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Posted on April 17th, 2014, by

Traditionally, students with exceptionalities were excluded of the learning process, which other students participated in. Instead, the traditional learning process was not fully prepared for students with exceptionalities, because they have special needs, which the conventional learning process and curriculum did not take into consideration. However, the new strategy of the inclusion of students with exceptionalities opened the way for their integration into the regular classroom environment and they have got an opportunity to participate in the regular learning process as other students do. In such a context, the question arises whether students with exceptionalities should be fully integrated into conventional classrooms or they have to study at special schools which are designed specifically to meet their special needs. In actuality, the success of current efforts of integration of students with exceptionalities proves that they have to keep integrating into conventional classrooms, while policy makers and educators should facilitate their inclusion in the classroom.

Students with exceptionalities should stay in classrooms along with other students and they do not need exceptional classrooms. At first glance, they may seem to be incapable to learn successfully because of their exceptionalities. However, such a view is superficial and biased. Instead, the objective analysis and studies conducted by researchers (Prince, 2002) prove that students with exceptionalities can study successfully, while their performance can be comparable to that of students without exceptionalities.

They can develop their skills and abilities in virtually any environment. Therefore, they should not face difficulties with developing their exceptional skills and abilities in average classrooms, if they receive support from educators and classmates and receive positive feedback (Tremain, 2001). Moreover, they need the integration and inclusion into conventional classrooms because the inclusion will facilitate their socialization and help them to learn better as they can learn in the conventional environment with other students.

At this point, it is worth mentioning the fact that students with exceptionalities can receive help from other students to achieve better academic results since they can follow the lead of the most successful students. Students with exceptionalities can become leaders of their classroom and help other students to improve their academic performance as well, if they manage to develop positive relations with their classmate.  The support of peers without exceptionalities can be particularly helpful for students with exceptionalities because they will acquire positive social experience. On the other hand, as they receive help from others they can give their help back to other students. In such a way, they can develop positive relations with other students and integrate into their social environment becoming a part of the school community. In such a way, the inclusion of students with exceptionalities into conventional classrooms will facilitate their social integration and socialization.

If students with exceptionalities are transferred to special schools which are created for children with exceptionalities specifically, students will lose their academic leaders that may deteriorate their academic performance. In addition, they will have to develop new social relations that may affect not only their academic performance but also socialization.

Moreover, when transferred to special schools where all students have some exceptionalities, students with exceptionalities face a risk of losing their socialization skills because their classmates may outpace them that will discourage students with exceptionalities, if they have used to be successful and who have used to be academic leaders. Also, students with exceptionalities may suffer from the transfer because they may feel being outcasts, who are transferred to special schools instead of learning with other students, who do not have exceptionalities.

If students with exceptionalities have special needs, public schools can provide them with infrastructure and facilities that will make them feel comfortable studying in average classrooms with other students. Transferring students with exceptionalities may have a traumatic psychological effect. If they learn in the environment, where all students have exceptionalities, they may have difficulties with their socialization in communities, where people do not have any exceptionality. The creation of special schools for students with exceptionalities will turn them into outcasts. Therefore, students with exceptionalities should stay in conventional classrooms and attend conventional schools.

Such policy is beneficial not only for students with exceptionalities but also for other students because from the early childhood they learn that people are different and people with exceptionalities are not outsiders. Instead, they comprise a part of the society and they should respect them as they do in relation to other students. In such a way, the inclusion of students into conventional classrooms will have a positive impact on all students.

Thus, the problem of inclusion of students with exceptionalities is still relevant since the debate on their inclusion or exclusion persists. However, positive effects of inclusion of students with exceptionalities are obvious, while negative ones are irrelevant in the contemporary educational environment. In addition, the adaptation of conventional schools to special needs of students with exceptionalities will be less costly than construction of new schools for these students.

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