Unlocking the Benefits of Including Special Education Students in the General Education ClassroomMar 07, 2023
Incorporating special education students into a regular classroom can be overwhelming if you don't know where to start. At first, it might seem like the best thing to do is to separate the special education students and put them in their own classroom, away from their peers. However, this approach often negatively affects both the student and their classmates. By including special education students in a regular classroom setting, everyone involved will benefit.
Inclusion Makes Everyone Smarter
When all types of learners are included in the same classroom, each individual learns more than they would have if they were alone. This is because each learner has different abilities that complement one another - for example, those who struggle with math may excel at reading comprehension. As a result, when these students work together and learn from one another, it creates an environment of mutual support that encourages everyone to succeed.
Inclusion Leads to Learning About Diversity
When special education students are included in a regular classroom setting, they provide their peers with an opportunity to learn about diversity and become more accepting of people who are different than them. By engaging with someone who has different needs or abilities than them, students can gain a better understanding of life outside of their own experiences. Additionally, teaching tolerance and respect for others can help create lasting relationships between all members of the class.
Special Education Students Benefit From Inclusion
Integrating special education students into the regular classroom setting provides numerous benefits that help them grow academically and socially. It allows them to learn alongside their peers, which increases the likelihood of them staying on track with grade-level standards. It also gives them increased access to specialized supports and services, such as speech therapy or occupational therapy, while they’re in class rather than having to leave the room. Additionally, it enables them to make friends with their classmates and build positive relationships with their peers and teachers. All of these things create a more positive learning experience for special education students, which helps foster academic success and social development.
Benefits To Regular Education Students
Including special education students in the classroom also has advantages for regular education students. They get the opportunity to interact with those who may have different physical or cognitive abilities than themselves, which can help develop empathy and understanding toward people who are different from them. Furthermore, it encourages collaboration as regular education students often work together to “teach” each other or help someone who is struggling with a concept or task. This, in turn, promotes problem-solving and communication skills that can benefit both parties academically and socially in real-world settings later on down the line.
Schools Benefit From Integration As Well
Integration also has advantages for schools overall. When special education students are properly integrated into general classrooms, it reduces segregation which helps reduce any potential stigma attached to separate classes labeled as “special” or “different” kids. This helps ensure that all children are considered equal members of the school community regardless of ability level or needs, further promoting inclusion and acceptance among all members of the school community - from teachers to administrators all the way down to fellow classmates. Additionally, it saves schools money by reducing costs associated with maintaining separate classrooms or hiring specialized personnel needed for separate classes, such as aides or resource specialists, that could be put towards other areas of need within schools instead, such as technology upgrades or additional instructional materials/resources.
Incorporating special education students into regular classrooms is a great way to create an inclusive learning environment where everyone benefits - from special ed students themselves all the way up through entire school communities! By providing opportunities for collaboration between regular ed and special ed students, both groups can gain new perspectives while developing empathy and understanding toward one another, which will serve them well throughout life beyond school walls! Ultimately, integrating special ed kids into general classrooms is a win-win situation that should not be overlooked by middle-high school teachers everywhere!