Inclusion is the process of allowing all children the opportunity to fully participate in regular classroom activities regardless of disability, race, or other characteristics (Inclusion, 2004). Integration on the other hand is the “incorporation of disparate ethnic or religious elements of the population into a unified society, providing equality of opportunity for all members of that society” (Integration, 2004). The basic philosophy behind inclusion and integration is the bringing together of students with different characteristics or attributes into a shared educational setting.
Inclusion and integration can benefit children and youths with special needs and those who do not have special needs. The most common types of special needs students are those that are physically or mentally handicapped, students of colors, and gifted students. A special need student is likely to benefit from inclusion and integration since it can develop his or her educational, emotional, social, and communication skills because of increased interaction with peers, both with other special need students and with regular students.
Special needs students will feel the sense of belongingness since they are able to interact, make friends, and do the same activities done by regular students. Students who do not have special needs can also benefit from inclusion and integration. Regular students can learn to understand individual differences, that every person has is own strengths and weaknesses. It can also teach regular students to develop their compassion and tolerance to other students.
The benefits of inclusion and integration need to be recognized not only by teachers and parents but by the whole community as well. The support of the parents and community is essential for inclusion and integration to be successful. It is also important for educators to have an extensive training and experience to had better understand the individual needs and abilities of each type of students.
Inclusion (2004). Encarta reference library 2004. Microsoft Corporation Integration (2004). Encarta reference library 2004. Microsoft Corporationa