This image is making the rounds through various social media outlets. I think it is a wonderful representation of the various settings and situations encountered in special education. I will share my take on each of these.
Full inclusion is the ultimate LRE (least restrictive environment) but is simply not the appropriate placement or LRE for some students. My son Gabriel rarely encounters this model because it is simply would not work for him. Even when it is the appropriate LRE it is incredibly challenging to enact for various reasons which I’ll enumerate.
Special ed teachers are often overwhelmed with responsibilities to provide the support for a full inclusion environment.
Administration does not allow for the factors necessary for implementation, e.g. providing a student with the individual attention necessary.
For the most part, general ed teachers simply do not know how to or do not take responsibility for providing accommodations necessary, especially ones not listed in the IEP.
The other models are both useful and misused as well. Exclusion can refer to how students in special education either are denied access to or could not make use of many opportunities or classes. Segregation would represent a self-contained placement. It has its place in services. My son Gabriel has situations in which it is necessary and desired. The integration model is also perfectly valid. Some students are not capable of being fully woven into a class but they can benefit from proximity to peers.