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Inclusive Education

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Inclusive Education









Inclusive Education

According to Waitoller & Artiles (2013), inclusive education aims to address the educational needs of the children who have special needs and with a particular focus on those that are at a higher risk of being excluded or isolated in the regular learning system. The guiding philosophy and principle behind the inclusive education are to enhance learning opportunity for all the children to have equal treatment, learn, and participate regardless of their physical or mental abilities. Despite low awareness of inclusive education throughout most schools in the many countries, most institutions are somehow skeptical on the issue of children with different capabilities learning in the same classroom under the same directorship of one teacher. In an inclusive education system, however, students are expected to interact, learn and participate all programs of the classroom and in co-curriculum activities together without segregating them in terms of mental sharpness, physical fitness or any other biological disorder.

History of inclusive education

The history of inclusive education in the world can be attributed as far back as 19th century when most of the nations came to the realization of the increasing number of children with development disability and the need to safeguard their future. According to Shaw (2014), before this time many countries widely believed that children that are living in any form of development disability could not learn. Many governments, therefore, could not accept the responsibilities of putting these children through an education system with a view that nothing would be accomplished by education them. However, with an understanding of the potential of these children, parents responded by coming up with their private structures, schools, in places like the churches where their sons and daughters could learn basic formal education and grow. The historical perspective of inclusive education is different from one country to another.

U.K. history of inclusive education

The school system in the United Kingdom has evolved since the 1880s guided by constitutional amendments that ensure fairer term for providing sustainable education to its population. Before the 1990s, though most countries in U.K. did not practice inclusive education, they emphasized and made it mandatory for children between the ages of 5-10 years to go to school. This compulsory schooling was not inclusive of children living with any form of disability. Besides, the education funds were provided by the government on the basis of merit and performance which made most of the teachers to concentrate on the brighter students. This consequently led to the refusal of schools to admit children who were 'less promising,' children with disabilities. Other than U.K, France also advocated for a birth I.Q test in the year 1912 which would determine which children are fit for education placement. This segregation lasted until 1978 when separation of the students with the disability from those without was banned, and education mainstreaming was introduced.

U.S. history of inclusive education

Commenting on the United States historical perspective of inclusive education, Hall & Meyer (2003), argue that the United Nations education system has gone through significant changes to accommodate the needs of children with disabilities. Before 1975, most of the institutions in U.S. did not pay much attention to providing general education environment for students with disabilities. Only with the implementation of the public act that provided equal education opportunities for all handicapped children, that students have been equally represented in the general learning system with much support to enable similar achievement between the various categories of children. However, most education stakeholders found this system in the United States being insufficiently inclusive and did not engage the disabled children sufficiently. Reynolds & Walberg (1987), argued that with the increasing number of learners in the United States, the needs were widely varying and educational models should be developed to go beyond the mere modification and accommodation of disabled children in the mainstream education system.

S.A history of inclusive education

Since the establishment of democracy in South Africa in 1994, the school system has received much radicle overhaul of education policies from the former apartheid framework aiming to provide all the citizens with an equal base of treatment when accessing education services. The inclusive learning framework can be traced...


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