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Inclusion in Education: Meeting Diverse Needs and Exceptionalities

The Benefits of Inclusion for Students with Diverse Needs and Exceptionalities

This is a discussion assignment so please respond to each person 100 words minimum responses such as “I like what you said,” “That is a good comment,” and “I disagree with your comment” do not count as complete replies in and of themselves. Rather, state why you liked or disliked a peer’s thread, present additional thoughts or ideas, and provide alternative ideas/thoughts when you disagree.No sources needed, can use first person! 

 

Slavin and Schunk (2021) posit that intentional teachers, both individually and collaboratively, purposefully create ways to foster learning and to meet the needs of each one of their students.
1.    Watch the Ruby’s Inclusion Story video and discuss the parts of the video that were the most meaningful to you as a current or aspiring educator. Do you believe that inclusion was the right choice for Ruby? Why or why not?
2.    How is inclusion aligned with the learning theories or ideas we have covered in this course? Use content from one or both of your textbooks to support the idea of inclusion.
3.    Finally, consider a biblical approach to educating learners with diverse needs or exceptionalities. Use scripture to support your discussion.

 

As an educator and someone who has not only spent so much time in childcare, but also has so much passion for children, there was so much about this video that were meaningful to me. I’m a very big advocate for inclusion. Being someone who had to take a class on exceptional students, I learned a lot about disabilities. I learned how to talk about children who have disabilities, how to address their parents or others about the subject, I also learned how so very important it is to not label them, and that is something I liked about this video; no one labeled Ruby as her disability. It was evident that everyone respected Ruby and didn’t treat her like she was her disability, they treated her like they’d treat any other person. Her teachers, peers, the administration, her parents, none of them went easy on her, instead they challenged her. And I think that is super important to her and her confidence and growth as a student.


I do believe that inclusion was the right choice for her. Despite her disability, Ruby seemed like a bright student who was eager to learn, not just from her teachers or her therapist, but also her classmates. Given her personality, it seemed as if Ruby also had a lot to offer and bring to her classmates. As her principal, Debbie Warnken stated, “Parents of typically developing children may wonder how having someone like ruby as a classmate impacts the quality of their own children’s education, all children have some kind of learning difference. If you separate them then they don’t get the opportunity to learn from each other. So, what do you get from ruby? To help and assist her but also see a child who is so incredibly innocent and sweet. Children with special needs have an incredible gift that we miss sometimes with typical children.” I thought that was extremely well put. So, being included in a general education classroom gives Ruby the opportunity to learn from others, share her own personal gifts with her classmates, and help in developing her growth and character.

Alignment of Inclusion with Learning Theories and Ideas Covered in Course


Inclusion aligns with the theories and ideas we have covered in this course because it can have an impact on the student’s learning, growth, and development. As can be seen throughout the video, education “should assist students to realize fully the potentialities inherent in their human nature” (Gutek, 2014, p. 35). Not only were Ruby’s teacher’s, speech therapist, principal, and parents helping her see her potential, but so were all her classmates through interacting and working with her, as well as through being models for her. Not to mention that through being included in a general education classroom, Ruby has the right to “self-determination, self-realization, and self-integration; as well as seek to grow in maturity in the areas of human knowledge” (Gutek, 2014, pg. 68). While Ruby may need extra help here and there, it was clear that nothing was ever just handed to her. She was challenged and this gave her the same opportunities as her peers, granting her the same chance at working independently towards success.


When thinking of a biblical approach to educating learners with diverse needs or exceptionalities I think it is important to not bend your faith, morals, beliefs, or standards due to someone’s uncontrollable differences. This means staying true to your character and morals despite who you come in contact with. When educating learners with diverse needs or exceptionalities, well, they need your authentic self more than any other child. In scripture Jesus said, “Leave the children alone, and don’t try to keep them from coming to Me, because the kingdom of heaven is made up of people like this” (Holman Christian, 2011, Matt. 19:14). Why choose this verse? Well, Jesus did turn away the children. He didn’t turn away any children, therefore, neither should we. We should be accepting of all children, given that we are able to provide them with the accommodations that they need. So, in educating children with diverse needs, and children in general, we should be like Christ.

 

We should be examples of Him and His love and care. What would this look like? Well, going out of your way for your students with diverse needs or exceptionalities. Because truth is, any child, with diverse needs/exceptionalities or not, will pick up on your attitudes towards them. As educators of faith, we should not discriminate against any child with diverse needs; we should not withhold them from anything that the other children are given. Scripture again states, “ For as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of that body, though many, are one body—so also is Christ” (Holman Christian, 2011, 1 Cor. 12:12). 

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