Rliberni's Blog – Radical language

August 29, 2010

Has Inclusion Been Effective? How Can We Tell?


8-24-2010 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST 


We are very gareful to Christopher Rogers (@MrR0g3rs) for this week’s #Edchat summary. It wasn’t the easiest of topics as not everyone involved in the discussion had had personal experience of this type of teaching. I think you’ll agree it’s a job well done! Thank you :-). Christopher is a regular and enthusiastic contributer to #edchat and passionate about education and the role that social media can play. See  his bio at the end of the post.

As inclusion programs are adopted around the world it is important for us as educators to pause and reflect upon their effectiveness. The effectiveness of inclusion programs depend greatly upon a wide range of different elements. Once again it is clear that strong school leadership is essential for success. An inclusion program must be consistent and pervasive across the district, which is an impossibility without strong school leadership. Inclusion must be just as much about philosophy as it is about pedagogy, again something only effective school leadership can create. Part of this philosophy must be an unwaivering commitment to differentiated professional development for educators so that they have the training they need to be effective. If inclusion programs are implemented haphazardly school districts risk not only robbing the inclusion student of a quality education, but all of the other students as well.

Here are some of the main themes from the discussion: 

  • There is some level of confusion about what inclusion actually is. Whether it is a matter of semantics, training or application, many of the people involved in this chat expressed confusion or disagreement about what inclusion means.
  • Like so many of the things we discuss, training and professional development were seen as of paramount importance. Some of the chat participants complained that they had not received proper training for a variety of reasons including lack of funds and lack of focus
  • For inclusion to be effective there has to be a pervasive policy that includes all school stakeholders.
  • We need to ensure that inclusion programs are not a detriment to other aspects of the class, including acceleration for gifted and talented students.

 Here is a selection of some of the comments: 

 @Aaron_Eyler: Effective inclusion is when you can’t tell who the “Inclusion teacher” is…. or the “inclusion students”

 @Parentella: What about students who are excelling, but can’t go farther because teachers teach down to them? Is that inclusion?

 @MZimmer557: sometimes inclusion classrooms might not include a certified. teacher but a CIA. is that still quality inclusion when a CIA is not “certified?”

 @Aaron_Eyler: Inclusion needs to be looked at as a continuum. More support for both excelling and struggling learners.

@Spyder0902: Effective inclusion programs must include a common planning time and true/authentic collaboration between Gen and Sp Educators.

 @4thGrdTeach: On paper I fully support inclusion, but without proper programs/support can be detrimental to rest of class

 @cybraryman1: Teachers need a lot of training if they have inclusion in their classrooms. Can’t just put these students in mainstream without it.

 @ShellTerrell: Do most inclusion programs prepare teachers adequately for the diversity of their learners’ skills? 

 @rickweinberg: @tomwhitby I will be honest. As a parent, my wife has questioned if my daughter will feel different if she is in an inclusion class.

 @skipvia: This is another “shoehorn” solution–mandating inclusion without thinking about the overall structure of instruction.

 @baldy7: ok, but we need to remove the cold, clinical, terms in our work with kids. It is the first steps to changing the culture.

 @thenewtag: It isn’t right, but when inclusion is forced on teachers who don’t buy in, the kids lose – ALL of the kids lose.

@NSRiazat: My experience has shown that sometimes some pupils don’t buy into it….even though it is there to support.

 @malcolmbellamy: it is about finding every child’s potential: we can do real harm if we treat children as unable or believe that they are.

 @MissCheska: @smapplegate Good perspective on remediation; it seems to have negative connotation for students. How to turn around?

 @W3iGHTLESS: Inclusion = philosophy not action it doesn’t mean ALL or nothing- it means what is best for the stdt to get the most of his/her ed.

 @ImagineLearning: I’ve observed programs focus on students who R closest 2 passing standards. Students far behind or ahead get less attention. 

@olafelch: @shyj I don’t know. My point was really that genuine conviction is equally (or more) important than training.

 @ thenewtag: @michellek107 We’ agree re: what SHOULD Be required. But reality is it’s not, so as a parent, I want my kid w/tchr who WANTS my kid! 

To follow the complete discussion see here 

For the stats on #edchat participation see here 

 As ever, there were some great links shared:

malcolmbellamy: see Seymour Papert’s discussion about bored children being labelled S.N. http://vimeo.com/9106174

1TEACHER4edu: 14 ways to get to know your students #edchat #k12 https://docs.google.com/present/view?id=dhn2vcv5_650dvtj3dgk

shamblesguru:  List of #edchat s on #shambles http://www.shambles.net/pages/learning/infolit/tagging  what’s missing? #ukedchat #ntedchat #edtech

FrankinPA:  @ShellTerrell Here’s a link describing the NEST program. #edchat http://ow.ly/2u4BE

eshwaranv:  An interesting article on inclusion in classroom: http://bit.ly/9NSlIl

courosa:  Resource for the #edchat ‘ers today – ‘In My Own Language’ http://is.gd/eB1Ix  Read the description, watch the entire vid.

diferitdaregal:  Related to inclusion of students with SEN I need more parteners for comenius from #Germany #Spain #U.K More http://bit.ly/aLrX6b  #edchat

graphskill:  The #edchat Daily is out – read this Twitter newspaper on http://paper.li/tag/edchat  (247 contributions today)

butwait:  @rhianna @hacool Have y’all seen @cybraryman1 ‘s awesome list of edu-related chats? It’s here: http://bit.ly/educhats  #smchat #edchat

@joe_bower:  The Answer Sheet – How ed reformers push the wrong theory of learning http://bit.ly/9U0uYh

cybraryman1:  My Assistive Technology page: http://bit.ly/cLsURs

cybraryman1:  Scaffolding page: http://bit.ly/cfuptl Differentiated Instruction: http://bit.ly/bOWv96

LesLinks:  Interesting news about Khan Academy and Bill Gates http://tinyurl.com/23bgnhu

malcolmbellamy:  for a really excellent example of a brilliant teacher in a truly integrated class see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olUn4Si22Sg

ImagineLearning:  @adihrespati here is a case study of one of our inclusion students using technology to close the gap http://bit.ly/dgkClj

DaleHolt:  is this your definition? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inclusion

DUMACORNELLUCIA:   Project ,, Different, but equal ” partenership and collaboration between SEN students around the world http://bit.ly/9uBoZE

CoachGinsburg:  A practical and EFFECTIVE approach toward differentiating: http://bit.ly/cWco85

DUMACORNELLUCIA:  Contact me luciane_twining@yahoo.com if you want to join a comenius project for SEN students http://bit.ly/9uBoZE

Intel Reader adds a Portable, Accessible Reading Tool to a High School Committed to Learning Disabled Kids http://bit.ly/cOaGyv

elanaleoni:  Hey all – I discovered a pretty in-depth discussion about inclusion: http://bit.ly/ah7gKw

CoachGinsburg:  Heterogeneous groups are great for meeting diverse needs–provided you strategically assign them. http://bit.ly/9Cyky6

diferitdaregal:  Comenius project ,, Different, but equal ” fight again discrimination of SEN students #senchat #edchat http://bit.ly/aLrX6b

web20education:  The pln community for project for teachers begin to grow you still can join free #edtech20 #edchat http://bit.ly/9y8HTO

PAitken:  Are the summer holidays detrimental to student achievement/learning? http://bit.ly/abRpgP

coopsjd:  What makes kids do good work? http://bit.ly/d2RbMi

DUMACORNELLUCIA: Facebook group for inclusion of SEN students http://bit.ly/9FLro9

(#edchat topics seem to be getting a bit more jargon-y. IYO does this inhibit participation/learning?)

Christopher Rogers is a Language Arts and Theatre teacher in Morrisville, NY. He is also the technology coordinator/integration specialist for his district. Since beginning his education blog, EdTechSwami a little over a year ago he has become very involved in the social media teacher’s movement happening all over the world. Find him on Twitter, @MrR0g3rs.

New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 1,000 educators participate in this discussion by just adding #edchat to their tweets. For tips on participating in the discussion, please check out these posts!

More Edchat


If you’re new to hashtag discussions, then just show up on Twitter on any Tuesday and add just a few tweets on the topic with the hashtag #edchat. 

What do you think? Leave a comment!



  1. […] post by rliberni var addthis_language = 'en'; Filed under 19681 ← Education, Education – […]

    Pingback by Has Inclusion Been Effective? How Can We Tell? | Γονείς σε Δράση — August 29, 2010 @ 8:31 pm | Reply

  2. I’m so disappointed I missed this chat! I can tell inclusion works, because last year, I had a classroom full of compassionate students. I also know that true inclusion is still a work in progress, and there needs to be all sorts of supports in order for inclusion to work. It must not be seen as an easy way to cut the special education budget.

    Comment by David Fleming — August 29, 2010 @ 9:13 pm | Reply

    • Thank you for your comment David. It’s a pity you couldn’t make it as I’m sure your experience would have been a valuable part of the discussion. Thank you for contributing here, I’m sure it is a topic that we will re-visit in the future.

      Comment by rliberni — August 29, 2010 @ 9:35 pm | Reply

  3. Unfortunately I also missed this #edchat but I’m glad the summaries are posted in such detail with such a rich variety of links shared by participants.Thanks very much for all this.

    This indeed is a topic which can be quite daunting for teachers, especially when not enough support is provided for them.

    I agree, inclusion is an ongoing process, one which involves parents, teachers, schools, the other classmates and their parents and the SEN child him or herself. It´s a rich topic which is a weave of practical issues with an underlying emotional fabric to it.

    Thanks for bringing the topic up through #edchat.

    Comment by Valeria Franca — August 31, 2010 @ 1:36 am | Reply

    • Hi Valeria and thank you for your comments on our blog we have some wonderful guest blogs from #edchat participants which give a really rounded view of the discussions and edchat in general.
      Inclusion is certainly an area for further discussion and quite often it is from sharing ideas and best practice that we learn improve and develop ways of dealing with things ‘on the ground’ – #edchat is an ideal way of doing this as we have a really global reach.

      I hope to see you at #edchat soon 🙂

      Comment by rliberni — August 31, 2010 @ 7:30 am | Reply

  4. Since inclusion has been introduced to the high school that I teach at, we have had higher discipline problems and dropout rates. Our grades have dropped and apathy has moved in.

    Comment by Nick — July 18, 2011 @ 3:54 pm | Reply

    • Hi Nick, thank you for your comment and sorry to hear that this has been your experience. I don’t have direct experience of this as I am not a teacher in mainstream school. It would be good to see if there have been any changes in opinion since this post was first published. It is a summary of an #edchat discussion on twitter. You could post a tweet about your experience there and see how other people feel.

      Comment by rliberni — July 18, 2011 @ 4:57 pm | Reply

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