Benefits For Special Education Students
Rather than always remaining in a self-contained classroom, middle school special education students who participate in inclusion are integrated into a larger mainstream classroom for at least part of the school day. Through this instructional method, kids with behavioral or academic disabilities can gain:
• Opportunities to form friendships and practice social conventions. At an age when many kids yearn for friends and acceptance among their peers, middle schoolers with special needs can meet and talk with a greater number of students in an inclusive classroom environment. Students who have social deficits can benefit from learning and modeling age-appropriate behaviors from other kids.
• Increased confidence in academic abilities. Often, when included as part of a general education class, students with special needs are encouraged to perform well on assignments and tests. The support that these students receive from classmates and teachers can lead to improved work, which in turn leads to higher self-esteem and confidence levels.
• Exposure to varied teaching techniques. When taught in inclusion classrooms led by a different teacher for each subject (a common practice in middle school), special education students can gain exposure to various styles of instructing and learning rather than being taught by one teacher in a self-contained room.