Why Discuss Inclusion?
Inclusive education is an issue has an impact on every school and every classroom. It is an area close to many people’s hearts and can draw out quite strong emotions. I chose questions that hopefully, educators could relate to whether they worked in mainstream or special school settings.
Define Inclusion in 3 Words.
I merged the first question with a task asking tweeters to contribute their three-word definition of inclusion to a padlet in addition to tweeting.
Jonathon started us off with “access for all”
Anna continued with “fairness, everybody and teamwork”
Some really good ideas coming through. Question 1 itself (How accessible is your school, classroom or learning space?) gained a contribution from Amanda all the way from Australia and host of #includEDau a weekly inclusion chat who has a very accessible classroom
but reflected that her school was always working towards improving. Milot teaches his students across Skype, so has a very accessible classroom.
Onto question 2 (What challenges do you face in providing a fully inclusive education?)
Amanda started us off with “Teacher knowledge, parent understanding and time constraints” all of which a number of contributors agreed with, but she followed it up with a suggestion that these could be overcome using “hrough PL, tenacity and stubbornness” https://twitter.com/243Rin/status/667437817740546053
Limited resources came up as an issue that would follow through into other answers https://twitter.com/bridgewillows/status/667439706251141120 . Polly (@pollpuddleduck) suggested that the range of needs in any one classroom may be an issue. This was echoed by some tweeters who did not use the Hashtag! https://twitter.com/PollyPuddleduck/status/667438146641072128
It was quite an intimate chat so far
Louise jumped in for question 3 (What support do teachers need from slt to deliver inclusive lessons?)
- Coaching, professional learning, access to advice, partnership https://twitter.com/loumsanders
- support good practice in the classroom/work closely with families and ensure long term planning takes place to meet needs https://twitter.com/PollyPuddleduck
- believe that technology would enhance inclusion. Why not invest in getting students to have #tech in their classrooms! https://twitter.com/mirrenduh
- Excellent communication throughout the institution is essential to high-quality inclusion.https://twitter.com/ChrisChivers2
- Professional development. Investment in teachers’ skills is an investment in students’ learning. https://twitter.com/bridgewillows
Question 4 (Is it more important for a child to be included academically or socially?) was a bit of a tricky ask.
Chris https://twitter.com/ChrisChivers2 echoed many of the answers stating “Know child, challenge, support and celebrate achievement within the community. A sense of belonging.”. Amanda https://twitter.com/243Rin also mentioned the importance of a sense of belonging. A lot of people said it came down to the individual’s needs but all aspects were important. This is my personal opinion as well. Academics are not the most important reason to be in school for many children. Louise mentioned the need to address issues around poverty as well, an issue that could be a chat all to itself. https://twitter.com/loumsanders/status/667443647240118273
Ben https://twitter.com/hengehall brought up the issue schools face in having to supply data for students with SEN that may detract from teachers focussing on the wider issues faced by vulnerable young people. https://twitter.com/hengehall/status/667444153219960832
Question 5 (Is there a need for special schools?) was a bit of a devil’s advocate type question
I work in a special school so I am biased. But there was a resounding agreement that the need existed. Suzanna https://twitter.com/sing0utsue said that they provided access to the specialist teaching some students require https://twitter.com/sing0utsue/status/667447270808358912 This was echoed by Chris https://twitter.com/ChrisChivers2 stating the need for highly individualised education. Milot did not fully agree to suggest they could be incorporated. https://twitter.com/mirrenduh/status/667445506919030785.