Sample Research Proposal on Special Education Students

Research Review

In the article Inclusion for Special Education Students: Advantages and Benefits (2012), Keren Perles articulates that education systems across the globe are embracing inclusion. She defines inclusion as the incorporation of students with disabilities in the general classroom education. Perles emphasizes that inclusion in educational institutions though does not include all students with disabilities has several pros and cons. Classroom inclusion promotes the social integration of students with disabilities and the non-disabled students who are their peers. In inclusion classrooms, disabled students can establish or create long-lasting relationships with their peers and the relationships gives them skills necessary for navigation in their future social lives. Essentially, the social lives of students with disabilities are enhanced through their relationships with their non-disabled peers. Many a times, the non-disabled students act as role models and thus influence the disabled students’ behavior positively. This is a social advantage of inclusion according to Perles. She also adds that inclusion is advantageous to disabled students as it helps enhance their academic development and capability.  How does this occur? According to Perles (2012), academic benefit is the most outstanding of all the benefits that disabled students enjoy as a result of inclusion. In contrast to the normal classrooms, teachers, and other educators in inclusion classrooms, give preference to the use of inclusion strategies that have played an integral role in improving the academic performance of disabled students. The students without disabilities also benefit from inclusion. Perles (2012) is of the opinion that non-disabled students, through inclusion, get a rare opportunity of relating to, appreciating and accepting colleagues that are different from them. The students without disabilities also learn how to make others succeed in life in various sectors. Moreover, there is likelihood that the families of disabled students get integrated more into the school societies.

Shannon L. Berg (2004) in her article The Advantages and disadvantages of the inclusion of students with disabilities into regular education classrooms articulates that inclusion is a controversial topic in special education among administrators, teachers, and parents. She defines the concept as the integration of students with disabilities into regular classroom environments without looking at whether they meet curriculum standards or not. According to Berg (2004), students with disabilities have the right to inclusion in regular classroom settings unless the services that are appropriate to them are unavailable. She adds that inclusion will be advantageous to both teachers and students only if it is implemented properly and effectively. According to Berg (2004), one of the advantages of inclusion to students with disabilities is that it enables the provision of a more stimulating environment versus the traditional special education environment. The environment enhances or makes the learning process of the disabled students easier. Berg (2004) adds that inclusion gives students with disabilities more engaged instructional time and that they become exposed to several academic activities. There is likelihood that such environments will lead to their excellent performance in academics. Berg states that inclusion promotes interaction between regular education students and the students with disabilities. The latter is thus introduced to ways of effective communication and socially accepted behaviors. In inclusion classrooms, non-disabled students act as role models for their disabled colleagues, and they exhibit appropriate classroom behavior and appropriate social behavior that the disabled students adopt. Berg (2004) opines that the other advantage of inclusion is that it gives both the disabled and non-disabled students the opportunity to make new friends while sharing new experiences. The non-disabled students learn the life experiences of the disabled students and vice-versa. The self-esteem and self-efficacy of students with disabilities can be enhanced through inclusion.  Regular connection with other students will make them feel a sense of self-worth. Inclusion also gives teachers and educators the chance of creating awareness and appreciating individual differences that exist among learners. However, Berg (2004) states that inclusion can be accompanied by several disadvantages. One of the disadvantages according to Berg is that socialization often overcomes academics that are always the major purpose of going to school. The other disadvantage of inclusion according to her is that the size of the class and distractions always interferes with the learning process. Most of the time, disabled students leave the regular classrooms with low self-esteem and low self-efficacy.

Lindsay Vander Wiele (2011) also talks about the advantages and disadvantages of inclusion in the article The Pros and Cons of Inclusion for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: What Constitutes the Least Restrictive Environment? Vander Wiele (2011) articulates that in order for students with disabilities to succeed in academic or education settings, inclusion is necessary. Vader Wiele (2011) defines inclusion as the hosting of general education students and students with disabilities in one classroom. Vader Wiele (2011) articulates that one of the advantages of inclusion is that it gives students the opportunity of socially interacting with their peers. As a result, the behavioral and social skills of the students are developed. However, Vander Wiele (2011) articulates that inclusion can be accompanied by various disadvantages. One of the disadvantages is that disabled students often struggle with face-to-face interactions and thus develop low self-esteem in the regular classrooms.

Carissa Lawrence (2015) also concentrates on the advantages and disadvantages of inclusion. Lawrence (2015) suggests that inclusion gives students with disabilities the opportunity of observing and learning from their peers. He adds that when students interact, they acquire communications skills that enable them develop socially. The other advantage according to Lawrence (2015) is that it prepares students with disabilities for life after school. Disabled students also enhance their educational experiences when interacting with their peers. Inclusion is also advantageous to families of students with special needs as they are integrated or become part of the school communities, as their children are accepted by their peers and teachers. Lawrence (2015) adds that students without disabilities also benefit from inclusion. It is because inclusion gives them the opportunity of learning about and appreciating people who are different from them. The significance of this is that the students without disabilities are prepared for life after school and how to relate to every individual in the society. The regular students without disabilities also learn how to respect, help and accept others in life. Besides, inclusion gives the students without disabilities the chance of increasing their experiences and skills in life, and this leads to excellent academic performances. Moreover, according to Lawrence (2015), teachers benefit from inclusion as they have the opportunity of relating with students from diverse populations. The teachers also benefit because their teaching skills and abilities of identifying individual differences are developed. According to Lawrence (2015), inclusion also gives teachers the opportunity of strengthening their skills in collaboration as they spend most of their time together with parents and other teachers trying to come up with the best plans for their students.

Alexa Hammel (2012) also addresses the advantages and disadvantages of inclusion in the article The Benefits and Drawbacks of Mainstreaming students with Autism.  Hammel (2012) defines inclusion as the act of placing and integrating students with disabilities in general education classrooms. Hammel (2012) articulates that inclusion is advantageous to students with disabilities as it gives them the opportunity of engaging in observational learning. According to Hammel (2012), this in turn improves their academic performance. The other advantage of inclusion is that the disabled students are introduced to behaviors that are more socially acceptable as they observe the non-disabled students who act as their role models. Through inclusion, the students with disabilities also have the opportunity of learning, understanding and appreciating those that are different from them. Hammel (2012) also states that inclusion gives both the disabled and non-disabled students the opportunity of engaging in social interaction. This would not be possible if students with disabilities were taught in separate education classrooms. Hammel (2012) also states that inclusive classrooms have several disadvantages. One of the disadvantages is that there is a likelihood of students with disabilities being rejected and despised in the inclusive classrooms. The other disadvantage of inclusion is that distractions such as noise and disturbances by the non-disabled students can interfere with the learning process of the students with disabilities. Hammel (2012) adds that there exist curricular and experimental limitations to students with disabilities that make them have low self-esteem. They end up isolating themselves from other students.

References

Berg, S. L. (2004). The advantages and disadvantages of the inclusion of students with disabilities into regular education classrooms (Doctoral dissertation, University of Wisconsin-Stout).

Hammel, A. (2012). The Benefits and Drawbacks of Mainstreaming Students with Autism. Online Submission.

Lawrence, C. (2015). The Advantages of Inclusion in Schools. Demand Media. http://education.seattlepi.com/advantages-inclusion-schools-2079.html

Perles, K. (2012). Inclusion for Special Education Students: Advantages and Benefits. Bright Hub Education. http://www.brighthubeducation.com/special-ed-inclusion-strategies/66128-advantages-and-benefits-of-inclusion/

Vander Wiele, L. J. (2011). The Pros and Cons of Inclusion for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: What Constitutes the Least Restrictive Environment?.