This is an excellent overview of the so-called "inclusion" programs.
Only time will tell if they work or not, and probably another fad
will come along to derail this effort before it can be assessed on
That said, there is one question that seems at the heart of the art
education role, and that is of support.
Maybe the list could weigh in on:
Inclusion in your class- Y/N
How Long - More than/Less than two years
Personnel support for different learning styles (e.g. aides) Y/N
Art disproportionately involved with inclusion i.e.
More than a few students Y/N
Students need more help than those in "general ed" Y/N
Art could be described as a "dumping ground" for
students others do not want to work with - Y/N
Art seen by administration and teachers as "therapy" for students,
rather than as a course of study - Y/N
I have enough training to teach an inclusion classroom - Y/N
I am getting additional training - Y/N
When I started to teach in the very early 1970s I asked for special
education students to be included in my classroom. I got three, and
they did well. Other students helped them out. BUT teachers in my
school were angry because they were afraid that I was setting a
standard of inclusion they didn't want to meet. My tiny inclusion
program was stopped.
I think that under the right circumstances inclusion is a great idea,
but are conditions in today's schools optimum? Are violent and
dangerous students included in the idea of "inclusion?"
Do we have cooperation from administration, counselors, and classroom
and special ed teachers to help us understand the needs of the
students placed in our classes. If they learn differently, what is
The list of goals are important, if they are not restrictive or
prescriptive. In fact, goals help all of us keep on track with
projects WE have! ("I have a little list" of my goals beside my
It isn't a question of should we do it, it is CAN we do it, and do it
right for all the students in our classrooms. If not, what do we need
to make it work?