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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 13: Using Numbers and Narrative to Support Inclusive Schooling

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CHAPTER THIRTEEN

Using Numbers and Narrative to Support Inclusive Schooling

MEGHAN COSIER



When schools move toward inclusive models of supporting students with disabilities it can be very difficult to sustain ( Jerald, 2005; McLeskey & Waldron, 2006). Change can be a complex and overwhelming task, and teachers and staff may not be sold on the idea of inclusion. Many teachers and staff may question whether this is the right thing for students with and without disabilities (Sindelar, Shearer, Yendol-Hoppey, & Liebert, 2006). They are also concerned with student achievement and, more important, student standardized state test scores. Furthermore, it seems that their assumptions about inclusive education are often rooted in myths or misunderstandings. Thus, they are understandably concerned about such a shift in service delivery. Specifically, teachers and administrators want to know if the inclusive model is working for all students. Moreover, they want to be sure that they are providing students with and without disabilities a quality education that supports student achievement (Frattura & Capper, 2007). As a team at an elementary school trying to move toward more inclusive supports and services for students with disabilities, we—special educators, general educators, a school psychologist, and a special educator turned university professor—tried to systematically collect and share data throughout our first two years as an inclusive school in order to support and sustain the new inclusive model. This is a story about how we used data including both “numbers...

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