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ERIC Number: ED514868
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 288
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1097-0967-4
The Dilemma of Inclusion: Is Full Inclusion Ethical? An Examination of the Culture of Special Education within a Semi-Rural Pre-K to Sixth Grade Elementary School District
Press, Kandie A.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Rowan University
At its core the political push for full inclusion models of special education delivery derives from the belief that inclusion provides equal access, equitable distribution of resources and increased social opportunity to children. This study focused upon the evolution of special education programming within a pre-K to sixth grade elementary school district in a semi-rural geographic area within the northeast corridor of the United States. Over a period of approximately four years, the district changed its manner of providing for its special education students. It moved from relying primarily on a pull out delivery model, to including children within the general education setting with visiting in-class support, to eventually installing teams in at least one classroom at every grade level. In addition to viewing this second order change from a fairly broad perspective, this qualitative research project highlighted the inclusion experiences of four children, each with varying degrees of identified educational and developmental disability. What was found was that not unlike its "segregationist counterpart," full inclusion did not resolve the wide range of ethical dilemmas its proponents claimed it addressed. This research found that, to some extent, it actually contributed to increased perceptions of "difference" and to highlighting those very weaknesses that it was meant to ameliorate. Moreover, full inclusion, which supplants other delivery models, is incompatible with both the "continuum of program options " and "programs based upon individual need" that N.J.A.C. 6A:14 warrants. Full inclusion must, therefore, not become the politically correct alternative to the pull out programs that defined special education services of not that long ago. Districts have an ethical obligation to do more than give lip service to the continuum of program options and must ensure that services continue to be designed and delivered on an individual student basis. Ethical decision-making is mandatory so that team-teaching classrooms do not becoming the dumping grounds for children with educational and developmental disabilities. Finally, while inclusion provided educational and social benefits and was an appropriate special education delivery model for some children it did not provide benefits to all children. Variables that contributed to its ultimate success or failure, beyond those having to do with the nature of a child's educational disability, included those having to do with teacher training, competence, commitment, motivation, and accountability. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Elementary Education; Kindergarten; Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Equal Access