November 30, 2012
What is inclusive education?
Inclusive education means that all students, including children with disabilities, are taught in regular classrooms alongside other children of their own age without disabilities. It means that children with disabilities are provided with the same learning opportunities as children without disabilities. They go to the same schools, are in the same classrooms, and are involved in the same activities and exercises (academic and social) as children without disabilities. Inclusive education provides the basis for the social, emotional and intellectual development of children with disabilities; ensuring development to the child’s fullest potential and ensuring that they develop the skills that will require in their lifetimes. The Canadian Association for Community Living describes inclusive education as “children go to their community or neighbourhood school and receive instruction in a regular class setting with non-disabled peers who are the same age. This approach is the only way we can provide education to a diverse population in a way that respects the complex fabric of our society in the 21st century. Inclusion is now a Canadian value that needs to be practiced in our schools” (CACL). Inclusive education brings together all students of the same age group in one classroom (regardless of disability). It provides students with learning opportunities in a supportive learning environment, helping to ensure that children with disabilities reach their full potential. Inclusive education is about ensuring that each and every student receives a quality education regardless of their disability (this could be extended to age, gender, race, etc. and not simply disabilities) (Porter, 2008). It builds on the strengths of all students; maximizing their potential and providing the same learning opportunities without discrimination. Inclusive education is based on the...