As I have eagerly anticipated meeting my practical classes in the last three years, I take with me the knowledge that I will find a class that is full of unique individuals. These students will have different cultures, types of families, socioeconomic status and learning needs just to name a few of the diversities. Although this is the type of class I expect to see in today’s society it was not what I experienced throughout my earlier schooling years. I remember that almost all of the students in my class came from typical nuclear families and that it was unusual to have someone in my class that originated from a different county or could speak a different language. I do not recall any students in our primary school cohort that had any physical or intellectual disabilities. I believe that the contrast between a classroom such as mine in the 1980’s and early 90’s and a classroom that you would come across in 2010 is a result of the implementation of policies and legislations relating to inclusive education.
Many of Australia’s legislations and policies relating to the notion of equal opportunities for all people have originated from the early anti-discrimination initiatives set out by the United States Government in the 1970’s (Carpenter, 2010). The Education of all Handicapped Children Act of 1975 was aimed to stop the desegregation of students with disabilities and it was this public law that started the movement towards inclusive education in many countries around the world including Australia (Ashman and Elkins, 2009). Education Queensland has developed the Inclusive Educatio...
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...ieved from https://learning.secure.griffith.edu.au/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab=courses&url=/bin/common/course.pl?course_id=_78878_1&frame=top
Queensland Education (2005). Inclusive Education Statement. Retrieved 10 March 2010, from http://education.qld.gov.au/studentservices/learning/docs/inclusedstatement2005
Shaddock, A., Giorcelli, L., & Smith, S. (2007). Students with disabilities in mainstream classrooms: a resource guide for teachers. Canberra:ACT. Retrieved from http://www.dest.gov.au/NR/rdonlyres/D3113371-7E2C-49FE-8017-8495030736BF/19755/InclusiveClassroomTeacherResourceFinal1.pdf
Ulrich, M., & Bauer, A. (2003). Levels of awareness- a closer look at communication between parents and professionals. Teaching Exceptional Children,35(6), 20-23.
Westwood, P. (2007).Commonsense methods for children with special educational needs. London:Routledge.
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