An inclusive school is one in which the teaching and learning, achievements, attitudes and the well-being of every child matters. An inclusive classroom is an educational term used to describe classes whose students possess a wide range of abilities and developmental levels. These classes may contain children with cognitive and physical ability levels considered normal for their ages, as well as those with certain developmental or learning disabilities. In an inclusive setting, each student, regardless of individual strengths, weaknesses or diagnoses, is considered part of the school community. The goal is that all students are given an opportunity to develop a sense of belonging along with the other students and teachers and maximize their learning.
Principles of Inclusive Pedagogy
The children play an active role in learning and shaping the classroom ethos. The teachers in a truly inclusive setting are quite flexible in their approach and modify her techniques according to the response and needs of their students. They try to provide different learning opportunities, through a variety of methods and experiences, to the students. The responsibility of learning lies with the students, who play a major role in deciding the way things are done in the classroom and shaping the classroom culture.
The multiplicity of Teaching Methods
The teacher needs to employ a variety of teaching methods, approaches, and tools to address the diversity of the group. Using multiple teaching methods is a means to enhance the academic success of students with varying learning styles and strengths. A variety of teaching methods and teaching materials which go beyond the textbook and blackboard helps the teacher to facilitate a multi-sensory experience which can be easily modified to meet an individual or a group’s needs and also helps students acquire collaborative problem-solving skills.
No Fixed Outcome
In an inclusive classroom, the focus is not to make all students achieve a fixed outcome in terms of learning achievement. This is in recognition of the fact that all learners are different and have different strengths and weaknesses. Thus, the aim is to help each student recognize his own potential and work towards achieving the goals set by him. The teacher too works in the context of certain broad competencies and life skills rather than stressing on uniform learning within the group.