What Does Inclusive Education Means?

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“What does inclusive education mean for me as a teacher in 2014 and beyond? “ In first being able to define inclusive education, it is necessary to understand the diversity of the student population. Disability comes in my varying forms and can be physical, sensory, intellectual, mental health and emotional, developmental, and non-visible (e.g. asthma). If disability was the only agent to consider in the diversity scenario things would be easier for teachers but there are a number of other classifications of students to consider: Gifted or talented; English as a second language (ESL); Indigenous students; and many other classifications which fall under the societal/family/personal heading (Ashman & Elkin, 2012). My definition of inclusion is “that equality and equity is the right of every student no matter what the barriers exist to meaningful learning. All barriers require removal to allow access, for all, to the Australian curriculum content irrespective of the structural or economic adjustments that this necessitates. Inclusion does not necessarily provide guaranteed outcomes but is grounded on the concept of equal opportunity for all.” To be truly inclusive teachers, we need to first know the student and identify the real reasons for any individual to be classified as having a learning disability. In Australia, teachers must be familiar with the many federal and state laws, regulations, and frameworks, which apply to inclusive education. At a national level, the following Acts and Standards protect students: the Commonwealth (Cwlth) Anti-Discrimination Act 2004; Cwlth Disability Discrimination Act 1992; Racial Discrimination Act 1975; Cwlth Sex Discrimination Act 1984; Human Rights Commission Act 1986; Australia’s ratific... ... middle of paper ... ...AP. (2014). Student Participation. Retrieved from http://www.nap.edu.au/naplan/ school-support/student-participation.html National Center on Universal Design for Learning. (2012b). Learner Variability and Universal Design for Learning [Online seminar presentation]. Retrieved from http://udlseries.udlcenter.org/presentations/learner_variability.html?plist=explore Racial Discrimination Act 1968 (Cth) (Austl.). Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) (Austl.). Special Education News. (2014). The History of the IEP. A little look in the history of the Individual Education Plan also known as IEP. Accessed at http://www.specialednews.com/the-history-of-the-iep.htm United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation. (1994). The Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action on Special Needs Education. Retrieved from http://www.unesco.org/education/pdf/SALAMA_E.PDF
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