Education and Inequalities

A review on researches and study done on education for special children will be presented. In the article written by Anastasia Vlachou (2008) she wants to show awareness on teachers to change their view regarding inclusion. Integration has been reported that requires change, creates discomfort and involves a considerable challenge to those whose careers, work and social relationships reinforce a segregated system. According to Vlachou (2008), "it would be nave to believe that integration policy will happen as part of a natural evolution in attitudes towards students with special needs.’ Vlachou (2008) article will be discussed in the literature review together with the study done by several researchers. At the end of the paper the personnel view of the writer regarding the subject will be presented. The inequalities and issues will be summarized to support the writers claim in the conclusion.
To fully understand what the topic is it is best to define the important terms used in the paper. Inclusion as defined in the Webster dictionary – to put in or consider as part of a group or category. McBrien and Brandt of Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development define inclusion based on the situation of the disable child in school. The practice of educating children in one classroom, including children with physical, mental, and developmental disabilities is important. Inclusion classes often require a special assistant to the classroom teacher. The 1975 Education for All Handicapped Children Act (P.L. 94-142) made inclusion a controversial topic by requiring a free and appropriate education with related services for each child in the least restrictive environment possible, and an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for each qualifying child. In 1991, the bill was renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the revision broadened the definition of disabilities and added related services. (Hummel,2008).
Another definition of inclusion is defined in the website of teachernet.com. "One of the greatest challenges facing schools is the provision of appropriate learning opportunities for all pupils (www.teachernet.com). Within schools there are pupils with a range of abilities from different cultures, religions and social backgrounds. Some of these pupils experience barriers to learning as a result of their disability, heritage, gender, special educational need, ethnicity, social group, sexual orientation, race or culture. Research has proved that children from lower socio-economic backgrounds and / or specific ethnic and social groups are more likely to underachieve at school. This may lead to disaffection, low self-esteem, and marginalisation by others and, in some cases, formal exclusion from school. (www.teachernet.com). Some schools are more successful than others in meeting the needs of pupils from diverse backgrounds." Mason, H. (2003) of Birminghan, UK presented process of inclusion in education:
Increasing the participation of students with disabilities in, and reducing their exclusion from, curricula and communities of local schools.
restructuring the cultures, policies and practices in schools so that they respond to the diversity of students’ needs.
accepting diversity as normal and as a rich source for all students.
responding to the diverse needs of all students.
accommodating both different styles and rates of