TI-AIE: Transforming teaching-learning process: promoting inclusion in your school

What this unit is about

Over the past two to three decades, governments across the world – including those of India – have stated their commitment to addressing gender and social biases in all areas of education. This period is characterised by radical changes in what constitutes quality education and how this can be provided for by teachers. The changing trends can briefly be summarised as:

  • a greater emphasis on removal of disparities
  • equitable education for all
  • child-centred, need-based education
  • maximising the participation of every child in the learning process.

These trends are reflected in major Indian policy documents, including the National Policy on Education (NPE, 1986), the National Curriculum for Elementary and Secondary Education (1988), and the Revised NPE and Program of Action (1992), among others.

More recently, the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) of 2005 provides a comprehensive approach, including ways of providing an inclusive education of quality to all children. It clearly highlights the need for teachers to:

  • be sensitive to each child’s unique requirements
  • provide child-centred, socially relevant and equitable teaching/learning
  • understand the diversity in their social and cultural contexts.

No teacher can be successful today professionally without understanding or being sensitive to the numerous demands and expectations that students bring with them to schools. They should be able to engage and provide meaningful learning opportunities to all students, irrespective of class, caste, religion, gender and disability. The Right to Education Act 2009 (RtE) further strengthens and reinforces this stance for making quality education a reality for all students, irrespective of gender and social category, by laying down in detail the acceptable norms related to the physical and learning environments, the curriculum, and pedagogic practices.

There is a significant body of research that confirms that the skills, attitudes and motivation of teachers can significantly raise the engagement, participation and achievement of children belonging to disadvantaged and marginalised communities.

The role of the school leader is critical in promoting the delivery of equitable education by teachers in an inclusive school classroom setting . First and foremost, it is imperative that the school leader:

  • believes that outcomes can be equitable, whatever the individual starting points of their students
  • enthuses the staff and students to raise achievement in all students
  • measures the success of students by more than their academic achievement.

As a school leader, you should be aware of the United Nations Charter on the Rights of the Child (1989), a significant driver for embracing diversity that legislates for every member state to provide education for all its children. It is your responsibility as a school leader to lead , promote and nurture inclusive attitudes and behaviours in your school community.

Figure 1 Promoting inclusion in your school.

Learning Diary

During your work on this unit you will be asked to make notes in your Learning Diary, a book or folder where you collect together your thoughts and plans in one place. Perhaps you have already started one.

You may be working through this unit alone, but you will learn much more if you are able to discuss your learning with another school leader. This could be a colleague with whom you already collaborate, or someone with whom you can build new relationship. It could be done in an organised way or on a more informal basis. The notes you make in your Learning Diary will be useful for these kinds of meetings, while also mapping your longer-term learning and development.

What school leaders can learn in this unit