Inclusion Youth Forum - can we call it Inclusions?

I attended a Youth Forum set up by Cerebral Palsy Alliance this week. It was a brilliant chance to catch up with other Special Education Teachers to discuss ways of making schools more inclusive.  It was good to see what other schools were doing and to share ways we can improve what we do.

I will have to say that I was a little disheartened by a conflict that exists in peoples definitions of what inclusion is.  I would be interested in thoughts people had if you would like to comment.

Can we still call it inclusion if students are educated within a unit within the grounds of the school?


Comments

  1. Amazing, that a unit within school grounds could be considered inclusion. I wonder if the words integration and inclusion have taken on new meanings. I worked with kids with SN for 8 years and the word 'special' changed it's meaning. For example - "Wow! Jerry your project is great! You really are special' Jerry with horrified look on his face, "No Miss! I'm not special! Don't call me that!". He was referring to the association of the word special with students with special needs. These kids had become the 'special kids' so now no one wants to be called special. Inclusion seems to mean one thing for the researchers and another for the schools that find themselves pushed to implement the idea. Perhaps inclusion is a societal issue before it ever gets to be a school issue. Reminds me of the issue of gay rights - students I know still refer to something they don't like as being 'gay'. We still have a long way to go.

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  2. I completely agree Liz, there seems to be some confusion as to what academics see inclusion is and what schools see it to be. Being at the center of this is challenging, as on the one hand I know the realities of including students with disability, especially those with moderate intellectual disabilities, into mainstream classes and the definitions set up by academics and inclusion advocates.
    Speak to any teacher in a special unit within a school and they will say that they are practicing inclusive education.

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  3. Never, ever, ever is a support class inclusion it can only ever be, at best, integration. And yes, ask the people with disabilities if inclusion is a societal issue... you bet. School is 13 years of their life! If you start segregation at school then what do you think will happen for the 80+ years beyond.

    I am gobsmacked anyone would even suggest support classes can be called inclusion. Of course the definition must be clarified first with any group... so parallel conversations don't take place.

    Here's the easy way to work it out. If there are conditions of entry associated to being in a class... then it's not inclusive.

    Gina

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