Sample Article Critique
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Taking Sides: Parent Views on Inclusion for their Children with Severe Disabilities: an Article Critique
Inclusion is about belonging and participating in a diverse society. A single definition of inclusion within the context of education has yet to be developed. However, there have been a series of working definitions that have existed over the years. Individuals, teachers, and families define inclusion differently. Today, the various institutions in the society face several issues with regards to the concept of inclusive education among children with severe disabilities. This paper aims to review the study with the same title conducted by Arora, Fuller, Nelson and David (2001).
Parent’s beliefs about inclusion influence its implementation. Programs, as well as children, have to be "ready for inclusion". This view of inclusion is practically based on the assumption that inclusion can fit for all children. Therefore, making it work successfully will depend on planning, training, and support. However, with some considerable reasons every parent have in mind, the process of inclusion among children with sever disabilities has been under scrutiny. The dilemma on whether or not inclusive education is beneficial to such children is based on the views of parents with regards to the issue.
As discussed by the authors, parents possess different reasons on why or why not allow children with sever disabilities to undergo inclusive education. The study provided a comprehensive presentation of various information that are vital in making decisions pertaining to the people involve and to the consequence of the action. Presenting both sides of the issue is an excellent way to balance the effects of inclusion to every party concerned. There are numerous researches conducted to seize and discuss the emerging issues of inclusion.
Allan (1999) noted that most of these inclusion implementation researches have been accomplished through the use of models. The classrooms used had low teacher-student ratios, and many contained more disabled children than normally developing children. Despite extensive research over the recent years, the knowledge base pertaining to inclusion for disabled children has experienced serious setbacks: (1) lack of clarity in definition; (2) lack of studies of ordinary environments; (3) lack of attention to the pivotal role of culture; and (4) lack of a systems perspective. However, one of the most consistent findings from various researches is the fact that collaboration (Doering et al., 2003) among adults is an important issue. Successful programs involve teachers that constantly communicate with each other and also plan together. Collaboration among adults, even from different disciplines, is actually one of the greatest challenges towards the successful implementation of inclusion. Disabled students and community members have to be able to understand their roles in the collaborative planning process (Schwartz et al., 1998).
Specialized instruction is an important component of inclusion. It can possibly be delivered through a variety of ways and strategies, many of which can be implemented even in ongoing classroom activities. Flexible grouping within and among classes is able to reduce the achievement range of each class, and this in turn can provide many benefits to all students and teachers (Dyson & Gains, 1993).
One point, however, must be cleared. Inclusion is not just a simple school issue. Inclusion is able to extend to the center of communities where children and their families live. Therefore, the impending participation of a child care center in a community is a crucial goal. Fortunately, most parents have started emphasizing the critical role of participation among community and family activities. These parents, on one hand, are also able to remind us that inclusion is not only limited to a particular issue involving disabled children; all disabled children have the right in participating in schools and be given ample support (Hanson et al., 1998).
Many disabled children, however, still need proper accommodations in order to be able to participate successfully in the classrooms. Teachers also often mentioned skills training and even additional staff in order to meet the needs of these children (Flude & Hammer, 1990). When inclusive education is implemented to perfection, all students will be able to benefit significantly (Odom et al., 1996).
Adequate support is necessary to make inclusive environments work (Frankel, 2004; Fister et al., 2001). Support includes planning (Smith & Stuart, 2002), training, ongoing consultation and other essential factors for inclusion. Deliberate and constant communication among the stakeholders involved is important (Barton, 1998). This can be provided in various ways, and every person involved in inclusion may have unique needs. Inclusion can benefit children with and without disabilities. Both of these children will be able to learn skills that would eventually help them become successful and independent in the future.
The study conducted by the said authors provided significant facts that will eventually help in the full understanding and systematic implementation of this humble intent of inclusion especially to the children with severe disabilities as well as their parents. Parents’ views will remain as the most vital and the strongest factor to be considered when tackling to some serious matters like this. With this exemplary research account, this will aid every individual in all institutions concerned in tackling issues, undergoing further probes, implementing actions, and providing solutions to simple yet essential inquiries regarding the topic. The arguments presented and the results obtained will fully serve as the foundation in decision-making in the part of the parent and the children as well. Additionally, this research help people inclined in inclusion process (such as teachers and regular children) to comprehend several aspects of the issue. Thus, regardless of the arguments presented, inclusive education on children with severe disabilities will benefit them in bringing out the “hidden yet best normal part” of their being.
Allan, J. (1999) Actively Seeking Inclusion: Pupils with Special Needs in
Mainstream Schools. London: Falmer Press.
Arora, T., Fuller, K. Nelson, M. & Palmer, D.S. (2001) Taking Sides: Parent
Views on Inclusion for Their Children with Severe Disabilities. Exceptional Children, 67(4), 467.
Barton, L. ed. (1988)) The Politics of Special Educational Needs. London:
Doering, K., Hunt, P., Maier, J., & Soto, G. (2003) Collaborative Teaming to
Support Students at Risk and Students with Severe Disabilities in General Education Classrooms. Exceptional Children, 69(3), 315+.
Dyson, A. & Gains, C. eds. (1993) Rethinking Special Needs in Mainstream
Schools: Toward the Year 2000. London: David Fulton.
Fister, S., Mathot-Buckner, C., Mcdonnell, J., & Thorson, J. (2001) Supporting
the Inclusion of Students with Moderate and Severe Disabilities in Junior High School General Education Classes: The Effects of Classwide Peer Tutoring, Multi-Element Curriculum, and Accommodations. Education & Treatment of Children, 24(2), 141.
Flude, M. & Hammer, M. eds. (1990) The Education Reform Act 1988: Its Origin
and Implications. London: Falmer Press.
Frankel, E.B. (2004) Supporting Inclusive Care and Education for Young Children
with Special Needs and Their Families; an International Perspective. Childhood Education, 80(6), 310+.
Hanson, M.J., Wolfberg, P., Zercher, C., Morgan, M., Gutierrez, S., Barnwell, D.,
& Beckman, P.J. (1998). The culture of inclusion: Recognizing diversity at multiple levels. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 13, 185-210.
Odom, SL, Peck, C.A., Hanson, M., Beckman, P., Kaiser, A., Lieber, J., Brown,
W.H., Horn, E.M., & Schwartz, I.S. (1996). Inclusion at the preschool level: An ecological systems analysis. SRCD Social Policy Report, 10, 18-30.
Schwartz, I.S., Billingsley, F., & McBride, B. (1998). Including children with
autism in inclusive preschools: Strategies that work. Young Exceptional Children, 2(1), 19-26.
Smith, S.W. & Stuart, C.H. (2002) Transition Planning for Students with Severe
Disabilities: Policy Implications for the Classroom. Intervention in School & Clinic, 37(4), 234+.
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