Introduction Inclusive education is a process whereby the school systems, strategic plans, and policies adapt and change to include teaching strategies for a wider more diverse range of children and their families. Inclusive education implicitly means to identify a child’s learning style and adapt the classroom and teaching strategies to ensure high quality learning outcomes for all members of the class. Everyone is important, unique and valued for their contribution to the school. Kirk et al. ,(2009).
In this assignment we are going to tackle about inclusive education, its advantage towards learners with and without special education in schools and also the characteristics of a school that make it effective for the implementation of inclusive education. We are also going to discuss about steps to follow in order to create an effective school for all in my region and to discuss the challenges of inclusive education in Namibia lastly we are going to make recommendation on how the challenges of inclusive education can be met.
Question 1 Discuss the advantages/benefits of inclusive education towards the learners with and without special educational needs in Namibian school. The learners will all feel accepted and loved In an inclusive classroom, disabled children have a chance to feel "like the other kids. " They are less likely to miss out on social events, and they have more opportunities to make friends. The chance to achieve alongside their non-disabled peers can help their self-esteem.
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With the support of a skilled teacher, they may become more socially competent and feel less isolated. There are potential benefits for non-disabled students, too, who may gain greater understanding and empathy as they learn to accept and appreciate their disabled peers. Non-disabled students may also benefit educationally from the more individualized and personalized approach that inclusive teaching can provide. They will all have effective learning In inclusive education, children with and without disabilities are all expected to study, learn, read, write.
By having higher expectations for children with disabilities coupled with good and effective instruction, they quickly learn academic skills. Because the philosophy and mission of inclusive education is intended to help all students to learn, all children in the class benefit from the method of instruction. Children with disabilities in the classroom tend to show academic achievement in several areas including improved performance on mastery of IEP goals, standardized tests, motivation to study and learn, overall good grades and classroom behaviour.
Also, children with disabilities who are instructed under general educational settings have scored higher on literacy than those children educated in segregated classrooms They have increased understanding and learn to accept diversity When students participate in classes that mimic the differences and similarities of individuals in the outside or real world, they naturally learn to accept diversity. Understanding, acceptance, and respect grow as the children with differing cultures and abilities interact with each other.
Inclusive classrooms also create venues where children form and develop friendships with each other while strengthening their social and interactive skills. Children with differing abilities will learn from each other. Because it creates a solid group, the inclusive classroom promotes the civil rights of all students, provides support to the social value of equality and respect, teaches collaborative and socialization skills, builds interdependence and support between students, promotes social peace, and provides children a micro model of the real world. They all have normal lives
For families with disabled children, the dream of living a normal life comes true thanks to inclusive classrooms. Of course, all parents want their kids to live normally: have friends, be accepted by others, and have regular activities. Inclusive classrooms make this a reality for children with disabilities. Through inclusive settings, children with disabilities can achieve a sense of belonging with diverse groups of people. Therefore, it provides a good venue for learning and growing. In terms of socialization, children learn to develop friendships while enhancing self-respect.
It allows no discrimination as all learners are treated equally When students with special education needs are placed into a separate classroom from their peers, it puts a label on those students and marks them as "different. " Inclusion practices sort children into classrooms without the bias of special needs or non-special needs entering into the process. In this way, inclusion allows each student to have access to the same teachers, instructional materials, tools and lessons as every other student in the school. They will have real-world experience
When students leave school and enter the real world, they will not always find themselves surrounded by other people who are exactly like them. Students with special needs will need to learn to function with people who do not have special needs, and the opposite is also true of students in regular education programs. An inclusive classroom helps students learn about the differences between people while they are still young and exposes them to diversity by allowing them to work and play alongside children who are different from themselves. A positive learning environment
Each and every learner feels welcome and is given the opportunity to perform at his/her educational needs; they are also empowered to participate frequently in cooperative learning, peer tutoring and decision making. Learners with and those without special needs they will have on going contact with each other both within the academic and social setting. They will feel empathy for one another, gain an increased sense of self-esteem, develop a positive understanding of each other, develop friendship and develop strong and social communication.
Question 2 Characteristics of a school that make it effective for the implementation of inclusive education The school promotes a sense of belonging to all learners; all learners are treated equally despite their differences. Learners who can’t walk are provided with wheelchairs so that they can move everywhere they want without someone helping them and learners with hearing impairments are provided with earpiece to block any background noises which can affect them.
Learners with visual impairment are provided with eye glasses and they are projectors in classrooms which can project texts so that they can see well and so that learning can be facilitated They are corridors that are designed to help learners on wheelchairs to move smoothly without any problem and they are also physical therapists, counsellors and support groups that help these learners. Question 3 You are appointed as inclusive educational officers at your region. You are given a responsibility to be one of the policy makers.
What steps will you follow so that you create an effective school for all in your region? Developing a common philosophy and strategic plan The establishment of a school philosophy or mission statement serves as to define its intend in terms of how the needs of all learners will be addressed and to foster an individual and collective involvement and participation by all education professionals, families and communities towards acceptance and care for all learners included in the regular education classroom. Providing strong leadership
To have responsibility to set the tone of the school and to ensure that decisions are made, challenges are met and interactions and processes are supported that are consistent with the school’s philosophy and defined purpose. Promoting school and classroom cultures that will welcome appreciate and accommodate diversity Make sure that schools have to acknowledge value, respect, educate and socialise all its learners. It has to develop a caring culture that welcomes, appreciates and accommodates all learners.
The schools personnel have to attend to their learners needs for acceptance, belonging and friendships as the social environment significantly influences learning itself. The social interactions between the teacher and the learner and those among learners are critical ingredients in the learning process therefore each learner has to feel valued, safe, connected and cared for in order for inclusive education to succeed. Developing support networks It is important to develop school support networks for both teachers and learners needing encouragement and assistance in an inclusive education setting.
The support network of a particular school may include various types of teams and other support systems that help ensure that the philosophy or mission statement of the school, to effectively meet the needs of all students, is operationalized. Using a deliberate process to ensure accountability Successful inclusion depends on a proactive process to ensure sufficient, effective and on-going planning and monitoring of the learners. Planning sessions must be treated as part of an on-going process and not as ends in themselves.
Regular and efficient team meetings are necessary in order to monitor progress. Developing organised and on-going technical assistance There will be a need for regular, comprehensive and innovative staff development opportunities in schools, there will also be a need for a task force to provide technical assistance for all individuals involved in teaching learners with special educational needs in an inclusive education setting. Regular needs assessment should be conducted to identify the types and content of the technical assistance activities that are most needed.
Maintaining flexibility To make sure that schools welcome and educate all its learners. It has to respond to the challenges posed by learners with diverse educational needs in their pursuit of education. Examining and adopting effective teaching approaches To see if they are best possible approaches and to ensure effective teaching and learning by all learners. L earners have varying strengths, weakness, needs and learning styles. Teachers need to know each learners well enough to have good sense of their, strengths and underdeveloped abilities.
They also need to appreciate the varied talents and special abilities as well as the disabilities that their learners may bring to the classroom. Celebrating successes and learning challenges School staffs ought to be creative and innovative. They ought to demonstrate a positive focus and recognise the importance of acknowledging, celebrating and building on success. They also ought to develop a culture of self-reflection and continuous improvement. The schools needs to nourish and incorporate its successes into its school policy and day to day practice Being knowledgeable about the change process
People experience and react to change differently. The change process can be slow and time consuming. Since change is considered a process, educators can use it as a rationale for slowly phasing in new practices in schools. to avoid implementation failure, all stakeholders at all levels must join together to facilitate a comprehensive planning of the new change that is consistent with the school’s mission statement. 3. 1 What are the challenges of inclusive education in Namibia? Not enough teachers training
Regular education teachers often do not have the appropriate training or education to understand the needs of students who have disabilities. A teacher is not able to provide special needs students with enough care or attention in the classroom, so the student falls behind or acts out behaviourally. Even the most flexible teacher can have difficulty. Due to continued demands for standardized testing or other academic standards, she may be unable to be as creative in teaching as she might otherwise be. General Education Practices Have Not Changed Enough
Inclusion may not have changed teaching practices in the regular education classroom enough to benefit special needs students who are integrated into the classroom. Most classrooms tend to teach to average level students and it can be difficult for the learning disabled student to keep up with the pace of the classroom. Regular education teachers may resent slowing the classroom pace for the few special needs students, as they feel it might be detrimental to the majority of students in the classroom. Lack of Funding for Appropriate Resources
Some of the detriments of inclusive education could be minimized if the regular education classroom had the appropriate resources available for teachers. For example, inclusive classrooms can be benefited by having a teacher's aid or paraprofessional in the classroom to assist the regular education teacher with behavioural issues, study skills and assignments of special needs students. Funding for these resources is sparse though, so the teacher may find that keeping control of a large inclusive classroom is beyond his abilities.
Lower Educational Standards and Loss of Advocacy Parents and special education teachers may be concerned that the lesson plans in a regular education inclusive classroom will be watered down to accommodate the special needs students. This would end up being a detriment not only to the regular education student, but the special education student as well. Special education teachers are specifically trained to understand the strengths of individual disabled students. Therefore, lesson quality can be higher in the special education classroom.
With the shift from special education classrooms to regular education classrooms, students could not only experience a loss of quality in the teaching, but a loss of advocacy from the teacher. 3. 2 Make recommendation how the challenges above can be solved. Having external support service This external support must be provided by an expert team (qualified staff) who needs to work at the regular school jointly with children, teachers, other services and education community as whole.
Learners with special educational needs should receive additional instructional support in the context of the regular curriculum. Training regular teachers It is actually one of the foundations that can lead us to make inclusive education a successful reality. Qualified teachers know that classroom needs must be approaches from a curricular standpoint in which difficulties are defined depending on each specific task and activity and on classroom conditions. The types of curricula they develop are process based therefore they are flexible and they adjust to the unique diversity of each group.
They are not based on learning goals that resort exclusively to testing to measure how much a child has learnt. Qualified teachers know that sometimes they need to modify materials, techniques, methods, etc. that when necessary they have to replace or skip activities that they might have to adjust scheduled times. Teaching-learning material Learners must have access to the materials that they need, learners with disabilities they are supposed to have in class-help, be extracted from certain activities, have additional after school-help and also to have additional homeworks.
Physical access and learning environment Where physical factors pose barriers to learning and participation, simple ramps and internal classroom arrangements can easily help the situation. Furthermore, improvements in the physical environment of the centres of learning, such as the design of the building, the availability of water, electricity and toilet/sewerage facilities will enable students to participate in the range of learning activities in and out of the classroom and provision of necessary facilities learning aids and support materials.
These changes benefit all students. Curriculum and Assessment Curriculum needs to be relevant to the children and flexible enough to respond to all children's needs. The curriculum can facilitate the development of more inclusive settings when it leaves room for the Centre of learning or the individual teacher to make adaptations so that it makes better sense in the local context and for the individual learner.
Being re-trained in curriculum and evaluation, teachers need to be trained to change their attitude of special needs children. Conclusion In this assignment we mainly discussed about inclusive education, and we have seen that inclusive education is very important to our education system here in Namibia as it makes learners to accepted diversity and to make them feel that they are loved, cared for, valued and that they are important members of the society. It also improves the learning of learners and to know that they are all equal.
Inclusive education must be implemented in schools and the steps we mentioned need to be followed in order to implement an effective schools for all in my region as whole as Namibia at large. Challenges of inclusive education need to be addressed and solved, and also parents, teachers, learners and the community as a whole need to work together in order to have a successful inclusive education in Namibia. Reference list Haihambo, C. K. , Hengari, J. U. , & M? wes, A. D. (2010).
Introduction to inclusive education. University of Namibia: Centre for external studies. Kirk,S. ,James. J,Coleman. M,& Nick,A. (2009). Educating exceptional children(13th ed. ). USA: Wadsworth. Walton,E. (n. d. ). Key challenges in inclusive education. Retrieved April 12,2013 from www. inclusion. co. za/media/docs/? key%? 20challenges%20of%? 20inclusive. Mae,L. (nd. ). Challenges of an inclusive classroom. Retrieved April 12,2013 from www. ehow. com › … › Parents of Students › Early Childhood Education.
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