Up: Proposals Currently Funded

MnSCU and University of Minnesota Distance Learning Initiative

A Consensus Model for Including Students with Disabilities
into the Regular Classroom


The purpose of this project is to create a module with two foci: 1) train first-year teachers to include students with disabilities in their classrooms; and 2) teach mentors a consensus approach to decision-making and conflict resolution. The two foci will be intertwined as mentors lead their mentees through the inclusion module activities using the consensus model. The module will use several techniques including critical teaching incidents, case studies, web resources and telecommunications.


According to the U. S. Department of Education's Seventeenth Annual Report on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (1997), a greater number of students with disabilities are being served in regular classrooms than ever before. The report also states that nearly 40% of students with disabilities attend regular classes. Thus, it is highly likely that first-year teachers will have students with disabilities in their classrooms. Many teacher preparation institutions do not adequately instruct future teachers on how to implement inclusion. Therefore, a module on inclusion coupled with the expertise and background of a mentor teacher could prove to be invaluable for a novice teacher.

If mentoring is to be effective it needs to grow out of and contribute to a culture which is collaborative and inquiry based (Feiman-Nemser, 1996). The consensus model used in this module provides the foundation for self-reflection, collaboration and inquiry. To reach consensus, individuals must reflect on their own beliefs and understandings about specific issues and collaborate with others to develop effective strategies for resolving issues. In our module mentor//mentee teams would explore their beliefs and understanding about inclusion by focusing on worst and best possible outcomes for students and teachers in specific cases. This is a necessary first step toward formulating strategies and actions which will lead to successful inclusion. The web-based portion of this module provides both mentor/mentee teams opportunities to collaborate on simulated case studies as well as generate their own cases based upon students in their classroom.

Up: Proposals Currently Funded

Comments to: cutler@geom.umn.edu
Created: Tuesday, 28-Apr-97 18:31:00 --- Last modified:
Copyright © 1997 by MnSCU/UofM Distance Learning Initiative. All rights reserved.