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Eileana Quinones

EDSP 432

Pro. Wyoming

Final Written Observations

What is inclusive education? Inclusive education means that all students

attend and are welcomed by their neighborhood schools in age-appropriate,

regular classes and are supported to learn, contribute and participate in all

aspects of the life of the school. Inclusion is another term for "mainstreaming," or

merging special education with regular education classes. Inclusion is a very

controversial idea because it relates to educational and social values, as well as

our sense of individual worth. There are many different pros and cons discussed

about this topic within society (Cassady, J. M. (2011).

After completing my observations in a pre-school inclusive classroom at

Lattice Educational Services, a nonpublic school, I was able to see the different

pros and cons in person. For example, some of the cons for both atypical and

typical development Children are, meaningful relations, this because children learn
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to accept each others differences and see each other as equals. There is an

Increased of appreciation and acceptance of individual differences it also Increases

the understanding and acceptance of diversity -When children attend classes that

reflect the similarities and differences of people in the real world, they learn to

appreciate diversity. Respect and understanding grow when children of differing

abilities and cultures play and learn together. I was able to observe this during my

observations, children were playing and working with one anther making the

children with disabilities feel included, it was such an amazing feeling to see

children being educated to not discriminate and treat others with equality and the

children who had disabilities were extremely happy because of this. Another pro is

that it is preparing the typical development children to live an adult inclusive life

and at the same time they are serving as role models for atypical children. I also

saw this during my observations; children with disabilities would try to imitate the

behaviors of the other children, giving them the motivation to wanting to perform

the same behavioral and social skills.


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Based on my observations, I also noticed how the expectations were the

same for both typical and atypical children, which I thought it was a pro in an

inclusive classroom. This is because in a classroom with only special needs

children the expectations are less for the classroom, in an inclusive environment

everyone is treated equally so atypical children have higher expectations. Of

course with different accommodations and assistance from teachers and teacher

assistants. I saw this during circle time, when the children were supposed to go up

front of the group during circle time and pick a shape and match it to the ones on

the wall, the children with special needs were still expected to do the same, they

did receive help but, these children were being exposed to a general curriculum.

Making them feel more integrated to the classroom and Im sure that by doing

this their IEP goals achievement goals increased as well.

Some of the cons that I was able to observe in the inclusive classroom were

that in this school there are not many students therefore, there are enough

teachers and teacher aids to help with the children with disabilities. In a public

school, this will not be the case. Teachers have classrooms of up to 24 students or
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sometimes more, with not teacher aids. Meaning if they had a child with special

needs they would not be able to devote as much time helping them and making

all the different accommodations Lattice is able to provide for their students. In

this cases, children with special needs feel uncomfortable in a regular school

setting because of the lack of attention they will be receiving. Adding to this,

public school teachers are sometimes not adequately trained to work with

children with disabilities.

Another con I was able to observe was how some typical growing children

would seem to be a little afraid when one of the girls with special needs would

start screaming and moving her head back and forward really fast, in one

occasion during circle time, one of the students was sitting next to her, she started

acting this way, he didnt say anything but he did look at her very afraid and he

moved away from her. The teachers did not say anything to him so Im sure this

was not only an uncomfortable situation for him but also for the girl with special

needs. In my opinion, this overthrows the entire purpose of inclusion, teachers


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need to be aware of things like this to help prevent situations like this and educate

typical children about the differences of their classmates.

In lattice Educational Services pre-school teachers try their best to have a

successful inclusive environment like I mentioned before children are treated

equally and have the same expectations. However, in my opinion, the only thing

from preventing lattice to be successful inclusive environment is the physical

environment. Teachers are responsible for the structure and organization of the

physical environment in order to support their instructional objectives. Since

lattice is an inclusive school one of their objectives should be to be able to

accommodate children with disabilities in their classrooms. Their classrooms

should be open and with a lot of free space to do the different accommodations,

however, this is not the case. One of the classrooms has too many tables, cubbies,

chairs, and cabinets. Leaving no open space, there is only enough space to walk

around, the only free and truly open space is used for circle time and it has toys all

around it. This setting would be okay for a classroom that did not offer services

for children with disabilities. But unfortunately they do, this would be a struggle
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for a child with a wheelchair or special equipment, they would have no space to

move around. Also, the room has different types of rugs in it; I believe that is not

very convenient for someone in a wheelchair because they will get stuck coming

from the hard floor to the rug.

The furniture is also not to adequate for children with disabilities, when I

was observing during snack time, one of the girls with special needs, had a

special chair to eat her snack, but it ha no support for her legs, the teachers had

to put a board game on the floor to give her support. Also, the tables were very

low this is perfect for a school that has no children with disabilities but for children

who might be in a wheelchair is not. This would only make the child feel excluded

and discouraged because he or she will not be able to sit with everyone else. Not

only when doing activities but also during snack, since they use the same table for

snack and fine motor activities. Having this type of furniture would defeat the

entire purpose of what inclusion means.

My ideas about early childhood inclusion changed drastically as a result of

this class. My thoughts about inclusion before EDSP 432 were not the most
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positive ones. I used to not believe it could be possible to have a full inclusion

classroom or for me to be able to be a teacher that could work with children with

disabilities. My thoughts always were that I was not capable or patient enough to

be able to teach children with disabilities. Since I have memory, I always wanted to

be a teacher, but one of my biggest fears was to have children with disabilities in

my classroom, I always admired all the people that are special education teachers;

I used to believe they had super powers to be able to do this type of job. Not in a

offensive way, for me, it was an impossible job. I always feared not being able to

know what to do if a child got very sick during class, or if I didnt know how to

effectively to teach them.

After taking this class I realized how my fears are the one that every

teacher has, not only special education teachers but also teachers that dont work

with special needs children, what matters is that you receive the appropriate

training and education to teach them. Thanks to this class I was able to lose the

fear of having an inclusive classroom, I believe after interviewing the professionals

that work with children with special needs and their parents I gained the
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confidence I needed. The professionals including the instructor of this class taught

me that you are never alone, as there are resources for the children, there is also

resources for the teachers to be able to support the education of all children with

disabilities. This includes nurses, assistants and if needed occupational therapist.

From the parent interview, I realized how much these parents value special needs

teachers or teachers that try their best to fully include their children in their

classrooms. I always wanted to make an impact in peoples lives and why not do it

this way? This class also taught me how to modify my classroom to accommodate

children with disabilities and the importance of following their IEP plan in order to

serve the childs goals and needs.

The field observations defiantly impacted me and my thoughts of inclusion

classrooms, during my observations in a fully inclusive classroom, I got to see how

happy children with disabilities were being included with the other children in the

classroom. Seeing their smiles on their faces made me realize this was something I

wanted to do and be part of. I tear up when I saw how beneficial this was not only

for the children with disabilities but also for the typically developing children. They
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were learning how to accept each others differences and making meaningful

friendships. It made me think, how much depression and bullying we could

prevent if we had inclusive classrooms everywhere. Children would learn to

embrace all of our differences, including disabilities, cultures, and more. Children

with disabilities would grow feeling included and accepted by everyone.

Resources

Cassady, J. M. (2011). Teachers Attitudes Toward the Inclusion of Students with Autism
and Emotional Behavioral Disorder.