The research is clear, inclusive education is the ultimate win-win situation. Here is an annotated list of some of the best research on inclusive education.

“Thirty years of research shows  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.” – SWIFT Schools

Benefits of Inclusive Education for ALL Students

  • Students without disabilities made significantly greater progress in reading and math when served in inclusive settings. (Cole, Waldron, Majd, 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. (Cushing & Kennedy, 1997)
  • No significant difference was found in the academic achievement of students without disabilities who were served in classrooms with and without inclusion. (Ruijs, Van der Veen, & Peetsma, 2010; Sermier Dessemontet & Bless, 2013)
  • Kalambouka, Farrell, and Dyson’s (2007) meta-analysis of inclusive education research found 81% of the reported outcomes 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 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)

Adapted from Research Support for Inclusive Education and SWIFT (2017)