This week I have heard too many people talk about integrating kiddos back into the classroom.
🍭 We want to INCLUDE all kiddos- strive to include! 🍿 An integrated classroom is one that has students with disabilities (special education) working alongside students without disabilities (mainstream).
Integrated systems provide support for students who require it in order to access the 'regular' curriculum.
Integrated systems rely on pull-out services to support struggling 'learners'.
Integrated systems are fragmented: Special Education Departments, Student Services, and other smaller departments ‘control’ planning for kiddos who fall outside of the mainstream.
Integrated systems are common- and commonly referred to as inclusive (remember integration is an early stop on our inclusive journey).
Integrated systems are mainly positive and they seeks to provide the necessary supports. BUT, they are not inclusive systems.
Integrated systems emphasize 'normal or typical' vs 'different', 'meeting' vs 'not meeting', and 'medical diagnosis' through the practice of standards, curriculum, and Special Education. 🤭
Unlike an Integrated system, an inclusive classroom fully merges all kiddos together.
Special Education & mainstream NO longer exist.
Inclusive systems understand that ALL children are different.
DIFFERENCE is the norm.
Students who require support are not expected to adjust to a fixed curriculum or standards.
Teaching & infrastructures are adjusted to benefit ALL students. There is choice, flexibility, and student-centred!!!
Barriers are removed in order for each child to fully participate, be present, and feel valued.
Inclusive systems are not inclusive because of setting, they are inclusive because the approach allows all students fair access to meaningful and collaborative learning opportunities.
It is understandable why, at this point, many Inclusive Education systems are still following an integrated framework. However, being aware of the differences between the two is important in continuing towards realizing a fully inclusive system and community.