Eliminating the Marginalization of Students who Receive Special Education Services in Middle School and High School Inclusive Classrooms
Students who receive special education services are at a heightened risk of being marginalized. A lack of inclusion in the peer social system within the school (Akin & Neumann, 2013; Chen, Hamm, Farmer, Lambert, & Mehtaji, 2015), the labeling of students under a type of disability (Akin & Neumann, 2013; Lalvani, 2015), and the perception of differences amongst their general education teachers and peers (Chen, et al., 2015; Lalvani, 2015) have all been cited as contributing to the marginalization of students who receive special education services. Both general and special educators need to examine their practices within the classroom so that they can ensure all students are treated and viewed as equally important participants. This focus and shift in practices will help to create an effective learning environment for all students as well as a positive model for inclusion outside of the classroom, reducing or eliminating marginalization. The purpose of this project is to address and ultimately eliminate the marginalization of students who receive special education services in inclusive, co-taught classrooms through a co-teacher professional development training, focusing on co-teaching strategies, effective inclusive practices, and collaboration. The professional development is designed for middle school or high school teachers who participate in inclusive, co-taught classes. It could easily be adapted for elementary co-teachers and students who participate in inclusive, co-taught classes.