Integrative Education is defined as education that promotes learning and teaching in non-fragmented ways that embrace notions of holism, complexity and interconnection. Further more, integrative education embraces the links rather than the divisions between academic disciplines for example arts and sciences and between various subject and object epistemologies and methods of inquiry. When a child with special needs is included in a regular school all the people involved have something to gain. Parents are glad to see their children learning and playing with peers.
Children with and without disabilities learn with and from each other in inclusive classes. When children attend classes that reflect the similarities and difference of people, in the real world, they learn to appreciate diversity. Inclusion is about providing the help children need to learn and participate in meaningful ways. Sometimes, the help received from friends or teachers work best. Other times, specially designed material or technology can help. The key is to give only as much help as needed.
An inclusive school is that kind of school which attempts to respond to all pupils as individual by reconsidering and restructuring its curricular organization. The integration can be different types; we can talk about a physical one, a functional integration, social and societal one. If a school wants to be an inclusive school it needs to pass a serious process. The teachers need to be prepared to teach children with special needs and they need help from the specialists, from the colleagues and from the whole community. (Clark, 1986)
The responsive learning environment is highly structured and presents a complex learning organization to the student. This environment has the ability to meet all learners at their present level of cognitive, socio-emotional, physical and intuitive development and to help them more from that point. Integrative education demands forms of learning that are accessible to all children. As children learn best by doing there has been a shift from teaching to learning and here to more open and autonomous forms. The children will learn through playing with one another and begin to cooperate.
Gradually, this leads to independent and target oriented learning. In integrative classrooms children differ widely as regards their personal development, their general knowledge as well as their learning capability. These differences are taken into account and make the basis for differing learning opportunities and requirements. This reduces stress and makes successful learning possible. Schools experiments have shown that up to four disabled children can be successfully integrated into a class of about twenty children. (Clark, 1986) Most of the educational reforms have been very useful.
In Chicago public schools students are expected to learn to understand, speak, read and write English fluently, completely and proficiently in order to succeed academically and participate actively in the united state social, economic and political environment. Three goals identify the elements of the English language students must posses to succeed. (i) They should use English to achieve in all academic areas and settings. (ii) Use English for all social and personal purposes and (iii) Tailor the English language for various and specific purposes and uses.
Long before children over pick up their first books, before they read a sentence or hold their pens to paper, teachers are at work, developing their charges: – Literacy skills. In many schools across the country, Kindergarten has become an important building block for literacy, a place reading skills that put students in good stead for learning unless those children don’t speak English. (Chicago Public Schools, 1999)) Often people have assumed that schools should wait to teach English as second language (ESL) students before working on their reading skills.
However, a study of a sample of ESL students from diverse linguistic and social backgrounds shows that just the opposite is true. Tracking nearly 1000 native and ESL students from kindergartens to grade two in English only school system in Canada; Lessux assessed the development of students’ reading skills at each stage of their learning. What was found was that, by the end of grade two, the ESL children had attained reading skills that were similar and in some cases better than those of their native English-speaking peers. The study was conducted in a unique school system that screens all children for reading difficulties.
Bilingualism need not be a liability. With effective instruction, it can actually be a distinct advantage (Chicago Public Schools, 1999). Debates about the state of US public schools related up with the passage of the elementary and secondary education Act of 2001, better known as No Child Left Behind. The measure assesses every school’s performance through standardized testing of pupils in grades 3 through 8 and requires that alternative be provided for students in schools judged inadequate. There is need to improve public schools.
There are a few dissenters who believe that schools are doing just fine and that calls for reform are part of a right thing conspiracy. But the conspiracy it turns out includes virtually everyone in a position of knowledge or public responsibility. The broad consensus among our policy makers; democrats and republican, liberal and conservative. From all corners of the country is that public schools are not delivering the goods. (Tyack, 2003) The reform process has never ended because the reforms have typically led to a disappointment and to constant demands for still more reforms.
Schools that fail to make sufficient progress should receive special assistance. Students should not be forced to attend persistently failing schools and they must at some point be freed to attend adequate schools. Under this plan disadvantaged students are not required to sacrifice their education and future for the sake of preserving the status quo. Accountability for student performance must be accompanied by local control and flexibility. If schools are to be held to high standards, they must have the freedom to meet those standards.
(Howard, 2007) I moved from a public school to a private school in third grade because the education was not up to the required standards. I was not performing well but my grades improved tremendously once I moved. Although some argue that its too early to pass judgment, recent evidence suggest that the bill has fallen short of its high goals, leaving parents, educators and legislators discontented. Three major studies released in November reported persistent achievement gaps between students of different racial, geographical and socioeconomic backgrounds.
According to Northwest evaluation Association, an Oregon non-profit testing organization that studied the results of 500,000 reading and maths tests administered in 24 states between 2004 and 2005, pupils attending poor schools achieved less growth than those attending rich schools for each group ate every grade level. It found some variance between students of color and white students. (Naguera, 2003) There are clear disparities in education. A new study that exposes an obesity crisis among Americans children also highlights the most alarming weakness in the costly new bipartisan education bill making its way through Congress.
No one would suggest that out public schools should take responsibility for reforming the eating and exercise habits of today’s young people. Educators face challenges enough in simply teaching America’s children how to read. The worrisome racial distribution of overweight kids suggests the destructive folly at the heart of current efforts at education reform and other federal policies that insist on eliminating all performance gaps among various ethnic groups. (Pai, Adler, 2005)
Social scientists agree that races are socially constructed in loose relation to perceived phenotypical differences among humans. Ethnicity relates to national ancestry and signifies the cultural, linguistic and historical differences among groups. Key aspects of ethnicity are the beliefs on the part of people who identify with an ethnic group. They believe they descend from common ancestors, share a common culture, and choose to identify with that ethnic group (Waters 1990).
The US government extends special educational privileges to most Cuban American children because of their status as political refugees from a communist state. Haitians, however, are defined as economic refugees and thus do not enjoy these privileges. (Schmidt, 2001: Van Hock, 2002). Racial self-identity has two complementary aspects; how others identify a person’s race and how the person constructs her or his own racial identity, in part as a reaction to other’s behavior. Both aspects are relevant to racial discrimination in education.
The task of describing radial disparities is fairly straight forward. Determining when they are caused by racial discrimination is far more complex. Under Jim Craw education, disparities in opportunities to learn and in outcome were caused by official racial discrimination against Native Americans and in some states Asians and Latinos. (Anyon, 1991) During the past four decades, racial inequality in educational outcomes has declined. Even if racial discrimination in education were to be moderated, a racial gap still would exist because blacks (and most other minorities) are poorest than whites.
We cannot hold schools responsible for the racial and class disparities in school readiness that are evident as soon as kindergarten children walk through the classroom doors. The educational system is responsible, however, for the initial disparities by race that grow rather than diminish with each year children attended school. American school systems (almost 16,000) are highly stratified on the dimensions that are most related to student achievement. School organization is a key contributing factor to educational stratification. (Oakes, 2005)
Students who attend resource- poor schools are disproportionately members of minority groups. Given the system of public school financing which depends largely on property taxes and in view of racial segregation in public and private housing markets, it is not surprising to find racial (and class) differences in school financial resources and in the opportunities to learn that they purchase. The key here is that blacks and other minorities are less likely than whites to have equitable access to these critical resources both within and between school systems.
The racial discriminatory practices that generate and allocate resources inequitably to schools contribute to the racial gap in outcomes. (Pai, Adler 2005). I have observed that most children of color go to poor schools which are dilapidated. The original social science rationale for school desegregation rests largely on claims that desegregation improves black youth’s access to higher- quality education more often compared to whites. Almost five decades after the Epochal Brown V.
Board of Education (1994) decision, there is little argument about the positive long term effects of desegregation on minority student’s status attainment, racial attitudes and other life course indicators. Academic outcomes were better for blacks who attended desegregated schools. Until recently, questions remained about the positive short-term effects of desegregation on minority youth’s achievement. When schools employ practices that enhance equality of opportunity including the elimination of tracking and ability grouping, desegregation produces clear academic benefits for black students and does no harm to white students.
Others argue that students who have the opportunities to learn in school that are populated by students from different races and ethnicities can have an education that is superior to that of students who do not have this opportunity. (Mehan et al, 1996) However, judicial standards of evidence are often quite different from social science standards of evidence. Racially discriminatory practices by the schools boards generate resegregation.
These actions include drawing school boundaries in ways that maximize racial homogeneity in schools, siting of new schools in white suburbs rather than midway between black and white communities, permitting greater numbers of advanced placement courses to be offered in middle-class white schools, or allowing the better teachers uncontrolled freedom to move to schools with less challenging middle, class students. Therefore any race differences in outcomes that can be traced to resegregation – differential access to better teachers, safer schools, more vigorous academic climates are evidence of racial discrimination by a school system.
(Oakes, 2005) Students cannot learn what they are not taught, no matter how highly motivated and how capable they are. Numerous studies indicate that student in higher tracks-even less academically able ones learn more because they are exposed to broader curricula and better teaching. A critical component of the racial gap in achievement is the relative absence of black students in higher-level courses and their disproportionate enrollment in lower-level ones. Tracking and ability grouping begin very early in children’s schools careers and have consequences that follow students throughout the course of their education.
The effects of ability grouping and tracking are cumulative. Young students who possess similar social backgrounds and cognitive abilities but who learn in different tracks become more and more academically dissimilar each year they spend in school. Privileged parents use their superior financial resources, knowledge, and social networks to ensure that their children are placed into the top academic trajectories. That schools and school personnel respond favorably to exercises of these race and class advantages is part of the problems. (Oakes, 2005)
The relationship between desegregation and tracking is often discussed in terms of first and second generation. First generation segregation involves the racially correlated allocation of educational opportunities within schools and is accomplished by tracking. Tracking can undermine the potential benefits of policies such as busing which are designed to eliminate first generation segregation; some courts have ruled since 1967 that it is unconstitutional for schools districts to use tracking and grouping specifically to circumvent desegregation at the school level.