Integration of Handicapped Students: Philosophical Roots in Pragmatism, Idealism, and Realism

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Claudine Sherrill Texas Woman’s University

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This paper presents an alternative rationale, other than compliance with PL 94-142, for implementing the integration of handicapped and nonhandicapped students in physical education. Support for integration is related to Lawrence Kohlberg’s (1971, 1984) stages of moral development. Integration is discussed in terms of the three major philosophical positions (pragmatism, idealism, and realism) as described by Davis (1963), Van Dalen (1975), and Webster (1965). Support for integration, although for different reasons and to different degrees, can be found in each philosophy. The paper illustrates an exercise in the clarification of values that can be replicated by readers.

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