Inclusive learning is about making sure that every learner in the classroom has their needs identified and met. It is about realising that every learner will have specific individual needs and it is the job of the teacher to accommodate the needs of all of their learners. Booth et al. (2000) state ‘Inclusion is seen to involve the identification and minimising of barriers to learning and participation’ (Booth et al., 2000: 13).
One approach to inclusive learning is having additional support for the learners with additional educational needs (AEN). This can be in the form of a teaching assistant or in some more severe cases a carer.
Additional support can be used to do several things. The support a teaching assistant provides is to enable the learner to either do the same work the rest of the class is doing but with extra support with ideas, writing or just a general confidence boost. Teaching assistants can also be used to take the pupils with AEN as a separate group and do work that has been differentiated by the teacher. This is a way of enabling the learner to feel they have achieved and not worry about what the rest of the class thinks.
The use of the teaching assistant is vital for many learners. It enables the learner to achieve the academic levels they need and often exceed what they thought they could achieve. However, it could be argued that if a child is given too much individual support then they will learn to expect it and be reluctant to work without support. The other main area to focus on is differentiation. If a teacher is able to correctly identify the different levels and needs of their class members and then differentiate accordingly then this is going to be one of the most effective ways of creating inclusive learning.
According to Dickinson and Wright (1993) Differentiation is ‘not a single event, it is a process. This process involves recognising the...