According to MacKay (2006), inclusion entails the thoughts and acts which allow individuals to have the feeling of being secure, accepted, and valued. It means that any community or system considered as inclusive must show commitment to the improvement of the wellbeing of all its members. The research shows that even though the concept is common in many nations, it still generates controversies among the scholars and across nations. Any country cannot structure its education system to cater for a single aspect while ignoring other education goals such as the need to ensure competency. There is a need to deal with such controversies to ensure equality in the education system that has necessitated this study. This paper will analyze the various articles examining some of these controversial issues.
In The Social Inclusion of Learners with Visual Impairment in a Mainstream Secondary School in Namibia, Lizl Human hypothesizes that the majority of the learners with disabilities in any education setting, which is inclusive, are isolated socially. This study was necessary since it sought to show explicitly how learners who have visual impairment socially experience their inclusion within the mainstream secondary schools of Namibia. Thus, it helped in determining the ways in which the visually impaired individuals can be included socially within the mainstream setting. The study found out that the able bodied learners and those with disabilities can never truly mix. Irrespective of this fact, it was established that the learners who have various forms of disabilities are normally contented and prefer being in the mainstream school (Human, 2010).
This article has helped in shedding more light on the controversy of whether the visually impaired can become socially integrated when included in the mainstream educational set up. Personally, it has helped me learn the importance of visual information in refining and enabling the learners to gain the necessary social skills. Since there was little information about the inclusion of the visually impaired individuals in the mainstream education in Namibia, many countries are still lagging behind and can, thus, benefit from the study findings. Moreover, the research was conducted in scientific manner with clear aims, problem statement, methodology, literature review, conclusion, and ethical consideration.
Inclusive Education and Classroom Practice in Secondary Education is a report by Meijer, who works with the European Agency for Development in Special Needs Education. The research was necessitated by the fact that the project that had been conducted by the European Agency had limited itself to the examination of the education at the primary level. This project aimed at revealing, analyzing, describing, and disseminating information on the kind of practices involved in classrooms guided by inclusive policies at the secondary level. Thus, it revealed the ways in which the teachers from the European world can realize the full implementation of the practices of inclusiveness in education.
The study conducted an extensive literature review at both the national and international levels, thus, coming up with reliable findings. It succeeded in identifying some of the best practices involved in inclusive education in the countries studies. It also showed the need for exchange programs among different countries. The study considered 12 countries and was successful in presenting a great level of variation. By looking at the countries independently, it helped to settle the controversy on whether such independent studies would yield dependable results (Meijer, 2004).
Having considered 12 countries, the report includes relevant data that can be used by those interested in the ways of successfully implementing inclusive programs in the classrooms at the secondary level. The study successfully utilized various case studies in answering its questions. It was also enhanced with the findings of visits to various locations where the implementation of inclusive education is practiced. It led to a proper understanding of why, what, and how the inclusion practice can be attained. Personally, I learned about what is needed for mainstream schools to be able to meet the needs of those with special cases.
Inclusion and Education in Education Countries is majorly a report that was compiled by George Muskens after the collection of data by a group of researchers who were commissioned by the Directorate General for Education and Culture in the European Commission. The research focused on establishing the practice of social inclusion and education in ten member states’ of the EU. Some of these countries were France, Germany and Italy. It helped the controversial issue to find any international and national indicators which could be used to compare social inclusion or exclusion in the education. The team came up with five major issues which were used to analyze the level of inclusion in each of the considered countries. These include: reduction of the number of those dropping out of school at an early age, the priorities in the education policies, inclusive education and safe education as well as the teachers’ support measures.
This research was reliable since it was conducted entirely by expert researchers drawn from both the European research’s policy and academic-oriented branches. Moreover, the indicators, the policy documents, the national reports, and international statistics that were used were very reliable and relevant to the topic of research. The study has made it clear that it is not possible for a country to attain a fully inclusive education system since there are other functions that must be adopted by any education system. Such functions relates to capacity, competency, future position allocation, and knowledge. It is true since there is always a continuous replacement of pupils throughout their education career. Thus, countries do not support any single structure in their education after lower secondary education level (Muskens, 2009).
Education and Exclusion and Inclusion Policy and Implementation in South Africa and India isa research conducted by experts originating from various organizations in India, UK, and South Africa. The article presents the findings on the controversial issue of the reasons for the persistence of such aspects of inequality as gender, race, ethnicity, class and caste even in the nations which are committed to implementing inclusion policies. The research was in line with the initial debate and agreements reached by various governments which took place in Dakar in the year 2000. Exposing the fact that there are still inequalities in India and South Africa was not just a wakeup call to the two countries but even to the other countries in which such aspects of educational inequality were still evidenced.
The study took two years and thus, was successful in its review of the policies guiding education in the two countries. The study is also helpful to those in charge of the making of policies; it can help in ensuring that such policies are in line with inclusion practices. The study identified four aspects of exclusion that are still used as indicators in subsequent studies on the topic. These included access curriculum, participation and governance, and finally the identity which is majorly other people’s perception of the value and worth of children (Sayed, 2007).
The study led to a number of findings which are useful to any country committed to promoting inclusion in its education system. The key steps identified include enhancing access to education, developing inclusive policies, promotion of inclusive learning and teaching, and finally creating inclusive governance processes and structure. Moreover, the research presented new implications which are useful for the other partners aiming at working together with governments in promoting their development. Finally, the study clearly identified the areas that require further research thus giving direction for future studies.
Inclusive Education: A Review of Programming and Services in New Brunswick basically represents the MacKay Report on the state of New Brunswick’s inclusive education. It explains the difference between inclusion and academic excellence and highlights the common misconceptions about inclusive education. The report is significant since it tests and recommends a number of recommendations on significant alternative methods of delivering various educational services. I personally learned that it is important to challenge the disabled students to ensure that they achieve high standards even if they are being nurtured and cared for (Wayne, 2006).
The report is also reliable since the study ensured the participation of all the stakeholders in education. The study also considered consulting a total of 900 individuals; a population large enough to give a true representation of the area of study. I also agree with its recommendation of the need for changed based on the fact that maintaining the status quo can never help transform the education system. Thus, embracing of inclusion itself is not enough; countries must go past that to implement its practices. The study also warns that any failure to pay for good education now will have to compensate for the same in the future in terms of the justice system, lost potential, and the provision of welfare programs.
In conclusion, the study has insights which are useful in settling a number of controversial issues concerning various inclusions and mainstreaming programs underway in public schools. Academically, I have been able to find answers to various controversial issues regarding why exclusiveness persists even in countries which are committed to the implementation of inclusive practices. Personally, I have known the need to accept the disabled irrespective of their status. The study experience will also be of great significance to me as a future policy maker.