SWIFT Runs on Research
The point of public education is giving students a foundation of learning that will help them build a career later in life. Thirty years of research shows us that when all students are learning together (including those with the most extensive needs) AND are given the appropriate instruction and supports, ALL students can participate, learn, and excel within grade-level general education curriculum, build meaningful social relationships, achieve positive behavioral outcomes, and graduate from high school, college and beyond. How do we transform education to achieve these goals? According to the research, it takes administrative leadership, multi-tiered systems of support, family and community partnership, an inclusive educational framework including organizational structure and school culture, and policies and practices providing the backbone to these features.
Inclusive education benefits ALL students in the following ways:
- Students without disabilities made significantly greater progress in reading and math when served in inclusive settings. (Cole, et al., 2004)
- Students who provided peer supports for students with disabilities in general education classrooms demonstrated positive academic outcomes, such as increased academic achievement, assignment completion, and classroom participation.
- There was no significant difference found in the academic achievement of students without disabilities when served in classrooms with or without inclusion. (Ruijs, Van der Veen, & Peetsman, 2010; Sermier Dessemontet & Bless, 2013)
- In a meta-analysis of research conducted by Kalambouka, Farrell, & Dyson (2007), 81% of the outcomes reported showed including students with disabilities resulted in either positive or neutral effects for students without disabilities.
- Time spent engaged in the general education curriculum is strongly and positively correlated with math and reading achievement for students with disabilities. (Cole, Waldron, & Majd, 2004); Cosier, Causton-Theoharis, & Theoharis, 2013)
- Students with intellectual disabilities that were fully included in general education classrooms made more progress in literacy skills when compared to students served in special schools. (Dessemontet, Bless, & Morin, 2012)
- Students with autism in inclusive settings scored significantly higher on academic achievement tests when compared to students with autism in self-contained settings. (Kurth & Mastergeorge, 2010)
For more information about the body of research supporting the SWIFT Domains and Features, and for citations above, click HERE.