What are the benefits of inclusive education for children without disabilities?

As elsewhere the future of inclusive education in Poland depends not only on the benefits for children with disabilities, but also on the benefits for children without disabilities. Collecting data that might result in empirical proof that inclusive education is beneficial for students without disabilities can enlarge a group of supporters of inclusion and make it easier to spread the ideas of inclusion. We will present some empirical data about the impact of learning in inclusive classrooms for children without disabilities in Poland. These are quantitative studies, in which 1500 students from more than 100 classes in public gymnasiums  in Polish cities take part. Every 1/3 of the participants are students who learn in: – inclusive classrooms with co-teaching (a significant support), – classrooms with single students with disabilities, with a little support of specialists outside the classrooms,  – classrooms without students who have disabilities.   After this presentation the participants will learn: – that inclusive education can have a positive impact on the school achievements (language, mathematics) of students without disabilities when in their classes there is a suitable support of a special pedagogue, – that the presence of students with severe disabilities in the classroom does not influence negatively the achievement of students without disabilities  – what impact inclusive education has on the socio-moral (social competence, morality, agency, sense of community) development of students without disabilities. Finally, we will present some data about the sense of social cohesion in the inclusive schools. Presenting analyses on the classroom level, we will show whether inclusive classrooms are more cohesive than mainstream ones, and whether the students in these classrooms like their school more than the students in mainstream classes.

At the end of the session the participants will learn:

  1. 1. what is the impact of inclusive education on the cognitive and social competences of students without disabilities,
  2. 2. how empirical arguments can be used to persuade people that the inclusive classroom is a beneficial environment for learning and development of students without disabilities,
  3. 3. how to design research on the effects of inclusive education which include three spheres important for children’s development: cognitive skills, socio-moral skills, and satisfaction from attending to school.
  • DAY 1. The Thursday Poster Presentation SessionThursday, December 4, 4:30 to 6:30 PM. Grand Ballroom North B (Set Up will be 1:30 to 4:30 PM)
  • DAY 2. The Small meeting sessionsFriday, December 5, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Mtg Planner Office A
  • BEST Posters AwardsFriday, December 5 at 2:10 PM. Grand Ballroom North B