Inclusion, in education, is the process of allowing all adolescents an equal opportunity to participate in regular classroom activities regardless of their abilities. Formally segregated lessons, in the form of special education programs, were primarily used to educate students with more demanding needs. Then as perspectives and priorities changed concerning the right to equal education and with the passing of pertanite federal legislation starting in the 50's, integration started becoming more popular. This change of heart was propelled in part by the American Civil Rights movement; which challenged the forced segregation of students based on race. Then in 1975 the American Congress passed the Education of all Handicapped Children's' Act, extending the right of equal education opportunities in free public schools to any individual. This was reenacted again in 1990 as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and has undergone various amendments in the time between then and now. The purpose of these acts and others was to place adolescents with special needs in regular classroom environments where they could interact with other children their own age.
Although this form of education may seem more equal and "right" in a moral sense, the question to address is; is it practical? Does it really provide the "best" solution for all parties involved? Does this forced integration provide a broader learning platform for both the students with challenged abilities and those without or does it actually hinder the learning process and frustrate teachers?
As the popularity of inclusion, or mainstreaming as it has come to be known by educators, has grown worldwide so has the concern surrounding it. Various professionals both in and out of the field of education have published such concerns. Two such articles for reference are: Inclusion: How the Scene Has Changed. Written by B...