A group approach is considered beneficial as teachers "need to rethink their traditional teaching roles and expand their repertoire of teaching skills to include techniques that help students enhance their comprehension" and students who receive individual attention may not retain it as effectively as in a group environment (Anderson 2006).
There are five and a half students with special needs in the United States and nearly 80% are educated in a general education setting. It is perhaps significant to note that teaching children of special needs in a classroom with regular students is not easy, but "involving a behaviorally or academically challenged child in regular classroom activities can be a source of frustration" (Hedge 2007). But this does not mean it cannot be rewarding or beneficial to all who are involved, including the regular students in the class if a teacher is properly prepared and able to address the differences and foster a community atmosphere. There are many challenges to overcome as students with special needs may fall behind or experience social, educational, or emotional stress. The teacher must be patient and understanding, yet recognize the differences. Group learning and using a variety of educational processes is one such way to solve the problem. But the prevailing notion is that it is up to the teacher to foster the right learning environment for children of special needs who are including in an everyday class. "Children with learning disabilities can and should learn side-by-side with their peers in a regular classroom setting," so therefore there is much to be gained by all children who learn in a class that includes those with special needs (Wood 2005). The teacher needs to recognize this and encourage the growth of all students through a variety of activities that encourage group learning and do not discourage the learning of special needs children. A teacher needs to be aware that special needs students are particular weak in reading and writing and foster a lesson plan which helps them to learn in other ways, while not ignoring that special needs students do have the capacity to improve both their writing and reading. Standardized testing cannot dictate lesson plans, but teachers should create their own activities to foster the necessary community and activities that will be a benefit to teaching in an inclusive classroom as there will no doubt be challenges in teaching children of special needs, but it is possible to overcome the inherent difficulties to maximize the learning potential of all students in the classroom. Thus the teacher is ultimately responsible for teaching reading and writing to special needs students in a regular classroom. Lastly, once the proper environment, mindset, and community is created for a special needs student to learn, it is up to the teacher to make use of the numerous resources available in helping a particular person with a disability to maximize his or her potential.
Alleman, Janet, Barbara Knighton, and Jere Brophy. "Social Studies: Incorporating All Children Using Community and Cultural Universals as the Centerpiece." Journal of Learning Disabilities 40 (2007): 166. 23 Apr. 2007 http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=1233098271&sid=1&Fmt=3&clientId=77110&RQT=309&VName=PQD.
Anderson, Diane. "In or Out: Surprises in Reading Comprehension Instruction." Intervention in School and Clinic 41 (2006): 175. 23 Apr. 2007 http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=960626751&sid=1&Fmt=4&clientId=77110&RQT=309&VName=PQD.
Graham, Steve, and Karen R. Harrison. "Improving the Writing Performance of Young Struggling Writers: Theoretical and Programmatic Research From the Center on Accelerating Student Learning.." The Journal of Special Education 39 (2005): 19. 23 Apr. 2007 http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=833146191&sid=1&Fmt=4&clientId=77110&RQT=309&VName=PQD.
Hoover, John J., and James R. Patton. "Differentiating Standards-Based Education for Students with Diverse Needs." Remedial and Special Education 25 (2004): 74. 23 Apr. 2007 http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=594396251&sid=1&Fmt=4&clientId=77110&RQT=309&VName=PQD.
Inclusion of Students with Special Needs:." New Horizons. 2007. 23 Apr. 2007 http://www.newhorizons.org/spneeds/inclusion/teaching/front_teaching.html.
Inclusive Learning Environments." New Horizons. 23 Apr. 2007 http://www.newhorizons.org/spneeds/inclusion/front_inclusion.htm.
Keller, Ed. "STRATEGIES for TEACHING STUDENTS WITH." 18 Apr. 2005. 23 Apr. 2007 http://www.as.wvu.edu/~scidis/learning.html.
Mendonza, Alice C. "A Classroom Where All Students are Learning." New Horizons. 2004. 21 Apr. 2007 http://www.newhorizons.org/spneeds/inclusion/teaching/mendoza.htm.
Opitz, Michael. "Empowering the Reader in Every Child." Scholastic. 2007. 22 Apr. 2007 http://content.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=4267.
Sharpe Hedge, Susan. "I Can Twirl the Rope." Scholastic. 2007. 23 Apr. 2007 http://teacher.scholastic.com/professional/specialneeds/I_can_twirl.htm.
Westerlund, Trina. "Catching the Children Who Fall Through the Cracks." New Horizons. 2003. 22 Apr. 2007 http://www.newhorizons.org/spneeds/inclusion/teaching/westerlund.htm.