Building Bridges Between Science and Special Education: Inclusion in the Science Classroom
Keywords: Science, Education, Special Education
AbstractToday's science classrooms serve a very diverse student population. Students with special needs who were once instructed in resource rooms and self-contained classrooms are now included in the general classroom. To serve those students for whom inclusion is appropriate, collaboration is needed between the science and special education teacher. With collaboration, the individual needs of all students, both general education and students with learning disabilities, can be met. Only when the science teacher is involved in the planning process and a contributor to the proposed changes, will a true collaboration exist. Too often, the decision making process excludes many of the general education teachers. The Individual Education Plan (IEP) meetings require that only one general education teacher be present. Due to time and budget constraints most schools only include the minimal, one general education teacher, at the IEP meeting. At the secondary level, this leaves most of the teachers a student will be working with uninformed about instructional plans being proposed and decided upon. A four step plan can aid science teachers in becoming active participants in the inclusion process. The plan allows science teachers to become contributors to the way inclusion will be implemented in their classrooms before decisions are made and become part of the legally binding IEP.
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