In 2009, UNESCO published their Policy Guidelines on Inclusive Education, providing this definition of inclusive education:
Inclusive education is a process that involves the transformation of schools and other centres of learning to cater for all children – including boys and girls, students from ethnic and linguistic minorities, rural populations, those affected by HIV and AIDS, and those with disabilities and difficulties in learning and to provide learning opportunities for all youth and adults as well. Its aim is to eliminate exclusion that is a consequence of negative attitudes and a lack of response to diversity in race, economic status, social class, ethnicity, language, religion, gender, sexual orientation and ability. Education takes place in many contexts, both formal and non-formal, and within families and the wider community. Consequently, inclusive education is not a marginal issue but is central to the achievement of high quality education for all learners and the development of more inclusive societies. Inclusive education is essential to achieve social equity and is a constituent element of lifelong learning.
Click here to read the entire document.
Inclusive language is an important component of inclusive education. Using and encouraging inclusive language in your classroom will result in open and respectful communication between the students and the teacher, and with each other.
This Inclusive Language article on the Monash University website is a fantastic resource outlining reasons for and examples of inclusive language, relating to race, gender and disability.
Inclusive Education on the UNESCO website provides information about vulnerable and marginalised groups, as well as world news and other additional resources pertaining to inclusive education on a global level.
‘Developing Adolescents; A Reference for Professionals’ was published in 2002 by the American Psychological Association. It contains information about a variety of aspects of adolescent development and includes some interesting insights that relate to Inclusive Education, such as:
- Recognising Diversity
- Cognitive Development: Learning Disabilities
- Emotional Development: Developing a Sense of Identity; Group Differences in Emotional Development; Gender Differences; Ethnic Diversity; Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Youth
- Social Development: Peer Relationships; Family Relationships; School; Community
- Behavioral Development: School Failure and Dropping Out
To read the entire document, please click here.
Knowing your students as learners is fundamental to effective teaching. This article by William Powell and Ochan Kusuma-Powell discusses some valuable ideas of knowing your students with regards to inclusive education, including:
- The Benefits of Knowing Students as Learners
- Determining Each Student’s Readiness
- Identifying Multiple Access Points to the Curriculum
- Learning Profiles
- Cultural and Societal Factors
- Emotional and Social Influences
- Learning Preferences
- Strategies for Gathering Learning-Profile Data
Part of inclusive education is understanding conflict. Conflict is not inherently bad, and in fact is unavoidable. Everyone has unique experiences that inform their attitudes and beliefs, and no two individuals will ever have identical experiences. The important part is knowing how to manage conflict when it does arise. When all else fails, this quote might prove helpful:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
– Serenity Prayer