities for developing effective learning environment for inclusive education (McGregor,
Halvorsen, Fisher, Pumpian, Bhaerman, and Salisbury, 1998; Tichenor, Heins, and Piechura-Couture, 1998).
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II. Support in inclusive Classroom
For children with special needs warrant a different kind of support in the inclusive classroom to get equal
opportunities. We have listed four criteria under the dimension support in inclusive classrooms for analyses. They
are 1) support from general teacher, 2) support from special teacher, 3) supportive learning community.
Criteria 4: Support from General teachers: Our analyses shows that the general teacher in the traditional classroom
interacts less with the students and the students had little support from the general teacher in the learning process.
The opposite observation was noted in the variety and flexible classroom where the teacher had the possibilities to
give support to each student in the teaching learning situation. When the teachers were aware of the students’
diversity and individual needs with the teaching skills it has helped them to extend support effectively (Vygotsky,
1978, Wenger, 1998).
Criteria 5: Support from Special teachers: In the varied and flexible classroom we observed that there was an
apparent support from the general and special teachers to the students with special needs. The conclusion of our
analyses exhibits that it is because of their competency they possess to teach the children with special needs. Special
teacher’s knowledge and skill has been effectively utilised for extending different instructional methodology with
adaptive and assistive devices required for the children with special needs. In the other practices there was also
support from the special teachers except in traditional practice. In the traditional practice the general teacher lack in
knowledge and skill to serve the children with special needs and hence they adapt the same instructional
methodology for all students. But the same instruction will no longer help the students with diverse needs in a
classroom (Hitchcock, Meyer, Rose, & Jackson, 2002).
Criteria 6: Supportive learning community: The variety and flexible classroom has the opportunities for creating a
learning community. The analyses show that it was in a varied and flexible practice that there was an opportunity to
get support from the peer group through peer tutoring which promoted peer acceptance and guidance. But peer
tutoring is used to a certain level in the other practices, but they hadn’t used all the possible opportunities. The
teacher has to focus on helping for peer tutoring and guidance, for effective inclusive learning (Vygotsky, 1978;
Buli-Holmberg, Guldahl & Jensen, 2007; Dunn & Dunn, 1993; Vermunt, 1995; Wenger, 1998).
III. Adaptation in inclusive classroom
Different types of adaptation that is required for the effective inclusive classroom. In the present study for criterion
analyses three criteria have listed out. They are 1) adaptation for mastery in learning process, 2) adapted classroom
facilities, 3) adapted teaching materials and 4) adapted teacher instruction to meet the needs and abilities of children
with special needs.
Criteria 7: Adaptation for mastery of learning: The students in all the inclusive practices were more or less made
adaptation for mastery of learning from the special teacher and general teacher were evinced from our analyses. To
acquire mastery in their learning the students need support from their special and general class teachers’. The
students in four of inclusive practices got adaptation from their special and general teachers’ and demonstrated
mastery in learning to a certain extent, but, it is not in the case of traditional method as there is no special teacher
and general teacher can only instruct the whole group (Vygotsky, 1978; Buli-Holmberg, Guldahl & Jensen, 2007;
Dunn & Dunn, 1993; Vermunt, 1995).
Criteria 8: Adapted Classroom facilities: Our analyses evince variety and flexible classroom have created a more
adapted classroom facilities where the student can learn more freely and individually according to their abilities. We
have evinced proper lighting and seating arrangement for children with special needs, adaptive devices such as
group hearing aids and architectural barrier free environment for free movement of children with physical
limitations (Dunn and Dunn, 1993, Buli-Holmberg, 2008; Hitchcock, Meyer, Rose & Jackson, 2002). But the same
is not observed in the traditional practice where only a few classroom facilities were available.
Criteria 9: Adapted learning materials: More adapted teaching materials where evinced in the one to one support
practice and in the variety and flexible classrooms than the others. Adaptive learning materials such as building
blocks, memory learning materials for children with mental retardation, assistive devices for visual and hearing
problems, relevant computer assisted instructional packages and kinaesthetic and tactile materials very observed
(Buli-Holmberg, Guldahl and Jensen, 2007; Dunn and Dunn, 1993). We saw that these adaptive teaching learning
materials motivated the children with special needs and other students as well to be actively engaged in their
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learning process (Bateman & Bateman, 2002; Hitchcock et al., 2002). These materials also help them to develop the
necessary skills required to learn and mastery their subjects.
Criteria 10: Adapted special teaching competencies among teachers to teach children with special needs: In the one
to one support practice inside and outside we observed that the teachers’ demonstrated special teaching
competencies among teachers to teach children with special needs. That was also the case in a small group outside
the inclusive varied and flexible classroom. When we are really responsible for the children with special needs then
we really push our self to learn the necessary skills to teach them. This is truer in the case of variety and flexible
classroom teachers where they collaborate with other teachers and share their competencies. They demonstrated
special teaching competencies and motivated the children with special needs to learn and acquire mastery in learning
(Bateman & Bateman, 2002; Hitchcock et al., 2002). Some how they are possible to go with teaching these children
effectively but still we have also observed that they warrant more training in teaching children with disabilities
(Sujathamalini, 2002; Boudah, Schumacher, & Deschler, 1997; King-Sears, 1995; Miller & Savage, 1995; Minke,
Bear, Deemer & Griffin, 1996; Pugach & Seidl, 1995; Villa, Thousand, & Chapple, 1996; Walther-Thomas, Bryant,
& Land, 1996).
The above analyses evinced that the variety and flexible teaching practice met the entire ten criteria for the inclusive
classroom. We also saw that the other practices met only some of these criteria which focussed more on mastery in
learning than interaction in learning. Inclusive learning takes place only when there effective interaction with
mastery in learning. It is also demonstrated that there is a lack of support from learning community in other practices
than the flexible and creative inclusive practice. Overall results show that the each practice can’t be ignored as it has
its own strengths and weaknesses. But it can be improved to meet the criterion listed in this study to meet the needs
of children with special needs effectively.
Summary
The study is carried out to answer the research questions. For identifying the effective inclusive practice, the
investigators have seen different instructional practices followed in inclusive classrooms (Bateman & Bateman,
2002; Buli- Holmberg & Ekeberg, 2009; Hitchcook et.al. 2002; Buli- Holmberg, 2008; Choate, 2000; Gee, 2002).
The investigators had identified the different classroom practice and classified under five different categories. They
are: Traditional practice, One to One support practice outside the classroom, One to One support practice within
inclusive classroom, Small group outside the classroom and Variety and Flexible practice. Each practice has been
analysed based on the criterion framed by theoretical framework to know more about the nature of those practices.
The result of the study revealed the effective practice out of those above categories of inclusive classroom settings.
The study evinced that all the instructional practices that have observed have potential for development of better
quality in the inclusive education practice but at different degrees of level for children with special needs. Even the
children in traditional classroom develop better but the degree of development is very high in variety and flexible
classrooms. The result and discussion of the study revealed that interaction in inclusive classroom is an important
issue to promote mastery in learning among children with special needs. A glance of the individual when teachers
interact with children with special needs helps them to find out their inner strengths and weakness (Vygotsky, 1979;
Buli-Holmberg, 2008). Looking within the childrens ability and disability enables us to plan and design the
curriculum that suits their needs. This will be strengthened when the teachers collaborate within themselves and with
the children (Mc Gregor at al. 1998; Tichenor, et al., 1998). Interaction within the students with and without
disabilities can also extend peer acceptance, peer guidance and peer tutoring (Buli-Holmberg, Schiering, & Bogner
2007; Strømstad, Nes & Skogen, 2004). It gives opportunity to learn from the competent peers.
The study showed that the support in inclusive classroom from general and special teachers is imperative in the
education of children with special needs respectively. In one to one practice students get support only from special
teachers and in traditional practice they get support only from general teachers. The support from both general and
special teacher is a holistic approach for an effective instruction and it is observed only in flexible and creative
classroom practice. This support from both teachers will create a successful inclusive classroom practice where they
can also get the possibility to get support from learning community and demonstrate mastery in learning (Vygotsky,
1978; Buli-Holmberg, Guldahl & Jensen, 2007; Dunn & Dunn, 1993; Vermunt, 1995). We evinced different level of
mastery in learning among children with a special needs depending upon their abilities and disabilities and their
teachers support (Hitchcock, Meyer, Rose, & Jackson, 2002).
Adapted inclusive classroom facilities and teaching materials were evinced in this study. The investigators have
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documented that there are different classroom facilities and teaching materials in the flexible and creative classroom
than in the traditional practice. The adaptation is more in other instructional practices referred to in the study than
the traditional practice. Adapted special teaching competencies among teachers to teach children with special needs
are observed in all the instructional practices and it is found to be high in the flexible and creative classroom
(Bateman & Bateman, 2002; Hitchcock et al., 2002).
Overall results of the present study showed that flexible and creative practice was the best practice that met the
learning requirements of children with special needs successfully which evinced all the criterions under three
dimension interaction, support and adaptation in teaching learning process leading to effective inclusion. The other
instructional practices had met the learning needs to a certain extent only. The best instructional practice in inclusive
classroom should possess effective interaction of teachers and students with proper support from the teachers with
adapted special teaching competencies that cater successfully to the needs of children with special needs in inclusive
classroom.
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www.sciedu.ca/wje
World Journal of Education
Vol. 4, No. 5; 2014
The Effectiveness of a Two-day Inclusion Workshop on
Teachers’Attitudes, Understanding, and Competence in Inclusive
Education
Sunardi1,*, Maryadi1, & Sugini1
1
Special Education Program, Sebelas Maret University, Solo, Indonesia
*Corresponding author: Special Education Program, Sebelas Maret University, Jl.Ir.Sutami 36A, Kentingan Solo,
57126, Indonesia. E-mail: sunardi.ipuns@gmail.com
Received: August 20, 2014
doi:10.5430/wje.v4n5p77
Accepted: September 17, 2014
Online Published: October 13, 2014
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.5430/wje.v4n5p77
Abstract
The previously UNESCO initiated policy of inclusive education has been adopted by the Indonesian government
since 2003. As a new policy, inclusion will require many changes in the existing system of education which tends to
be segregative. This research investigated the effects of a two-day workshop on parents attitudes, teachers’
competence and knowledge related to inclusive education..
The subjects of the study were 50 parents and 50 teachers of 25 primary schools from 25 subdistricts in the district of
Wonogiri, Indonesia. They took part in a two-day workshop in inclusive education using active learning modes of
presentation. Teachers’ knowledge was measured using a written test, while parents’ attitudes and teachers’
competence were measured using likert type scales.
The results showed that:
1. The two-day workshop in inclusive education significantly improved parents’ attitudes towar…
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