Tomorrow Is Too Long to Wait for Inclusion

Does Self-Contained Special Education Deliver on Its Promises?

Does Self-Contained Special Education Deliver on Its Promises?

In this 2011 research article, Julie Causton (et al) examined the reality and rationale of separate educational placements by highlighting the experiences of students with disabilities in six self-contained classrooms. Thanks to for making this article available.

According to Dr. Julie Causton:

After examining the social and academic experiences of students who attended these six classrooms, our response is no. The students in these classrooms are not receiving the purported promise of self-contained classrooms. They were not learning in a location with a protective and/or strong community. There were in a much more, not less, distracting settings. Students were not receiving access to the general curriculum in an individualized manner. Teachers and paraprofessionals were not using thoughtful behavioral interventions but were instead using threats, time-outs, and restraints. Given the empirical and legal preference for inclusive schooling stated above, moving students back into the general education classroom with appropriate supports and services should seriously be considered.

You can read the whole article by DOWNLOADING IT HERE.

Download the PDF file .

What do you think? Do self-contained classrooms deliver on their promises? Tell us about it in the comments section below!

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Achieving Inclusion: What Every Parent Should Know When Advocating For Their Child

Achieving InclusionThe following is a PDF article that Julie Causton and Christi Kasi wrote which was produced with funds from the PA Developmental Disabilities Council (PA DDC) Educational Rights Grant.


“The family’s vision was clear. Nate would go to school in his neighborhood with the same friends with whom he ran through the sprinklers. Nate’s family wanted him to learn to read, make friends, and love school. The IEP team supported this vision until Nate entered high school. During his transition meeting from middle to high school, the principal informed Nate’s parents that he would now be attending the “life skills program.” This information shocked the family; why should Nate’s placement be changed when he had done so well in the general education classroom? The principal responded, “This is where students with Down syndrome are most successful. We focus on navigating the community and learning functional skills…” Dissatisfied with these reasons, Nate’s parents began learning how they could work with the IEP team to continue to support Nate’s successful participation in the inclusive classroom. Over a series of IEP meetings, the family carefully laid out their vision for Nate’s high school education, his desire to attend college, and the successful modifications from his middle school years. The team was reluctant, but after several hours of discussion about the importance of Nate receiving his education in the general education classroom, they agreed to support his inclusion. Nate is now a junior taking biology, creative writing, home economics, and world history alongside his peers.”

Click here to DOWNLOAD “Achieving Inclusion: What Every Parent Should Know When Advocating For Their Child” (PDF).

Download the PDF file .

For more from Julie Causton, visit her website, Inspire Inclusion. For more from Christi Kasi, visit her website, Inclusion University.

Leading Inclusive Reform for Students With Disabilities: A School and Systemwide Approach by Julie Causton


The following is an article that Julie Causton co-authored with George Theoharis for the journal Theory Into Practice.

It is of great importance to maximize access to general education for all students with disabilities. This article focuses on how leaders create inclusive schools for all students—inclusive school reform. Inclusive school reform can result in all students with disabilities being placed into general education settings (including students with significant disabilities, students with mild disabilities, students with emotional disabilities, students with autism…all students) and providing inclusive services to meet their needs while eliminating pullout or self-contained special education programs. In this article, we outline a 7-part process, as well as a set of tools for schools to use to create authentically inclusive schools. (Theoharis & Causton 2014).

Click Here to DOWNLOAD the complete article, “Leading Inclusive Reform for Students With Disabilities: A School- and Systemwide Approach” from Theory Into Practice.

Download the PDF file .

Published with permission from Julie Causton.


Think Inclusive Podcast #008: How Do We Reform Our Schools For Inclusion? with Julie Causton, PHD

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Although our little podcast is relatively new, this conversation is one of the most compelling ones we have had to date. Dr. Causton, who is a prolific writer and expert in the field of inclusive education, gives us a roadmap for school districts who are interested in becoming more inclusive. In this interview you will hear how Julie and her colleagues have been able to replicate the success that she had with the Schools of Promise research with schools all over the country. This is one interview you are not going to want to miss.

Recording from my living room in beautiful Marietta, GA…you are listening to the Think Inclusive Podcast Episode (008). I am your host Tim Villegas. Today I will be speaking with Dr. Julie N Causton, an associate professor in the Department of Teaching and Leadership at Syracuse University and creator of the website Inspire Inclusion which includes a ten-part video series about inclusion for parents of children with disabilities. I had the pleasure of visiting with her one evening in November of last year. Julie and I discuss what the necessary steps for schools to become more inclusive which include, professional development, re-imagining school district’s service delivery model, and using the law as leverage for systems change. This is one of the most interesting conversations on the podcast to date so please (if you can) listen to the entire episode. So without further ado…Let’s get to the Think Inclusive Podcast…Thanks for listening.

Download Dr. Causton’s checklist of sample supplemental supports, aids & services:


What did you think of the interview? Did you find it as engaging as promised? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!

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