Inclusion and the General Education Teacher

Inclusion and the General Education Teacher

You’re already familiar with the least restrictive environment and IDEA’s regulations surrounding it. The number of special education students who spent at least 80% of the day in a general education classroom jumped from 54% to 63% between 2005 and 2014 because of IDEA. In 2013, federal data reported that approximately 93% of special education students spent some of their days in general education classrooms.

The question becomes, are general education teachers more prepared now? Some say it’s because their education and practicums have been limited. Often, they only receive an overview course on special education. General education teachers aren’t being provided the skills and knowledge needed, to no fault of their own. Regrettably, that’s just the way it’s been.

As I go into schools for assistive technology assessments, I see many types of class setups: Co-Taught, paraprofessional, and push-in or pull-out services. Many are wonderfully inclusive learning environments, while others have been less than stellar. I don’t fault the teachers; they are doing the best they can with what they know.

General education teachers want to provide the best learning environment for all their students but may need guidance, resources, or training.

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