As one of the most successful students in primary school, after graduation, I kept visiting my head teacher during my high school years. I used to attend to her classes, and sometimes even helped her in teaching as an assistant of her. My teacher was the one who used to apply inclusion in the classroom. There was only one girl with a disability among all the students, so my teacher thought she could deal with it. The girl had some cognitive and motor-skills disabilities, and sometimes you could see her mother next to her inside of the classroom.
Inclusion gives a sense of diversity.
I like the idea of inclusion, it gives a sense of diversity that all humans are equal, regardless of their abilities and characteristics, and the raise up of the awareness towards people with disabilities. However, being able to see inclusion in a real-life situation made me think that inclusion as an idea is appreciatable, but in practice, it’s much more different.
Inclusion might be a disadvantage for both students with disabilities and others.
First of all, inclusion would turn out to be a disadvantage for both from the side of the students with disabilities and for the other students in the classroom, too. People with disabilities require special assistance, more attention, and special education methods. If the teacher would meet these needs of a student with a disability, then the other students in the classroom would not get enough care and attention. In some cases, depending on the child’s disability, inclusion might be done with additional techniques and methods; but if the disability is too severe, it would have more disadvantages rather than advantages. Imagine a child with a cognitive disability as I gave the example above; If you explain 1+1=2 to other students in the classroom in fifteen minutes, a child with a cognitive disability might need fourty minutes for understanding that.
Inclusion works depending on the child’s disability.
I would agree with inclusion depending on the child’s disability. For instance, I used to work as a volunteer facilitator and instructor with children in a non-governmental organization and there was a child with ADHD in the classroom. On the first days, I was kind of a shocked. While everyone was listening to me and singing songs with me, the girl with ADHD would walk around the classroom, touch the other students’ books and literally, she was doing everything except focusing on me.
After that day, I began to research on what should be done in working with a child with ADHD in the classroom so I started to use those methods to pick up her attention in the classroom and it started to actually work. As a conclusion, I would agree on having inclusion in the classroom depending on the child’s disability; I would like to work with ADHD students in general classroom, but for people with cognitive disabilities, they require more special education with experts and they need more time.
So, how can inclusion be used in education?
“Inclusion is not a student, a classroom, or a school. Rather, inclusion is a belief that ALL students, regardless of labels, should be members of the general education community.”
In order for children with disabilities not to be seen as separate or different from the rest of the community by letting them go to special schools where only children with disabilities are attending, and in order for them to be more social with other students in the community, in my opinion, children with disabilities should go to a regular school, but must have a special classroom where experts would be teaching and helping them. On the first day of instruction, other students in the school should be informed to be friendly and respectful for the special classroom. By this, children with disabilities would have time for socializing with other students in the classroom during the break times or during the social activities. The school would be diverse, other students would be aware that all humans are equal and they would learn how to live in the same environment with children with special disabilities. Inclusion is not impossible if used wisely.
Author: Nefise Shaban, Psychology student
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