Special Education, Integrated Education, vs Inclusive Education: Difference and Comparison

Education is the first step that has helped human beings to evolve.

Education is about teaching things to students about living a convenient life, but there has always been adversity among people.

Hence, numerous scholars invented various types of education to develop students’ inner strength, and special education, integrated education, and inclusive education are the three types to serve that purpose.

Key Takeaways

  1. Special education focuses on providing tailored instruction and support for students with disabilities. In contrast, integrated education brings together students with and without disabilities in the same classroom, and inclusive education ensures equal access to education for all students regardless of their abilities.
  2. Special education occurs in separate classrooms or schools, while integrated and inclusive education promotes interaction among diverse learners within mainstream settings.
  3. Special education prioritizes individualized learning plans, while integrated and inclusive education emphasizes differentiation, collaboration, and universal learning design.

Special Education, Integrated Education vs Inclusive Education

Special education is related to providing education to children who are physically or mentally disabled. A unique curriculum is created for special children. Integrated education is related to providing education to children who have different religions. Inclusive education focuses on providing education to every child, whether average or gifted.

Special Education Integrated Education vs Inclusive Education

Special education is a form of education mainly focused on identifying a child’s individual characteristics.

Integrated education is focused on removing religious discrimination from society.

Both of them are essential to improve the moral values of students, and every child must get such education to be prepared for the upcoming future.

Inclusive education is a form of education where every student, regardless of their disabilities, skin color, or religion, studies together in the same classroom from a standard teacher.

Inclusive education becomes essential because it creates and develops the notion of equality. Every child should be treated equally.

It’s their fundamental right, and inclusive education supports this ideology in the best way possible.

Comparison Table

Parameters Of ComparisonSpecial EducationIntegrated EducationInclusive Education
Type of schoolingIn special education, special schools are required for children having physical and mental disabilities. In integrated education, ordinary schools are required for children having a different religious background or any adversity. In inclusive education, every type of child, whether ordinary or gifted, are welcomed in their neighborhood schools.
Type of subjectsIn special education, unique curriculum and instruction are provided for gifted children. In integrated education, a constructive curriculum and related methodologies are provided for children. In inclusive education, methodologies and curriculum activities are completely subject-centered.
OpportunitySpecial education is focused on gifted children, and it provides limited opportunities for students. Integrated education is focused on diversity shared by its apprentice, and it provides partial opportunity. Inclusive education is focused on diversity shared by its apprentice, and it provides partial opportunity.
PlanningPlanning of events in special education is wholly based on the particular needs of the students. In integrated education, there is no need for formal planning other than regular planning. Inclusive education is all about diversity, and it requires formal planning.
Characteristics of studentsIn special education, children having physical and mental disabilities are included. In integrated education, children having diversities like different religions are included. In inclusive education, both average and gifted children are included and given a similar education.

What is Special Education?

Education for children who are different based on mental or physical condition is known as special education.

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Special education is for those children who are averse to the extent that they require modifications to compete with normal children.

The kids who need special education can’t cope with the standard school practices.

A child may need special education depending on a variety of reasons.

Special education is beneficial to improve the emotional aspects of the apprentice, and it can include the necessary aid associated with hearing, speech, and vision for gifted children; for example, a deaf child needs an expert in hand signs.

Scholars from Greece and Rome showed awareness towards taking care of the education of disabled or gifted children.

In ancient societies, people treated disabled people harshly and forced them to live a complicated life.

Before Renaissance, churches were known to be the first institutions to provide necessary educational help to disabled people.

But the, structured educational techniques for gifted children emerged after Renaissance.

Around the mid-1500s, a person called Pedro Ponce de León was known to be the first individual to teach his deaf pupils.

His pupils learned speaking, writing, and speaking Spanish from him, and there are hundreds of other examples.

special education 1

What is Integrated Education?

Integrated education or Integrated school are focused on bringing children of different religious backgrounds together.

Integrated education facilitates or provides a balance between children and adults.

In integrated education, authorities, especially governors and teachers, accept and promote the diversity they all carry.

Integrated education is very beneficial in a modern society wherein the name of religion and people are ready to destroy nations.

Integrated education teaches students about humanity and respect for every religion, country, and culture.

It is one of the best mediums to embrace adversity.

The primary priority of integrated education is to provoke the feeling of independence, making the students full of self-confidence.

The environment arranged by integrated education provides opportunities to learn self-respect and respect for others.

Integrated education is advantageous to make pupils think in a logical way so they can solve problems in the future without getting influenced by a specific religion.

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The circumstances of the current time are screaming for integrated education, where people give more priority to their faith than humanity.

People don’t hesitate to attack countries weaker than them to expand the area of their nation and promote their religions.

Through integrated education, there are thousands of problems that can be solved.

integrated education

What is Inclusive Education?

Inclusive education is a form of education that promotes equality by providing the same classroom for average and gifted students.

In this form of education, disabled students study and spend their time with average students.

It helps them create strong connections and self-esteem by not being separated from the average students.

Inclusive education has many psychological benefits but also has notable disadvantages.

Inclusive education needs balanced modification for gifted children to develop and compete with children considered the norm.

The motto of inclusive education is that if disabled children are treated in the same manner as normal children, they become capable of social interaction with total confidence.

Inclusive education is beneficial to make a person stronger from the inside by lifting up his spirit.

Inclusive education states that disabled children should not get an entirely separate educational environment because, eventually, they are going to deal with the natural world full of diversity.

Another reason to adopt inclusive education is that the ratio of teachers is less than the number of students.

So, if disabled children are taught together with the average children, it’ll be the best.

The government of different nations is required to establish fully inclusive schools by separating separate education and general education.

disabled students

Main Differences Between Special Education, Integrated Education, and Inclusive Education


  1. The main objective of special education is to provide special education for gifted children.
  2. The main objective of integrated education is to bring students of different backgrounds together.
  3. The main objective of inclusive education is to promote equality among students.


  1. Special education is costly because it requires separate items, and there are very few special teachers.
  2. Integrated education is cheaper than special education in many ways.
  3. Inclusive education is the cheapest form of education with the most effectiveness.

Based on

  1. Special education is provided as a charity for disabled people.
  2. The students in integrated education are treated as different from each other.
  3. Inclusive education brings light on the social model and structure related to diversity.


  1. Special education requires particular infrastructure, trained teachers, a special curriculum, etc.
  2. Integrated education, ordinary infrastructure, and teachers but a unique curriculum are necessary.
  3. Inclusive education needs several modifications, along with trained professionals.


  1. The main advantage of special education is that it helps gifted children to find their inner strength.
  2. The main advantage of integrated education is that it provides logical real-life experiences to the students.
  3. The main advantage of inclusive education is that the children learn to respect and accept each other.
  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/00224669030370031001
  2. https://nasenjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1467-8527.00275

Last Updated : 25 November, 2023

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