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Students with Disabilities

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Assignment 2.1: Critique Article 2

Ramona Torres-Martinez

Fresno Pacific University

Critique Article 2

The inclusion of students with disabilities in general education classes offers social and academic learning advantages.  Students with disabilities benefit from the social interaction in the classroom and are presented with the opportunity to achieve their academic goals.  In the article, By June, Given Shared Experiences Integrated Classes, and Equal Opportunities, Jaime Will have a Friend (Bishop & Jubala, 1994)  the authors analyzed and examined the outcome of modifying the IEP plan of a student with disabilities to include integration as part of the IEP plan to strengthen his social skills and academic skills.

The article discussed the proceeding of the IEP meeting and the decision made to integrate into a general education class.  The goals and “focus of his education was to be on developing social skills and most important, developing friendship” (Bishop & Jubala, 1994, p. 37).   The purpose of the integration was to encourage the student with special needs to develop social skills and be able to engage in interactions with other students.   The article also mentioned that the classroom environment promoted cooperative learning among the students which provided the student with disabilities the opportunity to meet his IEP objectives.

Another important point mentioned in the article was that “there was no disability awareness instruction for the students without disabilities” (Bishop & Jubala, 1994, p. 37).  Students without disabilities were not provided with specific lessons to create awareness about disabilities with the intent of creating true social interactions.  The students without disabilities were encouraged to share their “special equipment” to create an accepting environment that respects the individuality of every student in the classroom.  

The article also examined the effects of the friendships that occurred between the student with disabilities and several of the students without disabilities.  The social interactions led the students without disabilities to gain a better understand of having compassion and acceptance towards students with disabilities.  With the development of friendship, the students without disabilities were able to learn about the personality and qualities of the student with disabilities.  The friendship between the students presented a positive learning experience that encouraged the student with disabilities to engage in social interactions and situation within the school setting.

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