WHAT IS INCLUSIVE EDUCATION?
The concept of Inclusion
• This term is sometimes confused with integration. However, inclusion goes a bit further .
• Inclusion is associated with the ability of people to accept the other and live in harmony accepting differences .
• If the same society promotes inclusive environments, barriers do not exist and all people are included, since they have the same opportunities
• Inclusion does not focus on the disability or diagnosis of the person. It focuses on your capabilities.
• It is based on the principles of fairness and cooperation . Inclusion accepts everyone as they are, recognizing each person’s individual characteristics without trying to bring them closer to a “normalized” model of being, thinking and acting. Heterogeneity is understood as normal.
• Therefore, the recognition and appreciation of diversity as a human right is proposed
Concept of Inclusive Education and its Characteristics
Inclusive education is about looking at the ways our schools, classrooms, programs and lessons are designed so that all children can participate and learn. Inclusion is also about finding different ways of teaching so that classrooms actively involve all children.
It also means finding ways to develop friendships, relationships and mutual respect between all children, and between children and teachers in the school.
Inclusion is a philosophy based on the belief that all learners are respected for their unique capabilities and should be an integral part of learning within the regular classroom.
Inclusion ensures equitable access to learning for those learners identified with special needs and requires necessary resources, to support their learning with other learners.
Placement of learners to other educational settings must be justified on basis of individual learning needs.
Inclusive education needs to be a collaborative effort among parents/ guardians, teachers, community and government. Inclusive education is carried out in a common learning environment; that is, an educational setting where students from different backgrounds and with different abilities learn together in an inclusive environment.
Benefits of Inclusive Education
i. All children are able to be part of their community and develop a sense of belonging and become better prepared for life in the community as children and adults.
ii. It provides better learning opportunities. Children with varying abilities are often better motivated when they learn in classes surrounded by other children.
iii. The expectations of all the children are higher. Successful inclusion attempts to develop an individual’s strengths and gifts.
iv. It allows children to work on individual goals while being with other learners their age.
v. It encourages the involvement of parents in the education of their children and the activities of their local schools.
vi. It fosters a culture of respect and belonging. It also provides the opportunity to learn about and accept
vii. It provides all children with opportunities to develop friendships with one another. Friendships provide role models and opportunities for growth.
Inclusive education – a moral imperative?
“Inclusive education is the principle of sustainable education for the development of society … aim … to guarantee quality education for all, recognising their differences and respecting diversity, and paying attention to their special abilities and needs, avoiding any exclusion.”(UNESCO, 2009)
“The ultimate goal of a diversity and inclusion programme is to enable all of us to thrive on our differences and develop a sense of belongingness.” (NATO, 2019)
Differences between inclusion, exclusion, segregation and integration
Exclusion– students are unable to access the school
Segregation– Students learning separately in separate building
Integration-Students in the school but not learning with other students in all activities
Inclusion-Students irrespective of gender, disability, religion, race learning together
Inclusive education is carried out in a common learning environment; that is, an educational setting where students from different backgrounds and with different abilities learn together in an inclusive environment.
Common learning environments are used for the majority of the learner’s regular instruction hours and may include classrooms, libraries, gyms, performance theatres, music rooms, cafeterias, playgrounds and the local community.
A common learning environment is not a place where students with intellectual disabilities or other special needs learn in isolation from their peers