In the age of equality and openness, the topic of inclusion remains one of the most urgent in the context of education. This annotated bibliography includes the sources most relevant to the topic of inclusion in education. All sources come from peer-reviewed journals that were published between 2000 and 2012. The goal of the annotated bibliography is to create a comprehensive picture of the present-day research on inclusion, its role, methods, approaches, and benefits in education.
Keywords: education, inclusion, inclusive education, students, teachers.
1. Campbell, J., Gilmore, L. & Cuskelly, M. (2003). Changing student teachers’ attitudes towards disability and inclusion. Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability, 28(4), 369-379.
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The study was conducted in Australia, and its primary goal was to understand how student teachers’ beliefs about disability and inclusion could be successfully modified with the help of blended university programs. The latter included formal instructional methods and experiential learning. The researchers tried to understand whether requiring student teachers to analyze disability in depth would result in better attitudes towards inclusive education in general. The sample included 274 preservice education students from one Australian university. The results showed that better knowledge of one particular area of disability led to the development of better attitudes towards disability in general and inclusive education. The results of the study can be used by educational institutions preparing teachers and education professionals.
2. Cook, T., Swain, J. & French, S. (2001). Voices from segregated schooling: Towards an inclusive education. Disability & Society, 16(2), 293-310.
With the growing importance of inclusive education objectives, schools and other educational institutions reorganize their processes to become more inclusive. The authors of this study pursued three related aims: (1) to evaluate the way disabled people judged their segregated schooling experiences; (2) to explore pupils’ attitudes towards the closure of their school; and (3) to examine the way adults and students with disabilities contributed to inclusive education changes in their community. The results of the study confirm the general opinion that children and adults’ experiences of segregation in schooling should be central to developing truly inclusive practices and positive changes in the entire system of education. The most essential is the conclusion that inclusion leads to the development of belonging attitudes and perceptions among students with and without disabilities, which further supports the importance of inclusive practices in general school settings.
3. Ferguson, D. L. (2008). International trends in inclusive education: The continuing challenge to teach each one and everyone. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 23(2), 109-120.
According to Ferguson (2008), the history of inclusion in education can be traced back to the beginning of the 1980s. Today’s schools are facing many challenges beyond inclusion, including new technologies and globalization. Yet, the most urgent challenge is still how to make education and learning practices available to “everybody, everywhere, all the time”. The author of this article reviews the current state of professional efforts made to face this challenge. The researcher traces the earliest developments in inclusive education and compares them to everything that is currently happening in education at the international level. Ferguson (2008) confirms that considerable progress has been made in providing students with disabilities with access to general education. The author also considers the main premises of inclusive education and the approaches used to achieve inclusion in general education. Ferguson (2008) concludes that international successes in inclusive education have been extremely uneven, and schools and education systems are still far away from achieving an ideal balance of quality education and inclusion for everyone. The results suggest that schools and other educational institutions must review the effectiveness of their inclusion practices for students with special needs.
4. Gilmore, L. A., Campbell, J. & Cuskelly, M. (2003). Developmental expectations, personality stereotypes, and attitudes towards inclusive education: Community and teacher views of Down syndrome. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 50(1), 65-76.
Millions of children with educational, cognitive, and physical disabilities are fated to spend their time at home instead of being full participants of the general education process. Despite the growing awareness of the inclusive education problem, few studies examined the way community awareness of disability impacts attitudes towards inclusion in education. This study was designed to expand the public understanding of the Down syndrome and community attitudes towards inclusion in general education. The sample included 2,053 Australian community members, mostly from South-East Queensland. The teacher sample also included 538 experienced education professionals. The results showed that professional teachers had much better knowledge of the Down syndrome than community members. However, both community members and professional teachers were extremely stereotypical in their perceptions of children with the Down syndrome. Moreover, most respondents considered segregated settings to be the most appropriate for such children. The results confirm the need to combat the existing disability stereotypes in order to enhance the acceptance of such children in general education settings.
5. Idol, L. (2006). Toward inclusion of special education students in general education: A program evaluation of eight schools. Remedial and Special Education, 27(2), 77-94.
Inclusive education is impossible without evaluating the way various programs contribute to inclusion in general education settings. In this study, the researcher sought to evaluate how four elementary and four secondary schools used their resources to provide special education services. The degree of inclusiveness in each school was determined based on the following definition: “inclusion means that the student with special education needs is attending the general school program, enrolled in age-appropriate classes 100% of the school day” (p.77). The researcher focused on students with disabilities and the extent to which they were engaged in general education classes. The rationale for the study was to see what exactly happened in schools, while educators were trying to shift towards full inclusion education services. The researcher found that educators had positive attitudes towards inclusion, although they frequently lacked principal support. Based on these findings, school principals should become more attentive to the barriers facing teachers on their way to inclusive education.
6. Lambe, J. (2007). Student teachers, special educational needs and inclusion education: Reviewing the potential for problem-based, e-learning pedagogy to support practice. Journal of Education for Teaching, 33(3), 359-377.
Northern Ireland presents a remarkable example of the profound academic shift from selective education towards inclusion. In this atmosphere of inclusiveness, teachers are challenged to seek new methods of teaching and learning. The goal of this article was to review the effectiveness of the pilot program launched for student teachers in Northern Ireland to enable them to meet the special needs of learners in inclusive education. The results of the study suggest that student teachers participating in the pilot program became more confident in their problem-based teaching/learning skills and came to believe that blended learning could be effectively used to promote inclusion. The results have far-reaching implications for understanding the essence of inclusion in education, by showing that inclusive education starts with the way student teachers perceive inclusion and use various methods to promote it.
7. Lindsay, G. (2007). Educational psychology and the effectiveness of inclusive education/mainstreaming. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 77, 1-24.
According to Lindsay (2007), inclusion is the key element of contemporary policies governing the education of children with disabilities and special educational needs. The goal of this article was to review the benefits of inclusive education. Writers are generally favorable to inclusion, but lack empirical data to support their attitudes and perceptions. The researcher confirms that the analysis of the benefits of inclusion is associated with numerous methodological difficulties, due to the growing diversity of approaches and models used by education professionals to promote inclusion. This being said, Lindsay (2007) evaluated the effectiveness of inclusion in a historical perspective and in the post-2000 period. The literature sample included comparative studies, qualitative studies, and studies of teacher processes, attitudes, and models. The body of evidence reviewed in this paper did not confirm the positive effects of inclusion on education and learning. However, the methodological and evaluative difficulties of the study should also be considered.
8. Pivik, J., McComas, J. & LaFlamme, M. (2002). Barriers and facilitators to inclusive education. Exceptional Children, 69(1), 97-107.
The past years witnessed a remarkable increase in the number of laws and regulations protecting citizens from inequality in their relations with state and private bodies. The growing body of literature indicates that schools and education professionals are changing their opinions about inclusion in education. However, no other study ever attempted to ask students with disabilities and their parents about their experiences with inclusion and general education in school settings. This study was designed to address the existing gaps in inclusive education research and examine the main barriers and facilitators to inclusive education in eight different schools, based on the responses provided by students with disabilities and their parents. Purposive sampling, used to choose the study participants, and focus group sessions, each lasting 1.5 hours, became the main instrument of data collection. The following barriers to inclusive education were reported: poor physical accessibility, negative attitudes towards students with disabilities, the lack of knowledge of inclusion among teachers, and the absence of inclusive education policies. The results imply that students with disabilities and their parents can provide valuable information regarding inclusion in education and should be constantly engaged in developing inclusive education policies and solutions.
9. Simpson, R. L., Boer-Ott, S. R. & Smith-Myles, B. (2003). Inclusion of learners with autism spectrum disorders in general education settings. Topics in Language Disorders, 23(2), 116-133.
For many years, individuals with autism spectrum disorders were described as being unusual, mystifying, and perplexing. Children with ASD exhibit considerable gaps in the basic areas of cognitive and emotional functioning, including learning and communication. The debate over including children with ASD in general education classrooms continues to persist. The purpose of this study was to present and review the Autism Inclusion Collaboration Model and its potential contribution to the inclusion of learners with ASD in general education. The researchers provide a brief description of the model and its basic features. The authors of the study confirm the importance of comprehensive assessments in the analysis of progress among students with ASD included in general classrooms. The researchers conclude that not every student with ASD should be included in general classroom activities, and such students are likely to remain a huge challenge for most general schools. Meanwhile, special and general educators must work together more closely to serve the needs of students with ASD, who have already become part of the general education process.
10. Smith, D. D. & Tyler, N. C. (2011). Effective inclusive education: Equipping education professionals with necessary skills and knowledge. Prospects, 41, 323-339.
Recent reforms have led to the growing number of students with disabilities included in general education settings. However, it is not enough to simply place students with disabilities in general school settings. This is why the researchers review the current U.S. literature on what is being done and can be done in the future to meet the specific needs of all students in inclusive classrooms. The paper confirms the need for innovative inclusion practices in general education and proposes solutions involving latest technologies. The researchers confirm the relevance, accessibility, and convenience of web-based learning materials for students with disabilities. The article includes a series of practical examples of application-based learning in inclusive education. However, professional educators should be particularly cautious while assessing the appropriateness of web-based materials used to promote inclusion in general classroom settings.