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peer tutoring

one child instructing or assisting another.

Early Intervention and Public Policy

of PL 99-457. As noted in the section on the cost issue, many typically develop- ing children who would benet from an early education program are not being served. As inclusive programs become common, many more enrollments for all children will become available.

Developmental progress

The progress of children who are typically developing is not adversely affected by placement in inclusive classes with children with developmental disabilities. This nding has been demonstrated at preschool and elementary ages (Buysee & Bailey, 1993; Sharpe, York, & Knight, 1994). In studies that have compared the amount of teacher attention to individual students and students’ rate of engaged learning time in classrooms with and without students with disabili- ties, there are no differences, again suggesting no negative impact on instruc- tional opportunities in inclusive classrooms. Summarizing a number of studies, Thurman and Widerstrom (1990) suggest that children without disabilities benet from integrated programs “at least to the same degree and sometimes to a greater degree than would have been expected if they had attended non- integrated preschools” (p. 39). Another conclusion to be safely drawn from the current research is that the developmental outcome for children in inclusive programs depends on the quality of teaching, rather than integration.

Peer tutoring

A well-documented benet of inclusion for normally developing children is peer tutoring—one child instructing another. It appears that both the child being tutored and the child doing the tutoring receive signicant benets from the experience. The common sense of this is readily apparent; most of us have discovered that, given an unpressured opportunity to teach someone else something we know (or are learning), our own skill and understanding are increased. The same is true of children. As pointed out by Spodek, Saracho, and Lee (1984), voluntary peer tutoring among young children of all developmental levels can promote:

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    social interactions among children who are disabled and non-disabled.

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      acceptable play behaviors.

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      appropriate and enhanced use of materials.

In fact, peer tutoring tends to be of special value for gifted children. It pro- vides an exciting and challenging stretch for their own creativity and ingenuity.

Developing sensitivity

Rafferty, Boettcher, and Grifn (2001) surveyed 244 parents of children who at- tended a community-based preschool in New York. Almost all parents surveyed reported that inclusion helped typically developing children to understand differences in others. The children developed sensitivity and became increas- ingly aware of their own strengths and weaknesses. MgGreggor & Vogelsberg (1998) state that typical children that have the most contact with children

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