The intent of this blog is to gather resources, video clips, discussion points in blog format for parents, students, and staff. The vision for inclusive education is one that meets the needs of ALL students. Naturally any use of the word ALL creates a challenge as sometimes meeting the needs of one may lead to a perceived conflict upon the needs of other students. Balance, common sense and a willingness to be open to change are all part of the evolution to a successful inclusive environment.
Student centered – at the very core of the conversation is what is best for the student. This, might not always be the easiest thing to accomplish by the teacher, and may involve a concerted effort on the part of peers in the class but all of it will contribute to the learning experience of everyone in the system. Having students mentor or provide support to a student may in fact take them away from doing some of their own work, however the reinforcing aspect of working with another, explaining to another, or helping another come to understand the material will serve the supporting student at least as well as the student who received the support.
It is important to understand that inclusive education or inclusive learning is not just a new name for special education. This is about developing better understanding, drawing bigger circles around the greater population, and pulling everyone into the greater shared experience of learning in our schools. Inclusive learning addresses culture, race, gender, sexual orientation, gifted education, and the needs of students who require additional supports to address emotional, physical, and mental gaps or challenges to learning.
Alberta Education’s Inclusive Education video: