Monday, September 26, 2011

In Inclusive Education Children learn together; learn to live together-Dr.K.Govindaraju

SEVAI Inclusive Learning centre

The purpose of education is to ensure that all students gain access to knowledge, skills, and information that will prepare them to contribute to communities and workplaces.  The central purpose becomes more challenging as schools accommodate students with increasingly diverse backgrounds and abilities.  As we strive to meet these challenges, the involvement and cooperation of educators, parents, and community leaders is vital for the creation of better and more inclusive schools. Inclusion is an educational approach and philosophy that provides all students with community membership and greater opportunities for academic and social achievement.  Inclusion is about making sure that each and every student feels welcome and that their unique needs and learning styles are attended to and valued.  Inclusive schools put the values in pluralism, tolerance, and equality into action; they ask teachers to provide appropriate individualized supports and services to all students without the stigmatization that comes with separation Experiences shows that most students learn and perform better when exposed to the richness of the general education curriculum, as long as the appropriate strategies and accommodations are in place. At no time does inclusion require the classroom curriculum, or the academic expectations, to be watered down.  On the contrary, inclusion enhances learning for students, both with and without special needs.  Students learn, and use their learning differently; the goal is to provide all students with the instruction they need to succeed as learners and achieve high standards, alongside their friends and neighbors. Proponents of mainstreaming hold that students with special needs be placed in the general education setting solely when they can meet traditional academic expectations with minimal assistance.  Yet, simply placing students with special needs in the regular classroom is not enough to impact learning.  Teachers in inclusive schools are asked to vary their teaching styles to meet the diverse learning styles of a diverse population of students.  Only then can the individual needs of all our students be met.  Schools of the future need to ensure that each student receives the individual attention, accommodations, and supports that will result in meaningful learning. Many years ago, special classes were created for students with special needs.  Special educators felt that if they could just teach these students separately, in smaller groups, they could help them to catch up.  However, the reality is that students in segregated special education classes have fallen further and further behind. Social Skills Children without special needs often can become more aware of the needs of others in inclusive classrooms.  As they become skilled at understanding and reacting to the behaviors of their friends with special needs, they gain an enhanced acceptance and appreciation of each child’s unique gifts. Personal Principles Students without special needs grow in their commitment to their own moral and ethical principles and become advocates for their friends who have special needs.  The development of strong personal principles will benefit students throughout their lives. As general education classrooms include more and more diverse students, teachers realize the value of accepting each student as unique.  Special educators understand that effective general education practices really are appropriate for students with special needs, and general educators often turn to special educators for additional ways to teach their increasingly diverse groups of students.   Govin 

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