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Zero reject = zero progress: The education of a challenging child: A case study teacher's attitudes towards mainstreaming and their acceptance of inclusion: The true story

1 July 1995


This project has been divided into two distinct parts; the first is a case study about a multidisabled child and the reasons why I believe that mainstreaming policies would be destructive to his and others’ wellbeing. The second section addresses how attitudes towards mainstreaming could make it very difficult for initiatives such as Zero Reject to be applied to the classroom. My main point in dividing my research in such a manner is to show that Zero Reject will not be beneficial for the children involved and will also be opposed by the majority of educators.

In the first section, I highlight different incidents I saw over a series of observations that I feel show that the child in question should remain in a small classroom with much supervision. Also, I show the progress he has made in the classroom he is currently in by carefully scrutinizing a series of interviews with his teachers and my own notes. I also include some of his own work in order' to verify his academic as well as mental capacities. In addition, I suggest what his future would look like if an initiative such as Zero Reject is enforced.

In the second section of my paper, I address the issue that for mainstreaming to truly succeed, teachers Must be in support of inclusion. I discuss the evidence of the many teachers opposed to mainstreaming and speculate that if Zero Reject passes, countless numbers of teachers will be unprepared to work

with exceptional children. I also include surveys to support this contention as well as interviews with expert teachers in exclusive classrooms. Finally, I cite experts’ advice about methods of discipline and classroom management for exceptional children.

This project has nothing to do with the idea of eliminating inclusion. Inclusion can be a very beneficial circumstance provided there is adequate staff and training. However, the reality is that if an initiative such as Zero Reject does succeed, many teachers will be unable to serve all students. If all the evidence indicates that a child is flourishing in an exclusive classroom, then then why should a child not remain in this room? This question is sure to cause much controversy when the legislation is debated. In the meantime, the future of inclusion looks dim as the very individuals responsible for incorporating inclusion, teachers, are unsupportive of the concept.


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