How to Implement Inclusive Education
Every day around the world many children are unable to join schools and sit in the same classes as their neighbours and friends. The reason they are unable to do so could be poverty, language, race, gender or disability. This is where inclusive education and schools step in., where there is no separation between general and special education, and everyone has an equal opportunity to learn together. Teachers and teaching assistants are responsible to ensure and maintain an inclusive classroom. It is important to recognise patterns and behaviours that make learners uncomfortable even if it is coming from their teacher. You can become a teaching assistant by doing the primary teaching course which will easily let you get into teaching.
A healthy society is responsible to ensure that each child gets support from the community to learn and develop and go to a school which welcomes them. When students learn together regardless of their differences, society benefits as a whole. As a teaching aide, you must ensure that you are qualified and be confident about teaching students with learning difficulties. You can do the Inclusive Practice CPD course which will enable you to implement it in your classroom. If you choose to opt for primary teaching, the teaching assistant training course online enables you to acquire theoretical knowledge of primary teaching in your specialist area. If you want to teach in the FE or HE sector, you can do the DTLLS teaching course with optional units focused on special education and inclusive teaching. The Level 5 DET course along with specialised modules will give you the required knowledge to help you get a stronghold on your inclusive teaching practices.
What is inclusive education?
Inclusive education means making it possible for students with diverse needs to learn along with other children. It enables students with diverse backgrounds and special needs to become a part of a mainstream school like any other student. No student is barred from education because of their needs.
Inclusive education values diversity and the uniqueness of every student. In truly inclusive education, everyone feels safe and has a sense of belonging. Students and their parents participate in setting learning goals and take part in decisions that affect them. To implement inclusive learning, schools must adopt inclusive education. This is providing support, flexibility, and resources to nurture, encourage, and respond to the needs of all students. A primary teaching assistant can easily recognise the problem while ensuring quality for the entire student experience.
Why is inclusive education important?
Inclusive education is a system that provides a comprehensive education for all children and is an important step in changing discriminatory attitudes in education. Schools are stepping stones for children; they provide the first relationship with the world outside their families. They enable the development of social relationships and interactions. Respect and understanding grow when students of diverse abilities and backgrounds play, socialise, and learn together.
How can schools adapt to inclusive education?
Schools play an important role in the lives of the students. One of the key responsibilities they have is to provide a safe and welcoming classroom to their students. Classrooms should be a place where the student should not feel left out but should feel like they are all here to learn. When such an atmosphere is present in the classroom, the impact outside the classrooms is clear, the adults of tomorrow will be accepting, encouraging, tolerant and above all aware of the needs of people around them. Also, the teaching assistant training qualifies you to teach learners to adapt to an inclusive classroom and be more accepting towards each other.
School management and teachers can use the following steps to implement inclusive education in the classroom.
Understanding current practices
To start an inclusive education system teachers must first understand the demographic of the school. Understanding that will help teachers to identify what needs to be changed.
Questions like “Do I have any students with SENs?”, “What are the school’s processes to protect and help them?”, “Who are the SENCOs or other specialists who understand and champion the removal of barriers to learning?”. All these questions help in understanding what, if any, challenges the school faces. If you get into teaching or are a qualified teacher, you will already know the practices of educational institutions in general and it will be easier for you to implement your knowledge into practice.
Making a leadership team
The next step toward the implementation of inclusive education is to create a leadership team in the school. The leadership team will be tasked to implement inclusive education in school.
The team should meet regularly to discuss and review the impact of changes made. During these meetings, the team should measure and review the practices and procedures used in school. If they have made any changes or suggested any, how far has it progressed? These meetings will help them review the staff's efforts.
Moreover, the implementation of inclusive education in schools is going to encounter challenges. The leadership team would help the staff, students and parents to overcome these challenges. It is very important to have clear leadership for the structuring of inclusive learning.
When making lesson plans, you must keep the school-wide goals in mind. As making plans would not just be enough, they must be put to action and for that to happen it is important that everyone is on board with the plan, and goals are achieved.
After plans have been made by the leadership team, the next step is to implement them. For effective implementation, plans and decisions must be made in specific areas. The key is to approach the goal of inclusive education step by step.
The leadership as well as individual teachers should use objectives from the goals broken down so that the school can start focusing on the identified areas. Measuring success by collecting data and reviewing outcomes helps to gauge the effectiveness of changes. In order to recognise the objectives of lesson planning, you can opt for a short CPD course on effective lesson planning that will help you in recognising the areas of improvement in your own work practice and ways to strengthen them.
Provide professional development
Teachers' professional development is important for any educational practice. This ensures that the staff has the critical skills to deliver what is expected of them. It is of great importance for academic staff to continuously take professional development courses. For instance, nowadays, every instructor should really do a CPD course on Teaching Online as it is one of the most important developments post-covid for teachers and teaching assistants across the globe.
This online teacher development course will allow you to learn about organising time, materials, managing individual and large-group student behaviours, transitions and other arrangements while teaching online. Proper training will allow the staff to develop practices to provide support and deliver their responsibilities accurately.
Hire a Specialist Teaching Aide or SENCO
To ensure that inclusivity remains intact, the school management must hire a specialist who is qualified for primary teaching and is a specialist in maintaining inclusivity. This will help to manage and maintain a welcoming attitude towards all the learners. They can easily manage learners of ages below 10 years and help them develop a more accepting way of learning with each other. Additionally, children learn the most in the first 10 years of their lives, it is important that they learn more about inclusion right from the beginning.