Thedictionary meaning of ‘Inclusion’is to take in or consider as part or member of or to embrace. Inclusion isabout membership or belonging to a community. In context to education, it isrestructuring schools as communities where old children can learn. Inclusion providesmore ways for teachers to make learning easy for children. But there is nostandardized procedure to make teachers and schools inclusive.Inclusionis about to change in schools to improve the educational system for allstudents. Inclusive education practices reflect the changing culture ofcontemporary schools with emphasis on active learning, authentic assessmentpractices, applied curriculum, multi-level instructional approaches, andincreased attention to diverse student needs and individualization.
The claimis that schools, centers of learning and educational systems must change sothat they become caring, nurturing, and supportive educational communitieswhere the needs of all students and teachers are truly met. Inclusive schoolsno longer provide “regular education” and “special education.By contrast, inclusion is about the child’s right toparticipate and the school’s duty to accept the child. Notably a premium isplaced upon full participation by students with disabilities and upon respectfor their social, civil, and educational rights.
Theoretically, feelingincluded is not limited to physical and cognitive disabilities, but alsoincludes the full range of human diversity with respect to ability, language,culture, gender, age, races and of other forms of human differences.In this context here it is apt to quote RichardWilkinson and Kate Pickett who said, “Student’s performance and behaviour ineducational tasks can be profoundly affected by the way we feel, we are seenand judged by others. When we expect to be viewed as inferior, our abilitiesseem to diminish”.Inclusiveeducation provides the places and the catalyst through which general andspecial educators, students and parents come together to create qualitydemocratic schools. Inclusive schools are those designed to meet theeducational needs of all their members with common fluid environments andactivities (Sapon- Shevin, 1996). Itmeans that special education is no longer defined as a placement but as asystem of support provided to help and address the needs of a subset ofstudents.
InIndia, the ideal system of inclusive education is that the general educationsystem should assume responsibility for the education and children withdisabilities but the reality is different in India. These practices are fullyyet not followed for future implications. The general education system is yetto be fully sensitized to the educational needs of children with disabilitiesand therefore the general system needs the assistance of specialist teachersfor occasional help to make inclusive education work.Inclusion has different historical roots which maybe integration of students with severe disabilities in the US (who maypreviously been excluded from schools or even lived in institutions) or aninclusion model from Canada and the US (e.g., Syracuse University, New York)which is very popular with inclusion teachers who believe in participatorylearning, cooperative learning and inclusive classrooms.
Inclusive educationdiffers from the early university professor’s work in integration/integration and mainstreaming which were taught throughout the world includinginternational seminars in Italy. Thus, integration and mainstreamingprincipally was concerned about disability and ‘special educational needs'(since the children were not in the regular schools) and involved teachers,students, principals, administrators, School Boards and parents changing andbecoming ‘ready for’ students who needed accommodation or new methods ofcurriculum and instruction by the mainstream.The inclusive education movement hasbeen endorsed internationally by UNESCO’s Salamanca Statement (UNESCO, 1994) and reflects the UnitedNation’s global strategy of Educationfor all (Farrell and Ainscow,2002). Inclusive education is now seems as center to human rights and equal opportunities and a priority policyobjective of liberal democracies. Inclusion challenges all those policies andpractices that serve to exclude some children from their right to education.The underpinning ideal is that all children have the right to be educatedtogether regardless of any special need or disability. Of late, a consensus hasemerged among Indian intellectuals and pedagogues for adopting inclusiveeducation in mainstream schools.’Inclusion’ or ‘Inclusive Education’ isnot another name for ‘Special needs Education’.
The concept ‘SpecialEducational Needs’ (SEN) is replaced by the term” barriers to learning andparticipation’. Consequently, inclusion is seen to involve the identificationand minimizing barriers to learning and participation and maximizing ofresources to support learning and participation by children with special needs (Booth et al. 2000).Bycontrast, inclusion is about the child’s right to participate and the school’sduty to accept the child returning to the US Supreme Court’s Brown vs.
theBoard of Education decision and the new Individuals with Disabilities Education(Improvement) Act (IDEIA). Inclusion rejects the use of special schools orclassrooms, which remain popular among large multi-service providers, toseparate students with disabilities from students without disabilities. Apremium is placed upon full participation by students with disabilities, incontrast to earlier concept of partial participation in the mainstream and uponrespect for their social, civil and educational rights. Inclusion givesstudents with disabilities skills they can use in and out of the classroom. Allapproaches to inclusive schooling require administrative and managerial changesto move from the traditional approaches to elementary and high schooleducation.