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Inclusive Practices


Inclusive education occurs when all students, regardless of any challenges they may have, are placed in age-appropriate general education classes that are in neighborhood schools or schools of choice to receive high quality instruction, interventions, and supports that enable them to meet success in the core curriculum (Bui, Quirk, Almazan, & Valenti, 2010; Alquraini & Gut, 2012).

Artiles and Kozleski (2016) and Sailor (2020) challenge the field to shift from labels and educational space as determining factors to viewing services through an equity lens that sees teachers engaging all students, no matter differences or needs, by planning ahead and utilizing evidenced-based services and tiered supports.

Inclusive school settings are characterized by:

  • All students belonging and being valued as equal members of the school community
  • Intentionally and meaningfully engaging students with disabilities in a wide range of learning opportunities, activities, and environments that are available to all children, including participation in the general education curriculum, nonacademic, and extracurricular activities
  • Implementing goals and objectives that are aligned with the state standards, as well as implementing goals that are student specific in the general education classroom with the appropriate supplementary aids and services
  • Developing and implementing instructional strategies and methods that increase the participation and progress in the general education curriculum of students with disabilities

In California, the Supporting Inclusive Practices (SIP) websites provides supports and inclusion references

Practices to avoid that inhibit Inclusive practices:

  • Emphasizing competition
  • Assuming one kind of “smartness”
  • Devaluing individuality
  • Correcting the inconsequential
  • Using one type of assessment
  • Focus on precision over other practices
  • Using cold-calling


Course Activities for Fully Inclusive Mindset

Additional Resources


Alquraini, T., & Gut, D. (2012). Critical components of successful inclusion of students with severe disabilities: Literature review. International Journal of Special Education, 27(1), 42-59.

Alzahrani, N. (2020). The development of inclusive education practice: A review of literature. International Journal of Early Childhood Special Education, 12(1), 68-83.

Artiles, A., & Kozleski, E. (2016). Inclusive education promises and trajectories: Critical notes about future research on a venerable idea. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 24(43), 1-25.

Blanton, L., Pugach, M., & Boveda, M. (2018). Interrogating the intersections between general and special education in the history of the teacher education reform movement. Journal of Teacher Education, 66(4), 354-366.

Bui, X., Quirk, C., Almazan, S., & Valenti, M. (2010). Inclusive education research and practice. Maryland Coalition for Inclusive Education, 1-14.

Duke, C., & Berlingo, L. (2020). Fissuring barriers to inclusive education for students with severe disabilities. Research and Practice for Students with Severe Disabilities, 45, 14-17.

Kluth, P. (2010).  You are going to love this kid.  Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing.

Specht, J., & Metsala, J. (2019). Predictors of teacher efficacy for inclusive practice in pre-service teachers. Exceptionality Education International, 28(3), 67-82.

Weiss, S., Lerche, T., Muckenthaler, H., & Ulrich, K. (2019). Making inclusive instruction succeed: What matters most from teachers’ perspective? The role of teachers’ personal characteristics, joint professional work, and school-work parameters. Educational Research in Evaluation, 25, 145-162.

Children's Books

The IRIS Center’s Children’s Book Search Tool: This search tool contains information and synopses of children’s and young adult literature about or having to do with people with disabilities. This information includes the name of the author and illustrator, year of publication, publisher, appropriate grade level, and award status.

SWIFT Education Center: SWIFT is a national technical assistance center that builds whole system—state, district, school, and community—capacity to provide academic and behavioral support to improve outcomes for all students. We are a group of people who are passionate about transforming U.S. public education so that all students are welcomed and included in their neighborhood schools and age appropriate general education classrooms with support. 

CEEDAR Center’s Course Enhancement Modules: Include usable resources for faculty and professional development providers to include in effective opportunities for teachers and leaders to learn about and use evidence-based practices [for students with disabilities]. Each CEM is designed to be used in whole or in part to support teacher and leader learning at the pre-service and in-service levels.

CAST: CAST is a nonprofit education research and development organization that works to expand learning opportunities for all individuals through Universal Design for Learning. 

Villa, R., & Thousand, J. (2016). The inclusive education checklist: Self= assessment of best practices. NPR Resources Inc: Naples, FL.