Week 1: Thinking about inclusive education


4. What does it mean to be included?

4.3. Whose responsibility?

In the case of Senzo, an observant and caring teacher made a difference; for Frederik, he needed specialist support, but there were still things that classroom teachers could have done to help him.

Frederik explains that there was limited understanding of how to help him to carry on with education when he lost his sight. He says that everyone thought he had to leave school and that his life changed completely. Frederik might have felt included if teachers knew more about how to support him, but also if wider social attitudes expected him to be able to stay in school. This demonstrates the importance of policy in bringing about change. You will consider policy in more detail in Week 2.

Fredrik could have been supported through the use of Braille and audio material. But if these were not available, then teachers could have used strategies like reading aloud, or organising pair work or group work in which Fredrik could have contributed to the discussions and been supported by his peers.

Often perceived barriers for children with disabilities may stem from wider social issues or negative views in society. However, children without disabilities in your class could also be excluded for other reasons. Teachers can address these through some simple adaptations to their teaching practices which will be shared in the following weeks.