Promoting, Rather Than Pushing Aside, Inclusivity In Education
Guest post by Jane Sandwood
All children were hit by the adverse effects of the pandemic but, as the New York Times highlights, disabled children were more impacted than others. As schools started to fill once again, endless challenges were put between children with extra educational requirements and a fulfilling education. These have persisted to today, with distraction-packed home educational settings and ill-equipped schools damaging prospects. Tackling this head-on, and making inclusivity the number one priority of schools everywhere, is an essential step in presenting all children with equal opportunity.
Adapting the learning
The demand for digital learning wasn’t all bad – it enabled children who struggle in the in-person learning environment to learn faster, and to present new ways of creating hybrid learning environments. These environments can actually be very beneficial to children with conditions, such as those on the autistic spectrum. However, these systems have shown potential, rather than realizing it. According to the UN, many learning materials and processes are outdated and do not promote the best interests of children from all backgrounds. Schools, and the federal authorities, must adapt their learning materials to help to learn to be appropriate for all.
Inclusivity for all?
There is also the matter of how inclusive learning is executed to consider. According to one article published by Frontiers in Psychology, learning professionals look at the question from two sides – should children be provided with a specifically high-quality education to enable them, or should they be enabled to experience the same educational lifecycle as their peers? The paper suggested the latter was most appropriate; classrooms should enable children with disabilities to enjoy the same educational experience as their peers in order to boost long-term chances.
Public health and policy experts are all too aware that the events that led to the rise of at-home learning could come back again. Many lessons have been learned about how children with disabilities can be helped through these periods, and they must be built into modern learning plans and practices. Ensuring that the learning system is resilient, and can cope with a rebalance of at-home versus in-school days, is essential.
With this in place, children from all backgrounds including those with a disability will be enabled to reach their potential. Education has changed so much in the past two years, and the educational experience has changed for every child. Ensuring that those with extra educational needs are provided for is crucial.