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 Ron Henries "Inclusion" Discussion 
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On Tuesday evening I went to Ron Henries' discussion on inclusion. I was really glad that I went because Mr. Henries put things in a completely different perspective for me. As a Special Ed major, I have never heard inclusion and IDEA talked about together. In my classes we have always talked about inclusion including ALL children, and how EVERY child is supposed to be in the general ed classrooms. I am a fan of including children who can succeed, thrive, and benefit in the general ed classroom, but I also know that there are some students who would not benefit and would actually have more added stress on them if they were put in these classrooms. This fact always made me question whether or not I think inclusion is a good model. Mr. Henries discussed inclusion and the laws under IDEA hand in hand, and this answered many of my questions. One part of IDEA is the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). This means that a student with disabilities should be in a room that has students who do not have disabilities to the maximum extent appropriate for the student with disabilities. For some students, the LRE would not be the general education classroom. Mr. Henries' discussion was great. It is always fun to hear Mr. Henries talk because he can talk from the perspective of a Special Education teacher and as a principal.

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Lindsey Hagel


Thu Sep 17, 2009 8:08 am
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I also attended Ron Henries seminar on inclusion issues in the classroom. I really enjoyed hearing him speak on this topic since this is such a huge and controversial topic in the education system right now and because no one really knows what would be best for both the students with the special needs and the general ed students. Throughout the history of special education, we have struggled with this dilemma. The education system has tried exclusion, mainstreaming, and now inclusion. The goal is to maintain the least restrictive environment for all students. Mr. Henries, who specializes in special education, was extremely informative and passionate about this subject. I have yet to have a rooted opinion in this topic just yet only because I have a lot of concerns. I would hate to have a special needs student in my class and for some reason putting more effort into his learning than all of the other students, or vice versa. I grew up in an elementary school that was attached to a special needs center called Gateway so I was used to being around students who were intellectually challenged. We would have different elective classes with them, and I even remember one girl being in my kindergarten class full time. The thought of having multiple of these students in my class does make me nervous. Another worry of mine is the interaction between general ed students and special needs students. Even though this was never a problem in my elementary school class, I know the possibility of this happening is still prevalent. This seminar was extremely informative and although made me face a few of my concerns that I don't often think about, it also managed to put me at ease a little more.


Thu Sep 17, 2009 12:48 pm
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I too attended the seminar with Ron. First off I just want to say that Ron is a great speaker and he was very informative and helpful on the subject of "Inclusion." You can really tell that he loves teaching and I recommend that everyone attend if he does another seminar. He provided some great information on inclusion that I have never been exposed too before. He also provided some stats that showed how inclusion helps "SE" students excel in the classroom as was as socially. He mentioned several things that I hope to use in my physical education classes in the future. Being a former "SE" teacher he also showed how in some cases these students need special education to excel, but teachers need to try and use inclusion with these students as much as possible. I had the opportunity this past semester to teach an adapted P.E. class where we taught students with a variety of special needs. Ron made me realize some things that I did well while teaching this class, as well as many things I wish I would have done different. He also addressed students that were academically gifted, and how to deal with them. He mentioned one story where a 7th grade student at Watauga was very gifted and had completed math classes that surpassed high school requirements. After finally convincing the the county to let the student move up to high school after his seventh grade year the student excelled even more. I believe he said the student ended up gradutating high school at the age of 16 and eventually attending and graduating from Harvard. If the student hadn't had been moved up he would have probably gotten bored with school and not excelled as much as he did. We as teachers need to address these types of situations and think about what is best for our students. Overall it was great seminar and I will be able to use alot of the information he talked about in my future class.

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-LD


Sun Sep 20, 2009 10:07 pm
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I really enjoyed this seminar on inclusion. Because I am a Spanish Education major, I feel like I do not get enough information on this topic. I thought the way Mr. Henries explained the topic was easy to understand. I liked that he opened up the floor for questions at the end. He has so much experience which was really evident when he addressed some of our concerns and was able to give good advice. Overall I thought it was a really good refresher of some of the things I had learned in CI-2800. I would love to have the opportunity to see an inclusion classroom like the ones he mentioned during the seminar. It's important to remember that in a successful inclusion classroom, the teachers are partners. One should not be able to tell which one is the regular classroom teacher. It should all flow together so well that it should not be evident who the exceptional children are in the class. I think it is imperative for both teachers maintain that mindset and keep the child's best interest above their own.

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Audrey Nestianu


Mon Sep 21, 2009 3:36 pm
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