Inclusion: Inclusion is the process of educating children in such a way so that it benefits all students and entails a clear participation of a student with disabilities side-by-side their peers without disabilities.
Integration: Integration is the process in which students with disabilities are absorbed into the mainstream education.
Inclusion: In inclusion, the focus is not on fitting the student and their needs into the mainstream education, but improving participation of all students, educating them not only the same room, but completing the same activities, modified as required. There is no “time out” space or seclusion in a mainstream classroom practicing meaningful inclusion.(There may be a quiet, developmentally and educationally appropriate space which is available and used by all students who may need a break, such as a book nook with beanbags).
Integration: Through an integrated approach, students with special needs have to fit into mainstream education. At best, they get to see typical peers and may absorb other students’ participation. At worst, they are unable to receive meaningful benefit if they don’t receive modifications that set them up for success.
Inclusion: Inclusion focuses on all students, not just those with disabilities. All students receive meaningful benefit from receiving their education in a classroom/school where there are no special learning areas, but where the classroom is designed to never single any student out.
Integration: Integration focuses on students with disabilities and is a location. Many Masters and Bachelors special education programs in the 80’s and early-mid 90’s were much more focused on integration.
Inclusion: To accommodate student needs, the school undergoes change. All children receive instruction side-by-side, differentiated as needed for all.
Integration: To accommodate the child the subject is changed or chosen (ie: student only participates in “specials” or snack). They are not part of a class, they visit the classroom.