Supporting Inclusive Practice

Supporting Inclusive Practice

Supporting Inclusive Practice

Supporting Inclusive Practice

Synopsis

The importance and understanding of inclusiveness in education has become an integral part of the education system. With emphasis on the well-being of families and children alike, the concept of an inclusive learning environment continues to focus on the interests of the child as a whole, not their condition, and this approach is at the forefront of supporting their emotional and educational well-being.

Now fully updated, this new edition of Supporting Inclusive Practice encourages the ongoing practice of inclusion with discussions, guidance and advice on how to build an inclusive environment.

This book encourages debate, reflection and discussion when relating to the teaching of:

  • children with English as an additional language
  • gifted and talented children
  • children with autism and physical and sensory disabilities
  • children who have suffered loss, grief and bereavement
  • children in Care or being 'looked after'.

Helping you to promote children's independence and emotional resilience, and with advice on working with families and professional agencies, this book is integral to all those at university training to work in the education sector, as well as teachers and teaching assistants who are truly looking to achieve inclusive practice in their classroom.

Excerpt

Gianna Knowles

In 1999 the then Department for Education and Skills (DfES), now the Department for Education (DfE), defined what it meant by inclusion by stating that it was about every child’s entitlement to learning that would ‘ensure that all pupils have the chance to succeed, whatever their individual needs and the potential barriers to learning might be’ (DfES/QCA 1999: 3). Since 1999 and since the publication of the first edition of Supporting Inclusive Practice in 2006, all those who work in children’s services – particularly schools, in this instance – have come a long way in their understanding of what meeting individual needs is about. Similarly, schools have a much greater understanding of what barriers to learning means for many children – not only those with specific learning challenges. That the inclusion agenda has been positively supported by schools, and that children are benefiting from having barriers to learning removed, was reported on by Ofsted in 2006. Their findings state:

The most important factor in determining the best outcomes for pupils with learning
difficulties and disabilities (LDD) is not the type but the quality of the provision.
Effective provision was distributed equally in the mainstream and special schools
visited, but there was more good and outstanding provision in resourced mainstream
schools than elsewhere.

(Ofsted 2006: 2)

However, as well as acknowledging the good work schools have put in to making inclusion work for children, they also noted that there was still further progress to be made in understanding fully that resources are only part of successful inclusion. Their findings showed that the greatest progress children make in their learning and the most successful examples of overcoming barriers to learning happen when those designing the learning activities fully understand the needs of the child, and when they provide learning activities that challenge and motivate that child. For example, those who work with children may be far better informed about autism than they were over a decade ago and have many resources in school to support children with autism. However, educators now have a better understanding that children who have autism are nevertheless children first and foremost; they are not characterized by the condition. That is to say, educators now understand that no two children who have been labelled as autistic will present in the same way. Resources that ‘work’ for one child may not be at all suitable for another child. What is needed is an understanding of how autism might present in any child, plus the skills, knowledge and understanding of how to meet the needs of the child on an individual basis.

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