Inclusion refers to the practice of educating students with disabilities in a general education classroom with students without disabilities using specially designed instruction and supports. The term is generally distinguished from mainstreaming, which describes educating students with disabilities in the general education setting without specially designed instruction or supports. The emerging ideology of inclusion is that all children with or without disabilities have the right to participate actively in a general education setting as valued members of that learning community. This entry describes the background of inclusion in K–12 schools and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of inclusion.

A philosophical underpinning of the inclusion movement in the United States is a principle called normalization that emerged in Sweden in the 1960s. Normalization is a guiding principle ...

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