A Case Against Inclusion?

Earlier I had an idea for a piece of writing which I think I need to leave to brew a bit, but which I think it’s worth jotting down here. I grew up in a special school. Of course, a lot has been said for the case for inclusion: educating all children together, regardless of ability, has massive social and educational benefits. I’m not questioning that; yet it occurs to me that, had I not gone to the school I did, had I not been educated alongside my disabled classmates, would I be the person I am today? To put that another way, if I had been mainstreamed and kept separate from other disabled children, would I be as open to other people with disabilities as I am now? Would I still have had so many disabled friends, or would I have tended to shun other disabled people? Indeed, would I ever have gone out with Lyn, had I not had the experiences I acquired through school? I’m not sure I would have, so perhaps the case could be made that special school, academically flawed though it may have been, made me who I am. I cherish my friendships with my school mates, and especially with Lyn; I feel extremely fortunate to have known them all. In a way you could say that going to a special school forged my identity, my worldview, as a disabled man. Where, however, does that put the case for inclusion?

I think these questions are worth exploring at some length.

2 thoughts on “A Case Against Inclusion?

  1. To save you some time, ABT Associates have recently published thorough, international research which concludes, “In this report we have reviewed evidence from more than 280 research studies conducted in 25 countries. We find consistent evidence that inclusive educational settings—those in
    which children with disabilities are educated alongside their non-disabled peers—can confer
    substantial short- and long-term benefits for children’s cognitive and social development.
    This issue has been studied in many ways with many different populations of students. The
    magnitude of the benefits of inclusive education may vary from one study to another, but
    the overwhelming majority either report significant benefits for students who are educated
    alongside their non-disabled peers or, at worst, show no differences between included and
    non-included students.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As I wrote in my blog entry, I’m net questioning the benefits of inclusive education one iota. I’m just wondering if my worldview as a disabled man would have been different had I not attended a special school. I learned certain things there which just couldn’t be taught anywhere else.


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