Thursday, February 19, 2015

Striving for Inclusive Educational Communities

     The topic I chose to explore was how to create a more inclusive special education environment in school communities. Over the past several decades, there have been boundless improvements to the treatment of individuals with special needs, and America’s Special Education system.There has been an overwhelming amount of support for greater inclusion of students with special needs in the general education community, but there is still more to be done.
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     I felt that the four disciplines that largely influence this topic are education, history, law, and sociology. Each of these disciplines examines key areas of inclusion in special education, such as the benefits of an inclusive environment, the history and development of special education, the legal protections and rights of individuals with special needs, how society views people with special needs, and how our communities engage and support these individuals. 

     While these disciplines clearly focus around different principals and fundamentals, examining the different facets through an interdisciplinary lens is an exceptional way to develop more inclusive educational communities. You might think it is enough to have a strong understanding of the legal aspect of special education. However, if you are unaware of the social, cultural, and historical events and attitudes that made it necessary for these laws to be developed, you are only experiencing one part of the problem.The same can be said for the other three disciplines; for this topic, it is not enough to focus on one sole perspective. Understanding how these four disciplines work together is crucial to effectively expanding upon the quality of inclusive education we provide to individuals with special needs. 

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  1. Really nice job on the chart! (Watch your font size in your posts-- not sure why it's varying that way...) Seems like this work will be helpful to you wherever you go with your particular capstone project, so good work developing these perspectives so well!

  2. Chelsea.
    Your analysis of viewing special education is absolutely right. This problem requires various perspectives of understanding and examination on the issues. As you pointed out, educational epistemology of education, history, law, and sociology should closely intervene to create best practices and policies for this complex study. I also think in order to understand and support individual children with disability human biology is also required (as we studied hard last semester). Understanding the environment of our modern society and psychology are important because some disabilities widely affect the cognitive development of children. When we work with the children with special needs, we need to view these complexities of knowledge that come from each discipline and try to integrate them with our advanced insights to support for greater inclusion of students with special needs in the general education community.