Myths and Misconceptions

What keeps children with intellectual disabilities out of regular schools?

Sceptics and critics give many reasons why inclusive education doesn’t work. Some of the reasons they give are inconsequential while others do indeed identify issues that are obstacles to successful inclusion. Many are myths, others are misconceptions.

All too often they continue to be cited when there is overwhelming evidence to contradict them.

This pamphlet sets out a response to ten of the most frequently heard myths and
misconceptions about inclusive education:

  1. Inclusion is an unrealistic idea.
  2. Inclusion education is a simplistic one-size-fits-all approach that
    will not work.
  3. Inclusion is OK for some, but it isn’t for everyone, especially those
    with intellectual disabilities.
  4. Inclusion makes unrealistic demands on teachers.
  5. Inclusion harms ‘typical’ students because students with
    disabilities take up too much of the teacher’s time.
  6. Regular schools and teachers are not trained to deal with students
    with disabilities and they need instruction provided by special
    teachers trained to work with them.
  7. Students with disabilities will be bullied and poorly treated in
    inclusive schools.
  8. Students need to be ready to learn what the teacher will teach, or
    they shouldn’t be in the class.
  9. Teaching students with intellectual disabilities in the community
    school costs too much money.
  10. Many parents don’t want inclusion for their child with an
    intellectual disability.

Myths and Misconceptions (pdf)

Call to Action: Inclusive Education

For more information about the Catalyst for Inclusive Education Initiative visit: