Secondary Classroom Teachers' Views on Inclusion

WCER Working Paper No. 2003-4

M. Bruce King and Peter Youngs

April 2003, 16 pp.

ABSTRACT: Since the fall of 1999, the Research Institute on Secondary Education Reform for Youth with Disabilities (RISER) has studied inclusion and instructional reform in four U.S. secondary schools. This article analyzes general education teachers' views on (a) inclusion and its impact on their teaching and their students and (b) the extent to which special education teachers and Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) have supported inclusion efforts. Across the four schools, teachers were committed to inclusion and made instructional accommodations for students with disabilities in their classes. Many teachers, but not all, tried to maintain the curriculum and hold high expectations while providing these accommodations. Teachers at three of the schools emphasized teaching and learning of high intellectual quality and believed this focus was appropriate for their students with disabilities. At two of the schools, classroom teachers felt they received important help from special education teachers and used students' IEPs to guide instruction and assessment. The article concludes with a discussion of implications that can be drawn from these findings.

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keywords: Inclusion; Secondary School Reform; Special Education