Inclusion Essay

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In this essay I wish to discuss the relationship between disability, special educational needs and education. I think it is important to give a brief history on special needs and how attitudes towards the education of special needs has changed dramatically over the course of 40 years and in some cases is still changing. I would like to address the issue of special needs schools and how an inclusive education in my opinion could be a better solution than special needs schools. The children whom I am discussing in this essay are described as having moderate to severe learning difficulties and for the purpose of this essay I would like to concentrate on this area of special needs education. I would like to focus on the conflicting theories of special needs schools and inclusive schools and to underline the lack of teacher training in the special needs area which in turn has led to a negative approach to inclusive education. This essay is aimed at promoting inclusive schools and to improve the relationship between special needs and ordinary schooling and for this purpose I will refer to The Salamanca Statement (1994)[1] which encompasses the idea of inclusion as a beneficial move in education. Those against inclusion argue that inclusion cannot exist, in reality it is just a concept and not a practical solution. I will try to avoid inclusion as a concept but aim towards it being a pragmatic step forward in human rights. It is this human rights issue that I feel is the underlying basic in inclusive education. I have struggled with inclusion as a utopian ideal, I have struggled with inclusion as a democratic illusion but I cannot find fault with inclusion as a human right. I strongly agree that the barrier to learning is not with the child but with the education system, I reject the ideas of the medical model of disability and feel that as an issue of human

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