Week 1: What Is Inclusion? – Content Review

1.The DEC/NAEYC joint position statement on early childhood inclusion provides a concrete definition of inclusion, and outlines factors that need to be in place for inclusion to occur within the context of high-quality early childhood services. In your own words, define inclusion. Then, explain how access, supports, and participation are each essential components of inclusive programming.

Every child, regardless of his or her ability, has the right to learn and play in an accommodating environment. Inclusion makes this possible for all the children and embraces diversity. Children with special abilities do not have to go to special schools since they can be incorporated with the others. They are considered as members of the particular society that they are in and they have a right to participate in all the activities. This means that the community, this includes the schools, care centers, their homes, neighborhoods and other institutions, should be ready to assist them to adjust. Contrary to some people’s opinions, these children with special needs do not have to be qualified or ready for the programs set in place to assist them, but the programs ought to be flexible enough to enable the children to participate. In a school environment, the other children learn to accept and understand all people as they assist the child with special needs. As they relate with the other children, the children with special needs learn how to form friendships and be independent.
2. Social equity, in its broadest sense, refers to fair and just treatment of all members of society (Darragh, 2010, p. 4). Based on the information presented on pages 4-10 of the course text, and using examples, explain the relationship between inclusion and social equity.

Social equity refers to fair and just treatment of all members of society. Opportunity and access should be available to everyone regardless of their ability or status (Darragh, 2010). Social equity also supports diversity in terms of class, language and age. Features that define high quality early childhood programs include access, participation and supports. Every effort should therefore be made to ensure that all children have these. Inclusion means that children with special needs are accepted as full members of the society. That means that they have equal opportunities like all the other children. For instance, they should not be offered low quality education because the society thinks that they are not capable. An all-inclusive classroom should cater for all the children. Learning and playing materials should be available for all the children, with some readjustments made for the special needs children. For instance, playing materials can be made larger to enable the child to handle them easily. Teaching strategies are not the same for all the children and a teacher will need to identify what makes the child learn more effectively. The teacher can then use these strategies for the individual child while continuing with the curriculum.

3. Chapter 2 of the course text provides a brief history of the emergence of special education. Explain the role legislation and legal regulations have played in ensuring that all children have access to high-quality services that support their individual development and learning.
The recent efforts by educational practitioners, children specialists and other stakeholders in the development of high quality children’s education cannot be disputed. The Handicapped Children Early Education Act was passed in 1968. Several laws and regulations concerning the development of children with special needs have been passed since then. Elizabeth Farrell founded noted that children with special needs needed much attention than other typical children and together with other special educators she founded the Council for Exceptional Children in 1922. Before that, special education schools had been established in public schools but the educators had not realized that the children needed special attention. This led to the subsequent amendments of laws especially in the seventies. The Economic Opportunities Amendment Public Law of 1972 authorized that children with disabilities comprised of ten percent of all children enrolled in Head Start. This was followed by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prevented against discrimination. Under the Act, all the children had the right to learn in both public schools and head starts. In 1975, the government recognized the need for a free and quality education for all children with disabilities. This was under the Education for All Handicapped Children Act. This was later renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act in 1990 and amended in 2004. The Technology Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act was passed in 1988 and it made it possible for children with disabilities to use technology to discover their potential. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 was the first to provide for the inclusion of people with disabilities within the society. In 2002, the No Child Left Behind Act was passed and under this Act, all children from kindergarten to high school reach proficiency in English, arts, reading and mathematics. The law provided for teachers to be highly qualified for the particular subjects they were teaching and this ensured high quality education (Deiner, 2009).










Darragh, J. C. (2010). Introduction to early childhood education: Equity and inclusion. New York, NY: Pearson.

Deiner, L. P. (2009). Inclusive early childhood education: Development, resources, and practice. Clifton Park, NY: Cengage Learning

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