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    #242517 - 05/02/18 03:51 AM Re: Inclusion models - what works? [Re: aeh]
    Platypus101 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/01/14
    Posts: 665
    Loc: Canada
    Originally Posted By: aeh
    Once this number starts pushing 20% or more, one ought to ask the question of how adequate core instruction is.


    Ain't that the truth!

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    #242520 - 05/02/18 04:04 AM Re: Inclusion models - what works? [Re: Platypus101]
    Tigerle Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/14
    Posts: 601
    Loc: Europe
    Having kids on both ends of the spectrum (though my youngest child’s special needs at this point are primarily physical) I would also like to point out that a huge benefit of clustering and grouping (if not necessarily segregating) is the community support.

    I very much enjoyed his years in the spec ed preschool because there were so many parents and teachers that just got it. It is tough always having to be the one who fights and educates, and it was nice being able to profit from the cumulative experiences. I wouldn’t trade those years for anything. DS5 does very well being included in a regular preschool now, but I miss the support.

    However, in order to have a clear eyed view on this, I imagine not only must one view inclusion as only on value mong others, but one must have made their peace with being different, needing to parent, live, plan differently. I suspect that the case Aquinas has described is one in which this has not been possible for the parent. (I know a very prominent case just like it, too). Maybe growing up gifted and raising gifted kids, always feeling you are different and frequently feeling excluded because of it has made this easier. Maybe some of you think this isn’t a good thing in the first place?

    I also think that educational systems should not feel coerced by ideology not to run several models simultaneously. Larger districts can always offer more specialisation, smaller districts can offer only limited choice, with one choice being busing to the larger district/city/whatever or even boarding school. A more inclusive setting can then come with some trade offs, in that they not every school is required to be the educational equivalent of a maximum care hospital, and parents (and, with increasing age, kids) can choose. I meet a lot of teenagers with disabilities who have chosen a special ed setting for high school and/or job training after having been mainstreamed and say they are so happy they are not always the only person with issues („in this school, everyone’s got something and it’s so liberating!“).


    Edited by Tigerle (05/02/18 04:22 AM)

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    #242521 - 05/02/18 04:21 AM Re: Inclusion models - what works? [Re: Platypus101]
    Tigerle Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/14
    Posts: 601
    Loc: Europe
    Originally Posted By: Platypus101
    Originally Posted By: aeh
    Once this number starts pushing 20% or more, one ought to ask the question of how adequate core instruction is.


    Ain't that the truth!



    Finlands schools actually identify about 50% of students as needing special ed at some point from 1st to 9th grade. It appears to work very well because the general ed/content teacher or whatever they are called can focus on aiming instructions at the 3rd quartile, because they know that students who struggle temporarily or constantly will be taken care of and it’s Not. Their. Job. It appears to work quite well, looking at their PISA results.

    I also read that Finland does cluster, group and segregate at the lowest end of the spectrum. Which might go to show that here is another system that has decades of experience at managing a large range of diversity in a mostly inclusive and doing it well, but which has acknowledged the limits.

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    #242529 - 05/02/18 08:55 AM Re: Inclusion models - what works? [Re: spaghetti]
    Tigerle Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/14
    Posts: 601
    Loc: Europe
    Originally Posted By: spaghetti
    I always bring to mind when thinking of these things, a student I knew as an infant who had a birth anoxic injury and was quite bright but unable to walk or sit, or speak, or turn pages of a book.


    This is one of those cases that should IMO be a no brainer - a bright child who needed physical access, both to the building and to the mainstream curriculum, to succeed. Quite different to Aquinas‘ example of a child that 8s severely mentally disabled and no amount of physical support can change the fact that the child cannot understand the mainstream content offered to age peers.

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    #242530 - 05/02/18 09:36 AM Re: Inclusion models - what works? [Re: aquinas]
    Tigerle Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/14
    Posts: 601
    Loc: Europe
    Originally Posted By: aquinas

    She believes that her severely mentally handicapped son has the capacity to be a self-sufficient adult, despite ample evidence to the contrary, and has successfully advocated for his inclusion within the general ed population (albeit many years behind age) throughout his educational career, often with a full time aide and other specialized professionals. It is ludicrous to think that more than $75K/year has been directed to staff the shared delusion of a misguided parent and a cowed administration for over 12 years, when compassionate and appropriate care could have been provided for less than half the cost! .


    This is probably one of those cases where inclusion has prevailed as an ideological imperative rather than one value that needs to be weighed against other values. Though I disagree about the proposed solution because I hold this value dear as well:


    Originally Posted By: aquinas

    When I conducted a scan of the offerings at K-8 schools in our largest public school board, ALL mentioned inclusion and diversity as their primary objectives. Only three of about 40 even mentioned academic excellence among their operational imperatives. .


    It is a scandal - if academic excellence isn’t a value proposed by the school, is it even a school? An educational establishment? Or could it just as well provide compassionate and appropriate care?

    But if you believe in academic excellence in education, in offering every child a chance to maximise their academic potential, compassionate and appropriate care is not enough for anyone, not even the severely mentally handicapped. Maximising academic potential in this case could mean being able to read simple words, so they can read street signs, make sense of a bus schedule, recognise danger signals and gauge the importance of written communication even though they have to ask someone for help in understanding it. The question should bem in which educational setting might this happen best?

    If one were to recognise both values, inclusiveness and academic excellence, one could also see the weighing shift according to the age level. 3-6 is where social learning has much greater weight than academic learning and where full inclusion can prevail, high school is when academic learning needs to be the priority in a conflict between those values. Elementary level might go one way, middle school level another.

    But educators and others who insist on inclusion for social without even acknowledging that academic concerns might exist scare me.

    Originally Posted By: aquinas

    Originally Posted By: platypus
    We play very well to the middle.


    I respectfully disagree, given provincial PISA score trends in Canada. We play to the second quartile and aspire to the median.


    Can you elaborate in that? In an international context, Canada appears to successfully play at least to the third quartile (from the bottom), if not the top. Am I misunderstanding the metaphores here?


    Edited by Tigerle (05/02/18 09:40 AM)

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    #242532 - 05/02/18 10:29 AM Re: Inclusion models - what works? [Re: Tigerle]
    chay Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/07/13
    Posts: 447
    Loc: Canada
    Originally Posted By: Tigerle
    This is one of those cases that should IMO be a no brainer - a bright child who needed physical access, both to the building and to the mainstream curriculum, to succeed. Quite different to Aquinas‘ example of a child that 8s severely mentally disabled and no amount of physical support can change the fact that the child cannot understand the mainstream content offered to age peers.
    I think this is at the root of the issue with the implementation of inclusive education where I live. There is no recognition that there are differences between those two examples and any attempt at questioning whether that is truly what is best for a special education student lumps both into a one-size fits all bucket. I think the points about it becoming an ideology are also dead on. The goal has become full inclusion for pretty much everyone but the most extreme outliers.

    I think what really needs to happen is to really think about what inclusion actually means. As stated above, part of the problem is that schools did such a horrible job implementing special education programs in the past that were essentially dumping grounds. When you're coming from that as the alternative, then even poorly executed inclusion is seen as an improvement. However, when you think about what could/should be done for some groups we could do more (and often more efficiently). As some have pointed out above, is inclusion really the best thing for the child when it means that they are occupying the same physical room but have academic needs so divergent from any other person in the room that they are effectively a class of 1 within that room that a teacher much provide curriculum for? How is it possible for each and every teacher in the system to be trained and passionate about dealing with every possible exceptionality and provide appropriate remediation and/or curriculum? Back in grade two, the non-verbal child with ASD and my PG child were both not getting much at their level as they listened to one teacher. Yet to even suggest streaming or clustering is deemed elitist or even as discrimination.

    To go even further inclusion here is being in a classroom full time with kids born in the same calendar year. No child is ever held back and acceleration is essentially impossible.

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    #242534 - 05/02/18 12:07 PM Re: Inclusion models - what works? [Re: Platypus101]
    aquinas Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 2277
    Tigerle, very interested to respond to your thoughtful posts. Reply forthcoming!
    _________________________
    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

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    #242535 - 05/02/18 12:11 PM Re: Inclusion models - what works? [Re: Platypus101]
    aquinas Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 2277
    Originally Posted By: Tigerle
    Can you elaborate in that? In an international context, Canada appears to successfully play at least to the third quartile (from the bottom), if not the top. Am I misunderstanding the metaphores here?


    Just a quick reply because it's a glib answer!

    In my province, more than half of grade 6 students don't meet provincial standards for math, which are purportedly the standards required for promotion from one grade to the next, despite being above-average on PISA. I was missing "vs" in my post. It should have read "provincial vs. PISA" scores.
    _________________________
    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

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    #242546 - 05/03/18 04:34 AM Re: Inclusion models - what works? [Re: Tigerle]
    Platypus101 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/01/14
    Posts: 665
    Loc: Canada
    Originally Posted By: Tigerle
    I meet a lot of teenagers with disabilities who have chosen a special ed setting for high school and/or job training after having been mainstreamed and say they are so happy they are not always the only person with issues („in this school, everyone’s got something and it’s so liberating!“).


    This is a really important point. Our district has two high schools that provide vocational programming. Last year, the board decided they needed to save those kids from the horror of exclusion and re-integrate them into the regular high school system. Each high school would add a course or two designed to meet the needs of "those kids" (ahem). The kids themselves raised holy cain, for exactly the kinds of reasons you quote above. Many of them described (hmmmm.... just like our gifted kids do when they finally get into a gifted classroom) feeling for the first time in their life like they belonged, like they weren't freaks or defective, and that they were actually both learning and discovering they were capable of working hard and succeeding. Under no circumstances did they want to go back to being "included" in their community.

    Board staff kept calling it "segregation", with all the happy connotation of that word. But the kids called it choice and belonging and success.

    I believe our system is convinced that if we don't label anyone, then no one will be labelled. But our kids are labelled, by others and by themselves, when they don't fit in, when they can't do the work others are doing, when they struggle to be like the others and fail. And those labels tend to be pretty awful. We need to ask the kids, and listen to them - because it seems to be the parents who are terrified of the labels, not them. Most of the kids I've heard speak embrace their labels, because they help them access an environment designed to enable them to be successful.

    ETA: And that's another throw-back to the even worse old days - - - when a label got you dumped in a back room and written off. There are reasons parents are terrified of labels, and their own educational experiences are high among them. I spend a lot of my time trying to convince scared parents that an LD label is a wonderful thing, as long as it is being used to help your child, not give up on them.


    Edited by Platypus101 (05/03/18 04:42 AM)

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    #242547 - 05/03/18 06:03 AM Re: Inclusion models - what works? [Re: aquinas]
    Platypus101 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/01/14
    Posts: 665
    Loc: Canada
    Random bit of data from PISA, looking specifically at how immigrant students do in various countries: "immigrant children in some OECD countries lag more than two years behind their native counterparts in school performance". OECD concludes (my emphasis): "In some countries, such as Canada and Australia, immigrant children perform as well as their native counterparts. But in other countries, notably those with highly tracked education systems, they do substantially less well."

    PISA reports consistently note that tracking is bad for kids - but look at what tracking means: "They tend to be directed to schools with lower performance expectations, often characterised by disadvantaged student intakes and, in some countries, disruptive class-room conditions. In all but four countries under review, at least 25% of second-generation immigrant children attend schools where immigrants make up more than 50% of the roll-call."

    Which goes back to - the problem isn't the grouping, it's what we do to kids once they are grouped.

    http://www.oecd.org/general/oecdeducationsystemsleavemanyimmigrantchildrenflounderingreportshows.htm

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