Inclusive School and the role of Special Educators
Inclusivity in mainstream school is still a challenge and in many Asian countries it is a taboo for the educators to accept that they need to accommodate students with special educational needs. It is not surprising to see many schools although being inclusive does not accept students with physical disabilities or students with high incidence SEN. It is not uncommon to meet educators who states that they only accept students with mild learning difficulties.
What do we need to foster inclusion in our schools?
To make a policy which defines inclusion as attitudes and methods that ensure all learners can access mainstream education. Everyone works to make sure all learners feel welcome and valued, and that they get the right support to help them develop their talents and achieve their goals. When education is truly inclusive it can benefit all learners, not only learners with disabilities. [ UK Department of Education: SEND practices 0 to 25 years]
How special educators can help?
The special educators can work with the school senior management team to train and implement the following
• Help to draft an inclusive policy which contextualizes special education framework (including historical, legal and ethical foundations) and/or survey of exceptional children in their school.
• Diagnosis and Assessment
• Teaching methodologies and strategies for students with disabilities
• Training teachers to teach differentiated curriculum
• Identify the learning needs based on the characteristics of mild-to-moderate disabilities
• Work with clinical psychiatrist, therapist to plan out practicum or clinical program working in adaptive education (including learning centers, resource centers, co-taught classrooms, as well as consultative support to general educators)
• Help to make an academic career pathway and guide the student for university and higher education transitions.
• Work toward collaboration, communication and conflict resolution with parents and professionals including co-teachers, para-educators, assistant teachers and subject coordinators.