The concept of inclusion is very central to education in that it relates more to social values, individuals self esteem, equality and equal access to resources. Inclusion as a concept advocates of equal treatment of all learners regardless to learners’ disabilities.
Inclusion calls for availing of all necessary learning facilities needed for educating the student. It calls for the teaching of students at their face with an aim of discovering the full potential of the student. Inclusion is cost effective in that learners are taught by same teacher in; the same physical environment therefore reducing the extra costs associated with mainstream learning where special education students are taught by different teachers with different physical facilities.In a regular class with both special needs children and without special needs, learners are faced with same challenges especially when it comes providing an opportunity for the learners with disability to emotionally feel privileged to compete with children without disabilities.
Inclusion concept is also advantageous to the students with special needs in that it advocates for the availing of all service needed for special needs child. Such children are able to receive the same attention from teachers and it therefore promotes a sense of equality amongst learners (Barker, Wang, & Walberg, 1995). Although the inclusion concept has been accused of diverting attention from regular students and in the process wasting a lot of time and thus reducing teacher effectiveness, the success of the concept has so far proved critics wrong.The other challenge facing the concept of inclusion is that it allows for special needs children to learn alongside regular students unless and until it becomes impossible for the two groups to learn alongside each other, until tangible evidence exists to prove that students with disabilities exists, the concept may continue to be applied even where it is oblivious that it is not achieving its intended goals.The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) does not clearly outline the context of the inclusion concept and therefore a lot of teachers and education policy makers are faced with numerous challenges in the implementation process making the inclusion concept still unpopular education approach in many states (Barker, Wang, & Walberg, 1995).The fact that the inclusion concept calls for the restructuring of schools which hitherto the introduction of the concept were designed to meet the needs of one group, that is the handicapped children or regular students is another challenge. The implementation of the inclusion concept requires steps such as introduction of educational reforms, changing the existing facilities to accommodate the new needs as well as the training of teachers to function well in the integrated programs. Since change is hard to implement and to be accepted, it may take a lot of effort from educationists and policy makers to arrive at consensus in as far the inclusion concept is concerned.
To be successful inclusion programs will need to involve teachers in the implementation of the inclusion concept programs as well as in all major decisions attending the instruction process (Attleck, Madge, Adama & Lowen, 1988).Teachers also need to be well prepared through career training and development with the transition to inclusion concept. For a teacher to be effective in implementation of the inclusion concept one needs to be skilled in team and group teaching as well as parallel teaching methods which are very effective in meeting the diverse needs evident in an integrated class (Attleck, Madge, Adama & Lowen, 1988). Teaching integrated classes calls for skills in assessing special needs of learners.
Understanding a wide variety of educational philosophies pertaining to instruction of learners with special needs is also necessary for integrated teachers. An integrated teacher also requires incorporate high ethical practices in the teaching process. Ethical issues likely to arise include; the rationality of withdrawing attention from one group of learners and according it to others.
Integrated teaching also calls for ICT skills as the concept of technologically medicated training and learning has become very popular to learning. Therefore integrated teachers will need to be well versed with the information communication technology as well as possess high communication skills because students in such a class are likely to have wide and very varied educational needs which all require high communication skills.Punishment involves using a behavior reinforcement to deter a certain unwanted behavior on a subject. In the teaching profession, punishment and rewards are used alongside each other by teachers to reinforce wanted behavior and to discourage unwanted behaviors. Some common examples of stimuli used as punishment include administration of chores, suspension or expulsion from schools.Whether negative or positive punishment, schools have a responsibility to encourage positive behavior (Attleck, Madge, Adama & Lowen, 1988).For punishment to be effective, it needs to be in level with the developmental stage of the recipient/subject. Punishments also need to be consistent and understable by the subject as being connected with their behavior.
Discipline and punishment are different but related. Discipline refers to the training of an individual with an aim of achieving a given behavior change. The discipline process strives to install in a student; desirable moral, physical and mental values.To administer discipline in an integrated class a teacher should; keep the size of their classes at manageable levels, maintain constant monitoring through out, embrace instruction methods which promote direct contact with learners, give equal attention to all learners, set up a good example as the teacher, ensuring the right learning environment and using only positive discipline measures.Routine health check ups are necessary to educationists in that it is the best way to ensure that children are healthy and therefore able to learn. Teachers have a role to play in the health of students in that they can identify health problems hence propose to doctors and care givers the needed interventions.
Although health check up requires the recipients to have insurance covers in most cases, health care is a prerequisite for success of a child in education.Teachers are caregivers to children and therefore have a responsibility of monitoring their health. Teachers are supposed to identify any medical condition in the child which qualifies the child to be put in the category of special needs.
This is crucial in that it determines any extra or special services and facilities which such children require so as to learn with minimum difficulties. Some of the conditions which teachers must be on the look out for include; overweight or obesity cases, the fact that the rate of obese children in America is on the increase is a call for teachers to be on look out for the health conditions of the children.Teachers can use intervention measures such as a diet intervention and physical exercises to counter the above health condition.Disabilities are also a health problem which teachers can assist in solving. Such disabilities include; physical disabilities, limited intellectual ability, hearing disability, vision disability, communicative disability as well as multiple disabilities. Examples of specific illness prevalent in schools include; cerebral palsy, altruism, acute health problems and limited alertness, all of which can significantly limits an individual’s ability to learn.ConclusionInclusion concept is a viable concept in achieving educational goals.
However implementation of the concept needs to done not in haste but in a well coordinated manner with a more participatory role by the federal government. A lot of research needs to be carried out to determine the exact implications of the concept so as to make the inclusion concept beneficial to learners. While punishment is necessary in the educational system, its administration should be done only to the extent which it leads to the achievement of discipline amongst learners. Finally teachers should be trained to cope with the challenges of an integrated class.