With a strong push to provide true LRE (Least Restrictive Environment) more and more children with disabilities are spending most or all of their day in a general education classroom. Two models have emerged for inclusion: push in, where a special educator goes into the general education classroom for part of the day to provide specially designed instruction, and the co-teaching model, where a general educator and special educator partner to provide instruction to all the children in their classroom.
Inclusion seems to mean different things to different people. The most important definition is the one provided by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which requires children with disabilities to be educated with their typically developing peers in a general education classroom. That creates a lot of challenges for both the general education and special education teachers.
Differentiation is the educational strategy that helps teachers provide assessment and instruction across abilities while teaching the same content.
Here are a number of lessons designed to model differentiation:
A Rubric is a great tool for providing differentiated instruction and evaluation.
Collaboration is essential in a full inclusion classroom when the co-teaching model is used, pairing a general education and special education teacher. It offers all sorts of challenges, challenges that will only be overcome when both teachers are determined to see that it works.