ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

The Path to Inclusion

In any group of young people, you will find a range of physical, cognitive, social, and emotional skills and abilities. No two students have the same strengths and challenges. Classrooms in an inclusive school may have students with a wider range of skills and abilities than in traditional classrooms, but staff and students respect, support, and build on those diverse needs and strengths.

This benefits not just students with special needs; inclusive learning environments prepare all students for citizenship, employment, and further study where they will need the skills and understanding to interact and collaborate with diverse individuals and groups. By preventing young people from experiencing and participating in an inclusive environment, we fail to prepare them for the reality they will face outside of formal schooling.

By definition, a school taking a whole child approach to education is an inclusive school. A whole child approach requires a strong belief that each child can learn, develop, and be successful in a setting where the school and community ensure he or she is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. Our task is supporting and developing the diverse needs of each student.

Join us throughout August as we face the challenge of creating inclusive learning environments and explore research and practice that support our commitment and develop our skills to meet the unique needs of each student. Listen to the August Whole Child Podcast, featuring Timothy Shriver, chairman and CEO of Special Olympics; Latoya Dean, a doctoral student at the University of North Texas in the Leadership for Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders program and a content mastery/helping teacher in Garland, Tex.; and Evan Heller, an incoming college freshman and member of the national Special Olympics Youth Activation Committee and his local Massachusetts State Youth Activation Committee. Read the Whole Child Blog to hear from guest bloggers, and dive deeper into the latest research, reports, and tools on the special needs topic page.

Have you signed up to receive the Whole Child Newsletter? Read this month’s newsletter and visit the archive for more strategies, resources, and tools you can use to help ensure that each child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.

Comments (2)

Cap Lee

August 16, 2011

Ms Wakefield is right on target.  The problem with sp ed is gen ed as they must learn to teach the whole child.  However, to make this effective, the system of education must change to respect the intellingence and abilities of all children.
This systemic change is documented in my two books. 

If we take students “from whre they are”, students with special needs will not be excluded in the first place.  All kids come in as kids and, using teams of teachers, are properly served.  When teacher teams discover the true needs of all kids, inclusion is automatic.

Let’s keep in contact to promote whole child learning.


January 25, 2014

I am a special needs education teacher an also a master student i special needs at kampala international universisy.inorder for inclusion to be successful,there are various factors to be considered.these includes;The school,support services and resources as well as collaborration and community involvement.Re more from my book :INTRODUCTION TO INCLUSIVE EDUCATION

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