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|Title: ||A Preventive Approach in Inclusive Education. Differentiating classroom practice for primary scholl teachers|
|Authors: ||Lebeer, Jo|
|Editors: ||Lebeer, Jo|
|Issue Date: ||2013|
|Citation: ||J. Lebber, L. Grácio. , H. Sart, B. Schraepen, N. Babur, R.V. Eynde, L. Stoffles &.A. Cogacz. (2013). (Eds). A Preventive Approach in Inclusive Education. Differentiating Classroom practice for primary school teachers. In Service Training Guide. Istanbul, Bogazici University Press – ISBN 978-975-518-342-8|
|Abstract: ||Education for all is the slogan of UNESCO. During the last decades a worldwide movement towards inclusive education is taking place. The idea is to make the school accessible to all children, whatever their differences or background. Not only accessible but also to give every child a good education, together with itspeers. Inclusive education also means that children with special needs and/or disability are integrated into regular education settings. Article 24 of the 2006 UN Convention on the rights of people with disability states that children with a disability have the right to be educated in regular school settings together with non-disabled peers and that governments should take measures to grant them that right. A number of countries have adapted their laws, in order to make education more inclusive. But practice is lagging way behind policies: teachers hardly know how to deal with a diversity of students’ needs and performance levels and there are many organizational gaps.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD, 2012), who monitors education in different countries, found that one in five children, on the average, does not reach the minimum educational achievements. There are large differences between countries, but the low achievements are highly related to low socio-economic status (SES). Many urban schools have a majority of low SES children and struggle with a high percentage of low achievers. These children, although they do not carry the label “special educational needs”, definitely have “additional education needs”. Some of them have a really “invisible disability”: they may have an unrecognized learning disability or often present a behavioural challenge or have difficulties with attention. There is a variety of causes for the children learning difficulties that must be understood in an ecological framework, involving not only the child but also home and parents , school, curriculum, teachers and siblings, culture and values and the interaction which occurs in these settings between the child and others within it. Children often do not get (enough or adequate) support, not at home and not at school or community.
The problem of inclusive education should be regarded in a wider perspective than letting all children, whatever their difficulties or needs, participate and learning up to their potential in a mainstream school. The real issue is to solve a dilemma: how to create conditions of inclusive education, and simultaneously create optimal conditions of learning for many different children, many of whom have learning and behaviour challenges who need to be activated, stimulated, or regulated, with little resources? How to teach children with widely varying differences (not only with visible disability but all kinds of different experiences, levels of competencies and knowledges, learning speeds, possible difficulties and needs? Educating everyone to its potential in finding adequately stimulating activities to develop learning and promote cognitive, socio-emotional, acommunicational- , academic learning, creativity and thinking competencies, must be a fundamental educational goal Do we need super(wo)men teachers?
Up till now the dilemma has been “solved” by referring those who cannot keep up the standards to special educational institutions or special needs classrooms. This is no longer feasible. The present school system creates many drop-outs and despite counter measures their number is still on the increase. These are called the “educationally at risk pupils”. There still is an overrepresentation of children from poor socio-economic backgrounds to special education, i.e. that among the children labelled with special educational needs there is a higher proportion from low socio-economic backgrounds than in the general population (Muijs et al, 2009). This reinforces the vicious circle: poor schooling, poor employment, poor social opportunities, social exclusion, and repetition in the next generation.
Fortunately there are alternatives. In many countries there are examples of good practices which have shown that the dilemma can be solved in an inclusive way, and not by sacrificing the “lesser child” or the “more blessed child”. Classroom teachers often lack necessary support, training and skills to provide appropriate practices forall these students. As a result of it, many students with additional or specific education needs can not benefit from regular classroom practices. It is nice to talk about equal opportunities, but how equal are your opportunities if nobody is enabling you to acquire even basic learning prerequisites and good learning conditions? Consequently, it is crucial for regular classroom teachers to be prepared to make a mind-shift towards becoming really inclusive, and then, from that different perspective, develop competencies and self-condifence to try and use the most effective methods, strategies, and techniques for inclusive practices.
The DISTINC project wants to answer part of these educational needs.|
|Appears in Collections:||PSI - Publicações - Capítulos de Livros|
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