The Role of A Teacher in Inclusive Education
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With each passing year, Indian schools are witnessing an increased number of students from all sectors. Unfortunately, in the past, students have been victims of discrimination based on their disability, race, gender, the language they speak, their household earnings, etc. But not anymore.
Understanding Inclusive Education in India
Yes, many Indian schools have taken it upon themselves to celebrate the diversity and uniqueness of their students by creating inclusive classrooms. The most important drivers of inclusive education are the teachers. They do the groundwork to maintain optimal classroom settings, so each student learns according to their abilities.
Are you a teacher looking to make a difference for all your special students? If yes, then this article is for you! We will discuss the meaning of inclusive education, its benefits, and how to play an active role as an inclusion educator.
What Is Inclusive Education?
Inclusion in any sector aims to foster respect for the inherent dignity of all humans. It is also done to encourage the active participation of everyone in society regardless of their unique physical or mental characteristics.
Similarly, inclusive education is about meeting the learning needs of all students in the best possible way. It is based on the simple idea that every child and youngster has the basic right to be included in a general education setting and provided the same opportunities and experiences.
In an inclusive classroom, teachers work together to provide specially-abled children or students from diverse cultures and races with appropriate support to encourage their genuine and valued participation. The concept of inclusive education embraces human diversity at the ground level of a country’s education system.
Benefits of Inclusive Education
Children are quick to learn from their surroundings, and when they see diversity is accepted positively, they learn that too. This approach helps them develop respect and understanding for different cultures and abilities through observation and imitation. It also develops self-confidence to a great extent.
When children with and without disabilities learn in the same classroom, they develop relationships they may not have considered otherwise. The interaction among peers in inclusive classrooms fosters unique friendships that result in open-mindedness.
Teachers use special teaching techniques to help students do well academically in inclusive classrooms. A nurturing learning environment coupled with peer support can result in better vocational outcomes than in non-inclusive settings.
Varied Extracurricular Activities
Since inclusive schools are big on improving their teaching approaches, both disabled and non-disabled students must participate in varied extracurricular activities throughout the academic year. This participation allows for better physical development among students.
Inclusive learning is not only great for children but also for their families. Parents of special children feel supported in their community, which brings them greater psychological and economic well-being. This, in turn, leads to better community building and the elimination of discriminatory beliefs among neighbors.
Role Of Teachers In Inclusive Education
One of the most important roles that an inclusion teacher plays in a diverse classroom is identifying their students properly. The teachers identify their special students’ social, emotional, behavioral, physical, and academic strengths.
They consult the students’ parents or guardians to get more information about their needs. The teachers create individualized education plans and proper accommodations based on this information.
For instance, a visually impaired student would require course material in larger print, or another student might need preferential seating based on their ability to focus in the classroom. Similarly, teachers provide varied levels of classroom assistance to the students to learn without feeling overwhelmed.
Another vital role of teachers in inclusive education is the enabler of cooperative learning. They do this by setting up tasks and activities to encourage students to learn in groups and participate equally.
Peer-supported learning benefits students with learning differences. It also teaches them to work alongside those with different skills than theirs. This approach builds confidence and pushes students to give their best.
Modified Assignments And Marking
Special education inclusion students require modified assignments and grading systems. Inclusive educators use diverse methods of testing and marking to accommodate students who might struggle to put their thoughts on paper due to their special needs.
The teachers use an additional points system, provide clear feedback, differentiate ideas from language skills when grading and other techniques.
This is an essential role that teachers play because students in an inclusive classroom should not compete on the grounds of grades. The competition can harm their confidence and result in low self-esteem and poor academic performance.
Addressing Parental Concerns
Parents of children in diverse classrooms are often skeptical about their classroom conduct and day-to-day activities. So, the teacher must help the parents feel comfortable. They do this by addressing their concerns and keeping them updated about their child’s progress.
Varied Instructional Formats
To address an inclusive classroom, teachers must make suitable changes in the knowledge delivery so all children can learn according to their ability. These include interactive whiteboards, paired learning, student-led presentations, etc.
Schools also play a part by providing teachers with the necessary skills to teach special students and promote higher academic success efficiently. They provide the teachers with appropriate training and exposure to tackle an inclusive classroom gracefully.
An inclusion classroom can be highly diverse, and it’s possible that one teacher might not have all the knowledge and experience to meet their needs.
So, to provide the best learning experience to the students, inclusion teachers collaborate with the regular education teachers. Such collaborations allow the inclusive learning community to share ideas, break down lessons, support, and share expertise.
Teachers join forces with the parents to create a learning environment beyond classroom instruction. Teachers also connect with supporting professionals and community organizations to create a learning model accessible and equitable for all.
By implementing these connections, inclusion teachers develop and support individualized student outcomes.
Inclusion teachers create curriculum adaptations to support every student’s academic, physical, emotional, behavioral, and social development in the best way possible.
They achieve this by first identifying their students’ strengths and special needs. Then they alter their lessons and teaching techniques to accommodate these needs.
Teachers make lessons more immersive by adding images and videos to help those who might find it difficult to learn from text-based content. They also enhance the text by highlighting, enlarging, or adding symbols and pointers to the worksheets.
They provide differentiated reading material based on their specific interests and reading levels. These techniques allow teachers to give the students multiple means of action and expression to succeed at their own pace.
Supplementary Study Material
Students often have short attention spans, whether learning in an inclusive classroom or a regular classroom. It simply means that they find it difficult to absorb all the information from simply listening to you deliver it.
The difference is that the students in your inclusion classroom can have significantly different learning curves. To address this problem, inclusion teachers add an exercise or a small assignment to their lessons to ensure deeper learning in the class.
They also provide supplemental learning aids such as worksheets, flashcards, calculators, illustrations, recorded lessons, etc., to better their understanding of the course material.
Discrete Personal Assistance
There are often students in an inclusive batch that require some extra support. But the need for support can vary greatly from student to student in such classrooms. For example, some students might require a recap of everyday lessons at the end of the class, while others might not.
To ensure proper learning for all the students, teachers assist in various ways. They assign peers as helpers to work on classroom projects together and complement each others’ skills. They spend more time with students who require additional prompts during their learning process in the class.
How Does LEAD Help Teachers?
Proper teacher training has been neglected in Indian schools for decades. LEAD believes that a well-trained teacher can be an asset for the school and society. That’s because teachers are the ones helping our country’s future minds succeed.
However, with increasing diversity in Indian classrooms and the arrival of online learning, teachers need proper training to do what they do in the best possible way.
LEAD Academy, powered by the Learning Management System, is a solution that addresses this gap in teacher training. At the LEAD Academy, teachers can enroll in online certification programs and development workshops to up their skills.
There are also special-purpose courses and just-in-time training sessions that they can take to further their career in the education sector.
It’s every parent’s dream to have their children learn alongside their peers without getting discriminated against based on their abilities. Inclusive education is a step towards making that dream come true.
Inclusive learning and teaching are designed to give students with and without disabilities fair access to knowledge. Inclusion teachers consider various needs and adapt different instruction arrangements to appeal to different learners.
We hope this article has helped you learn more about the benefits of inclusion classroom settings and the role of teachers in inclusive education.