Inclusion Series- How Culture Affects Inclusion: A Literature Review

Introduction

By Rebecca Webster

Inclusion and cultural diversity are two societal factors that are simultaneously increasing here, in America. According to the National Center of Education Statistics (2019), 50.7 million students are estimated to attend public schools across the country, including elementary, middle, and high schools. Of those students, about 10% are classified as English Language Learners (ELLs) and approximately 7% identified as having a disability. As these numbers continue to grow, so do the unique and individual needs of the students’ and their families. To make inclusion successful, parents and teachers must be able to work together to ensure the needs of all students are being met both at home and in school. This includes recognizing and acknowledging cultural differences, and using that information to better support the families and the student going forward.  The literature reviewed in this paper will take a closer look at the various views of disability and inclusion, as well as the effects these beliefs have on student performance in schools from 6 different cultures. Recommendations for successful inclusion across all cultures going forward will also be addressed.

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