Although the inclusive education is primarily aimed at teaching children with disabilities in a public school, college or university, it has a much broader meaning, significance and application. The inclusive education is based on the belief that all people coexist in inclusive communities, independent of their race, religion, aspiration, ability or disability. The inclusive education encompasses a wider scale of learning practices, closer teacher-child relationships, methods and approaches to reach all the children, which ultimately leads to a good teaching. Hence, the inclusive education is a definitely new approach to our educational systems (though they are regionally and nationally different), which have formally been based and in many locations are still based on the principle of segregation.
For centuries, our educational system has resembled of a business company, selecting those who are suitable and putting aside those, who are not up to the standards. The inclusive education is to entirely change this practice, inspiring a teacher to teach each child, who enters the class. It means that teachers, involved into an inclusive education, work in a context that is suitable for a diversity of pupils.
The concept of inclusive education is aimed to build a sense of community, to increase an individual growth, to provide development of friendships and affirmation of individuality, to deliver opportunities to experience a diversity of society on a miniature scale, to support a social value of equality and other important factors and aspects, alien to the contemporary educational scheme.
These benefits are not groundlessly announced. Inclusive schools exist and successfully bring new educational models into practice, whereas both teachers and parents see and enjoy beneficial results. For instance, in December 31, 2004, the inclusive education was given a boost in the New Year Honors and the founder and co-director of the Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education (CSIE), Mark Vaughan, was awarded the OBE (the Officer of the Order of the British Empire) for 'services to inclusion in education'. In the UK the inclusive education is a major issue of today, bringing along changes in early-year educational institutions, child-care, schools, further and higher education.
In the USA the concept of inclusive education has started to gain recognition with 1997 amendments to the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which pointed out that schools had a duty to educate children with disabilities in general education classrooms.
Teachers and educators, who are actually interested in the subject and how the inclusive education works, might find it important to contact organizations, developing the educational model. The list of major UK organizations is sited on http://www.demon.co.uk/. You can also participate in seminars and forums, aimed at establishing inclusion in different national contexts and maintaining international practices and cooperation. Such conferences often contain lectures from experienced inclusive teachers and professors, educational school tours to see inclusion in practice and cultural visits.