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Becoming a Great Inclusive Educator

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Edited By Scot Danforth

Inclusive education continues to grow in popularity and acceptance in the United States. However, most teachers – general and special educators – are poorly prepared to be successful in inclusive classrooms and schools. Undoubtedly, the challenge to professionals involves the acquisition of new knowledge and skills. But inclusion requires far more. It calls upon educators to trouble everything they think they know about disability, to question their deepest ethical commitments, to take up the work of the Disability Rights Movement in the public schools, and to leap headlong into the deepest waters of the rich craft tradition of inclusive teaching. This book offers educators the guidance and resources to become great inclusive educators by engaging in a powerful process of personal and professional transformation.
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Chapter 1: Introduction: Transformation

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CHAPTER ONE

Transformation



Guiding Questions

• What kind of personal and professional transformation is experienced by many of the best inclusive teachers?

• How can you grow and develop into a great inclusive educator?

Neither society nor the public schools stand still. Social norms of attitude and action shift like enormous tectonic plates, often barely noticed in silent motion, sometimes smashing dramatically together to shake the ground beneath our feet. We are moved, as individuals and communities, and we begin to think, feel, and behave in new ways.

Inclusive education is a profound transformation of public schooling that has gained acceptance and widespread practice in the United States over the past two decades. Increasing numbers of students with disabilities are educated now in general classrooms. The ground beneath concepts of disability and diversity in the schools has undoubtedly shifted in a positive direction, moving toward the acceptance of many forms of humanity into the common community.

But the public schools and general and special educators are often poorly prepared to be successful in the new configuration. Many teachers, veterans and rookies alike, are simply not ready to do inclusion well. In response to inclusion as the current challenge and opportunity for public school teachers, the most obvious question is also the most ambitious and hopeful: ← 1 | 2 → How can you be part of a positive transformation, both within yourself and within your school...

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