Making School Inclusion Work: A Guide to Everyday Practices

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Katie Blenk, founder and head of Boston's Kids are People School, and Doris Fine, a physical therapist, tell the reader how to conduct a "truly inclusive" school program that educates a diverse student body together, regardless of students' ethnic or racial background, economic level, or the presence of disabilities. They tell how they include children with mild and serious special needs, how they program to meet those needs and how they ensure full participation by all. Most of all, they tell of the excitement of seeing these students with special needs learn and manage successfully - far beyond what experts had predicted for them - within classes of diverse typical students. The staff works to make the spaces and the programs accessible to all, while the typical students support their classmates and come to appreciate their contributions. The children talk with enjoyment about each other and the school; teachers talk of the challenges and their personal growth and pleasures; parents of typical and special needs children talk of the positive experience for themselves and their children of being involved in this inclusive school program.

The authors indicate what they mean by true inclusion, what inclusion is not, and who should not be conducting an inclusive program. It is not simply including a token child or two with special needs in a class. In story time, if the child is in a wheelchair and everyone else is sitting on the floor, the child is not truly included! Each child must be involved in the programming and learning.

The excitement and the challenge in true inclusion demands involvement, imagination and dedication to ensure its goals. The book is peppered with suggestions for dealing with the myriad of challenges posed by the exacting goal of inclusion.

A helpful book, a fascinating read, for teacher and parent alike! Important because it addresses the "how to" of inclusion. It can help the teacher and administrator learn to think inclusion! There has been much rhetoric about the challenge but little about how to practically make it happen. These authors provide a guide!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780914797968
  • Publisher: Brookline Books, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/28/1994
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 254
  • Product dimensions: 7.01 (w) x 9.97 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction: The Making of an Inclusive Program 1
1 The Children: Who Are They? 5
2 Teaching to Inclusion: How Do You Do It? 17
3 When Inclusion Doesn't Work 28
4 The Staff: Who's Running This Show? 41
5 Curriculum and Materials: Playdough is Playdough 69
6 Accessibility: How Do I Get Around In Here? 94
7 Evaluation: To Label Or Not To Label? 100
8 Specialists: How Do They Fit In? 114
9 Parents, Children and Staff Speak: Telling Their Own Story 155
10 Summary: Where Do We Go From Here? 187
References 203
App. 1. From Segregation to Inclusion: A Brief History of Special Education and Inclusion 204
App. 2. Glossary 228
App. 3. Sample Evaluation Checklist: Daily Living Skills 237
App. 4. Resources for the Classroom 243
Index 250
About the Authors 254
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