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Learning and Teaching should be Inclusive and Enjoyable:

Inclusion
 

 

Inclusion is more than meeting special educational needs.   It is to ensure the participation and highest achievement of all groups at risk of underachievement.   The inclusive school or community recognises and values the richness of pupil diversity and develops appropriate responses to this.

Points arising from research

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Inclusion provides communities with challenges that demand change across culture, policy and practice with a significant emphasis on classroom culture and practice

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Schools should modify their buildings to allow access to anyone whatever their disability

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Schools should actively encourage the admission of pupils with special education needs because everyone benefits from working together

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Exploration of teaching and learning styles through a variety of initiatives e.g. Mind Friendly Learning, Multiple intelligences, and Accelerated Learning etc. enhance inclusion

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Schools must develop skill in relation to working with gifted and talented pupils

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Inclusion is often more implicit than explicit in school plans (although it may be more explicit in practice)

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Schools need to focus on inclusion, becoming aware of the full range of issues and opportunities that apply to the term inclusion

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Many schools think the term applies only to SEN provision

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Issues such as gender and gifted and talented pupils need to be explored

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Whilst children are rightly at the heart of this issue, in some schools other groups’ needs are not being addressed e.g. classroom assistants

Key Elements of Inclusion 

Value and recognise:

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Recognise and celebrate all cultural and family backgrounds and heritages    

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Recognise and respect difference   

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Recognise and celebrate a wide range of achievement  

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Recognise that all pupils are different and can achieve    

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Value pupils and encourage them to value themselves  

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Recognise that we are all different, seek to understand those differences and strive to give each individual a sense of worth

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Reflect and provide equal opportunities for all members of the school community whatever their age, gender, ethnicity, attainment and background

Challenge:

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Challenge prejudice, discrimination and segregation wherever it occurs           

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Monitor all that is done in the school to ensure inclusion is taking place

 

Expectation:

 

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Have high and realistic expectations of all members of the school and communicate them clearly            

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Have high expectations of all agencies to know, show, provide and share good, effective practice and work with all agencies in the best interests of the pupils

Use resources:

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Target resources to overcome barriers to learning, rather than simply to solve problems

Develop a whole school culture:

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Provide a secure and stimulating learning environment for the whole school community   

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Accept that everyone has a right to be listened to, to be consulted and to shape and influence decisions

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Talk with and listen to pupils

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Aim for all school members to have high self-esteem and to show mutual respect

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Have a shared vision, which includes partnership with all parties in the community

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Involve pupils in debating issues of importance

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Operate on the premise that ’difference’, however defined or evidenced, should not be a barrier to learning

Identify and overcome barriers:

Some of the barriers to look out for and overcome:

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Time restraints  

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Limited resources            

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Unchallenged anti-inclusive principles

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Not listening to all individuals   

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Insufficient support for teachers

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Low parental/community expectations

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Rigid measurement of attainment and achievement   

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Stereotyping   

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Heavy curriculum content   

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Poor problem-solving skills         

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External pressures and influences

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Lack of knowledge of how children learn

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Prejudice (recognised and unrecognised)

 

Reflection and Discussion

What does inclusion mean to and for your school?

Which areas of inclusion do you recognise in your current classroom practice?

What gaps exist in your school’s approach to inclusion?

You may wish to list these in rank order  from ‘easily solved’ to ‘major challenge’ on a 4 point scale.

Some Activities to Develop an Inclusive Classroom 

Key Element

Objective

Action

 

Some examples and suggestions

Value and Recognise

Recognise and respect differences.

Assemblies planned to include focus on achievement by people from different ethnic groups/ gender/disability.

Challenge

Challenge prejudice discrimination and segregation wherever it occurs.

Pupils, with staff support, organise their own groups e.g. schools councils, where equality issues can be raised.

Expect

Have high and realistic expectations of all members of the school and communicate them clearly.

Specific targets for the lesson explained clearly, expressed in terms of what the pupil will know, understand and be able to do, written on board or front sheet/displayed visually in striking colour.

Use Resources
 

Target resources to overcome barriers to learning, rather than simply to solve problems.

Headteacher analyses budget to ensure pupils with different needs receive appropriate share of resources available.

Develop a Whole School Culture

Aim for all school members to have high self-esteem and to show mutual respect.
 

Use PCP - PRAISE-CONSTRUCTIVE EDUCATIVE FEEDBACK PRAISE - when giving feedback about pupils' work. The brain remembers beginning best, followed by endings and will remember the part in the middle if it is of specific interest.

Identify and
Overcome Barriers

Not listening to all individuals.

Circle Time: Teachers or pupils decide on a topic for discussion. Pupils sit in a circle and only allowed to talk when it is their turn. Pupils can choose whether or not to speak; all contributions are accepted and valued.

Selected References

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Further Reading
 

The following are suggested as starting points. They contain references to other work, which could be useful. 

HMIE report (2002) Count Us In - Achieving Inclusion in Scottish Schools   Available from The Stationery Office Bookshop, 71 Lothian Road, Edinburgh, EH3 9AZ   Tel: 0870 606 5566

Hopkins, D. & Harris, A. (2000) Creating the conditions for Teaching and Learning.  David Fulton Publishers

MacDonald, R. (1997) Support for Learning across the Curriculum Sharing Good Practice: Prevention and Support concerning pupils presenting social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. Scottish Office 1997.

SCCC (1996) Teaching for Effective Learning Dundee: SCC

Smith, A. (1996) Accelerated Learning in the Classroom  Network Educational Press Ltd. 

Smith, A. & Call, N. (1999) Accelerated Learning in the  Primary Classroom  Network Educational Press Ltd.

 

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Websites 
 

www.ltscotland.org.uk/inclusiveeducation/
Information, publications, practical toolkits and useful resources
with  relevance to inclusion and equality of opportunity within education.

Links for Additional Support Needs
www.senteacher.org/main/links.php#SEN


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Last updated 20/08/2010
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