ERIC Number: EJ1078105
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Special Olympics, Sports, and the Path to Social Inclusion for Students with Intellectual Disabilities
Eidelman, Steven M.
State Education Standard, v13 n1 p34-37 Aug 2013
When you speak with classroom teachers in general education settings about inclusive education, lack of training, and lack of administrative support are frequent commentaries. And when you review data from the U.S. Department of Education, it is clear that inclusion of students with disabilities in general education settings has yet to be fully embraced by our nation's public schools. Yet we know that inclusion in the general education classroom is an important tactic, albeit it imperfectly implemented, for social inclusion. Social inclusion, is a series of values, ideas, opportunities, and interpersonal transactions that are part of building social capital for all students and for all members of the school community. The two major classifications of social capital are: (1) bonding, which is a result of close personal relationships, built on interactions and trust; and (2) bridging social capital, which includes those relationships across boundaries. This article presents a discussion of Special Olympics and sports as an antidote for loneliness and a natural vehicle for social inclusion of students with intellectual disabilities. Including Special Olympics, in all its various forms, for all ages of students, is an approach that schools can use to enhance the social capital of all students. Engaging the school community in Special Olympics may assist in combating loneliness and, due to the extraordinary level of volunteerism associated with Special Olympics, enhance a school's ties to the communities they serve.
Descriptors: Intellectual Disability, Athletics, Social Integration, Inclusion, Social Capital, Interpersonal Relationship, Psychological Patterns, State Legislation
National Association of State Boards of Education. 2121 Crystal Drive Suite 350, Arlington, VA 22202. Tel: 800-368-5023; Tel: 703-684-4000; Fax: 703-836-2313; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.nasbe.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A