Inclusive education essay

Inclusive Education essaysInclusive schooling is both a belief and a practice where all children learn in their local schools in classes with students their own age.
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He further says that this professional should be in the best position to help these students in working with the group, to follow routines and to follow the accepted standards of group behavior. It can be seen that the roles and responsibilities of regular school teachers has now been comprehensive after the introduction of inclusive education programs. It now includes the responsibility of meeting the needs of the differently abled students in addition to meeting the needs of their normal peers.

It is therefore vital that regular school teachers have the appropriate knowledge, skills and attitudes to fulfil their new roles and responsibilities. Competency is a term used widely by different people in different contexts.

So it is defined in different ways. Teacher education and job performance of a teacher are the contexts in which this term is used. Houstan competencies are the requirements of a competency based teacher education, which includes knowledge, skills and values the teacher trainee must demonstrate for successful completion of the teacher education programme. A few characteristics of a competency are as follows.

A competency consists of one or more skills whose mastery would affect the achievement of the competency. A competency has its linkage with all the three domains on which performance can be assessed. It includes the domains of knowledge, skill and attitude.

As the competencies are observable, they are also measurable. It is possible to assess a competency from the performance of a teacher. It is not essential that all competencies of a teacher have the same extent of knowledge, skill and attitude. There may be some competencies of a teacher which have the same extent of knowledge, skill and attitude. List of teaching competencies.

Plan the course or lesson including teaching strategies, teaching materials, and classroom organisation. Presentation and communication skills including lecturing, explaining, eliciting response, questioning, discussing, dramatizing, reading, demonstrating, using audio-visual aids, etc. Evaluation includes informal observations of student progress, diagnosing learning difficulties, encouraging peer, self-evaluation, handling evaluative discussions, etc. The current reforms put in effort towards school restructuring aimed at implementing effective inclusion programs present significant challenges for regular school teachers.

The success of these efforts depends largely on the responsiveness and willingness of these teachers to meet the educational and social needs of students with varying abilities. The teachers are now required to have a number of additional skills and competencies, not generally practiced in regular education classrooms.

Few researchers argue that teachers are now expected to do almost all of the role functions as that of a special education teacher. The difference, however, is that they have not received an intensive training in the skills that are possessed by special educators. These teachers are now expected to incorporate the adaptive dimension in all their efforts for children with special needs. The teachers must have a clear understanding of the resources and support systems which are available to help them for working with students with disabilities.

They should present information to the students in a manner which enables them to assimilate the information easily. These include peer tutoring, mastery learning, cooperative learning, and applied behavior analysis. The Council for Exceptional Children developed and validated a common core of minimum essential knowledge and skills necessary for entry into professional practice in special education. There are some competencies that are field tested and supported as probable methods for delivering effective instruction to students with diverse learning needs.

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Inclusive Education Essay - Words | Bartleby

Some of them, that are extensively used, include: class-wide peer tutoring, cooperative learning, self-management skills, differentiated instruction and use of assistive technology. The school teachers especially need to be skilled in skills like effective instruction delivery and appropriate management of a classroom that is characterized by diversity. There are efforts that have been made, especially in western countries, to identify the competencies that regular school teachers need to work effectively with differently abled students. A wide range of respondents including students with and without special needs, parents of children with disabilities, school principals, special and regular education teachers, and teacher educators have been surveyed to identify these competencies.

Inclusive education

As a result, several lists of vital teacher competencies have been created; all of which are context and situation specific. These competencies have been classified under the seven categories. Each of them is briefly discussed regarding their relevance to inclusive education. The seven core competencies include:. Professional knowledge in the context of inclusive education includes a knowledge and understanding of: basic terminology and concepts used in special education; a rationale and history of inclusive education; various disabling conditions; policies, programs and legislations related to inclusive education; rights, roles and responsibilities of parents, students, teachers and other professionals as they relate to individuals with special learning needs.

Murray and Payne piloted a survey of school principals regarding the desirable competencies by regular school teachers to work effectively with differently abled children. The principals graded the knowledge of disabling conditions as the most important competency for these teachers. In a study carried out by Celotta and Goodspeed , the researchers surveyed thirty seven professors and sixty four regular school teachers to identify the competencies that regular school teachers deliberated most important to work with differently abled students.

Sharma had also reported that Indian teachers require information on the types of disabilities, educational implications, curriculum adaptation, and skills and strategies required for meeting the needs of students with disabilities. Classroom management for inclusive education includes the knowledge of: Applied Behavior Analysis ABA ; basic classroom management theories, methods and techniques for individuals with different learning needs; research-based best practices for effective management of teaching and learning; materials arrangement creating a positive atmosphere in the classroom and organization of aids and support services,.

The diversity in the classrooms presents a range of management encounters for school teachers. For example, differently abled students, particularly those identified with emotional and behavior disorder EBD and autism spectrum disorder ASD , may present unique behavioural challenges for these teachers. According to Wang, Haertal and Walberg effective classroom management has been found to contribute more to school learning than classroom instruction, curriculum design, student demographics, and home support and school policy.

As a supportive educational environment has an important positive effect on overall learning of differently abled students, Nielsen argues that regular classroom teachers need to be competent in making a positive psycho-social environment for all differently abled students. Along with psycho-social environment, the physical aspects of classroom also exert a great influence on the inclusive classroom environment. The physical environment comprises of aspects such as arrangement of desks, lighting and temperature. The placement of the special needs child in the classroom, in relation to the rest of the students, is also very important.

Such control can be easily handled in primary schools. It is the responsibility of the teacher to adjust and adapt the physical and psycho-social arrangement of the classroom to be responsive to the needs of the differently abled children.

An ever increasing diversity in the classrooms has made it necessary for regular classroom teachers to work with special education teachers, school psychologists, para-professionals such as speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, recreational therapists etc. The joint effort in dealing with the problems creating solutions would enhance the chances of the success of the programme or the course. Their shared expertise and shared ownership of problems would help the educators to deal with the problems collaboratively, rather in isolation.

Friend and Cook point out that collaboration between regular school teachers, parents of differently abled students and other school staff is one of the most significant issue in the education of differently abled students in regular school settings. West and Cannon conducted a study involving hundred experts from forty seven states in the United States of America to recognize necessary collaborative consultation competencies needed by both regular and special educators in inclusive education settings.


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These experts rated awareness of consultancy theory and models, ability to communicate interactively and solving problems collaboratively as the most significant collaborative-consultation skills for regular school teachers who are involved in the implementation of inclusive education. Regular school teachers could use the given collaborative strategies in order to deliver effective instructional programs to differently abled students — peer collaboration, co-teaching and teacher assistance teams.

Peer collaboration involves pairs of teachers working together to resolve classroom problems.

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Pugach and Johnson found that teachers using this strategy are likely to have fewer problems. Friend and Cook defined co-teaching as "two or more professionals delivering substantive instruction to a diverse or blended group of students in a single space. Teacher assistance teams are also known as support teams, intervention assistance teams and planning teams.

Here a group of teachers meet and brainstorm options for a teacher experiencing problems in the classroom.

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Assessment, the process of using testing and other formal and informal means of evaluation to make educational decisions, is one of the most vital skills for a regular classroom teacher to have in the implementation of inclusive education programs. The teacher has to employ both, basic skills such as gathering, learning and background information of differently abled students and also highly specialized skills such as selecting, administering, scoring and interpreting standardized measurement instruments.

Friend and Bursuck suggested that regular school teachers could use assessment information for six instructional and placement decisions for differently abled students. These contain screening, diagnosis, program placement, instructional evaluation and program evaluation.

We can conclude that the idea that SEN students will not comprehend the curriculum might be false, provided that teaching strategies, appropriate supplementary staff, funding and environment are available. The fact that teachers are required to cover the curriculum within a certain timeframe, regardless of SEN students ability to follow it alongside their peers is the second major problem that teachers face during the implementation of an inclusive curriculum King-sears, This is a symptom of a much wider issue-accountability.

Researchers note that when assessment scores among SEN students are particularly low, there is an immediate focus on the parts of the curriculum that are being assessed. An example qualitative study of testing SEN students in an inclusive curriculum clearly shows that repeated testing and make-up testing is the norm for at-risk students Meek, This is often perceived as a failure of the curriculum, particularly when statistics show that less than a third of SEN students in the US pass high school competency exams Defur, According to teachers implementing the curriculum, the curriculum goals for SEN students should be differentiated from simply satisfying test parameters.

Goals for SEN students should be specifically tailored and pursued with methods mentioned above Meek, King notes that this begins a vicious cycle of neglecting background knowledge necessary for understanding among SEN students, leading to poor standardized test scores, which in turn leads to increases in the pace of study by administrators King-sears, , a situation I observed even in settings where SEN students were not included. Educators should consider that points of entry for students might vary, depending on their previous knowledge and specific disability. Research shows that focusing on individual students, testing for mastery of knowledge and not for test content, testing for competency in particular areas that might be more accessible for SEN students and other changes to the testing system should be beneficial Meek, The point of standardized testing, however, is not torture of SEN students, but rather ensuring that students are in fact benefiting from their education.

Ensuring that students learn everything the curriculum has to offer might not be the most reasonable of priorities, as research points out that some students may master less content, but learn more than they would have if they had been exposed to every part of it King-sears, Is it then right to modify inclusive curricula and ignore standardised testing?

I must note that this solution might not be applicable in nations or areas with high student to teacher ratios or poor funding. Adaptive teaching of a curriculum hinges on the teacher being able to adapt it to a specific student. Without this adaptation, poor results on standardised tests might influence school rankings prompting unethical policies such as exclusion of SEN students from assessment King-sears, Adaptation or differentiation of the curriculum is then necessary, but how can it be achieved?

A recent study emphasizes the role of initial assessment systems in inclusion of SEN students. The European DAFFODIL Dynamic Assessment of Functioning and Oriented at Development and Inclusive Learning project was examined and questionnaires sent to a variety of educators, psychological professionals and parents in a number of European countries to determine how effective this differentiation of SEN students is and how students are assessed upon their entry into inclusive programs.

This clearly implies that any effective inclusive curriculum must be supplemented by a dynamic, process based evaluation of SEN students, not static psychometric tests. Is there then a need for individual programs and evaluations for each student? The actual strategies recommended for applying a curriculum in a differentiated way have been widely researched. An example study shows that differentiation need not be on the individual level but can be applied to groups of students with similar disabilities.

Krawec suggests that differentiating students into groups of low-achieving, average-achieving and SEN students and then explicitly teaching paraphrasing and visual representation strategies to them might eliminate differences in ability among them Krawec, The research furthermore suggests that any such curriculum should be supplemented by real world problem solving. When the entry level of knowledge and ability has been identified, further monitoring is necessary to ensure that students advance at a steady pace and move on to more complex skills King-sears, CBM or similar monitoring system employs short-term and long-term achievable goals on an individual basis to ensure that the curriculum is being followed at an appropriate pace.

Studies report that it is useful in any subject Stecker, While any such monitoring system will be time —consuming, it provides the teacher with the option of applying a truly differentiated curriculum. Both students that show low progress as well as those that are not being challenged enough can be taught differently, which I would argue is truly inclusive. If the primary goal of any inclusive curriculum is to provide a basis for student learning and achievement, its secondary goal must be to facilitate inclusion.