The Basic Elements of Inclusive Education

If you aren’t familiar with the concept of inclusive education, here are some basic elements to learn about this important movement: Who should be included, challenges and benefits, and funding mechanisms. As the term implies, the full inclusion movement focuses on including all students, including those with disabilities. However, it’s also important to note that the concept of inclusion has many nuances. Read on to learn more about how inclusion can help every student in school.

Basic elements of inclusive education

The basic elements of the inclusive education movement include a commitment to the inclusion of all students in school settings, including those with disabilities. The Salamanca Declaration describes inclusion as an approach that encompasses all students, regardless of race, gender, culture, or ethnicity. The concept of inclusion emphasizes developing human capital for all students. This movement is a result of a variety of factors. A basic example of the process is a discussion of including a student with a disability in the general education curriculum.

The basic elements of the inclusive education movement include all students, appropriate assessment, clear expectations, socialization opportunities, and alternative ways of learning. Efforts should also be made to limit sensory distractions and overload in the classroom. Students with disabilities should be treated with dignity and respect. Inclusion in schools improves civic engagement, employment prospects, and community life. The benefits of inclusive education extend beyond the classroom.


Inclusion policies must take into account the different needs of students with disabilities. These needs are often conflicting and sometimes complementary. Policymakers must recognize the opposition to segregated delivery and consider these concerns before implementing policy changes. Furthermore, rapid change can adversely affect the welfare of the people served. For example, including disabled children in mainstream schools can exacerbate experiences of exclusion and provoke a backlash against inclusion policies. 

The inclusion movement is a complex phenomenon that requires comprehensive, evidence-based measures. For example, research on student inclusion has shown that a quarter of students in the United States, Brazil, and Brunei Darussalam reported feeling like an outsider at school. These figures are even higher among students of lower socioeconomic status. Using administrative data, researchers can now gather qualitative evidence about inclusion policies. For instance, New Zealand systematically monitors the development of soft indicators that indicate student wellbeing, including their ability to establish positive relationships, respect others’ needs, and show empathy.


There are many benefits to the inclusion movement. For instance, it encourages enhanced collaboration between educators, who may otherwise not have the time or resources to work with students with special needs. Additionally, students with disabilities can benefit academically by engaging in classroom activities that other students take for granted. This approach also allows them to become more engaged in the learning process. In addition, inclusion provides students with disabilities the best chance to thrive academically. Therefore, it is important for students with special needs and their educators.

Often, inclusion is controversial. Many people against this approach believe that inclusion disrupts the general education classroom. However, the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities cites several other examples of why inclusion is not ideal. Ultimately, the benefits of inclusion can’t be overstated. As long as the school climate is welcoming and inclusive, students with disabilities are less likely to engage in bullying. In addition, it means they learn how to compromise and develop their social skills.

Funding mechanisms

One of the challenges of the inclusion movement is the lack of adequate funding. Inadequate funding means that SWDs are selectively included. For instance, RAs are prioritized for specific categories of SWDs. It means that deaf students do not receive equal support, despite the availability of sign language interpreters. Such inequities undermine the goal of inclusive education. Insufficient funding for the inclusion movement will only further limit the effectiveness of its programs.

Inclusion programs’ funding mechanisms must change to include special needs students better. Special schools should receive more resources and follow students into mainstream schools. Foundations have helped to create a global movement that aims to improve the lives of marginalized and low-income people. In addition, inclusion can help people achieve financial security.