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Inclusive Education

On July 3rd, 2012, Posted by Author No Comments

What is Inclusive Education?

inclusive educationAccording to Sebba and Ainscow (1996) Inclusive Education can be defined in this way: “Inclusion describes the process by which a school attempts to respond to all pupils as individuals by reconsidering its curricular organization and provision. Through this process, the school builds its capacity to accept all pupils from the local community who wish to attend and, in so doing, reduces the need to exclude pupils”.

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Inclusive education does not mean just allowing children with different abilities to attend the same general school without segregating them in “special schools”. It also means the integration of these children into the normal school and acceptance by the other children and the teachers of their differences and difficulties, which would later enable such children to integrate into the adult society. The children who are part of the inclusive education include not only children with physical and mental disabilities, girls from disadvantaged backgrounds, children with chronic illness like HIV, AIDS and so on, children of migrant labourers and from remote tribal areas, street children and working children and all other children.

What are the factors of successful Inclusion Education?

Many researchers agree that the most important factors for inclusive education are the educational policies for the provision of inclusive education in all schools, creation of awareness and inculcation of the required skills in the teachers so that they are able to handle children with different abilities in the same classroom and the provision for support staff and other resources needed for this. However, some educationalists believe that children with different abilities should be allowed to attend the majority of classes in the general classroom and can resort to a resource room with specialist teachers for subjects in which they are placed at a disadvantageous position.

What are the ideal characteristics of Inclusive Education?

Booth and Ainscow (2002, pg. 3) define the following as the most significant features of Inclusive Education:

  • “Valuing all students and staff equally;
  • Increasing the participation of students in, and reducing their exclusion from, the cultures, curricula and communities of local schools;
  • Restructuring the cultures, policies and practices in schools so that they respond to the diversity of students in the locality;
  • Reducing barriers to learning and participation for all students, not only those with impairments or those who are categorised as ‘having special educational needs’;
  • Learning from attempts to overcome barriers to the access and participation of particular students to make changes for the benefit of students more widely;
  • Viewing the difference between students as resources to support learning, rather than as problems to be overcome;
  • Acknowledging the right of students to an education in their locality;
  • Improving schools for staff as well as for students;
  • Emphasising the role of schools in building community and developing values, as well as in increasing achievement ;
  • Fostering mutually sustaining relationships between schools and communities;
  • Recognising that inclusion in education is one aspect of inclusion in society”.

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