Inclusive education by Nur Hafizah, Nur Izdihar, Nurdiana Hamza, Nur Hidayah & Noor Hasni (WHEELOCK SINGAPORE, 2012)
Jack A film about Jack Powell, a healthy ten year old boy enters fifth grade with the appearance of a forty year old man due to an unusual aging disorder.
JackAn aspect of inclusion is evident when his social learning environment consisting of his teacher and classmates provide him with a sense of belonging. Jack gets to engage in many activities with his friends be it to play basketball or have sleep over sessions.With an optimal learning environment both at home and in school, Jack takes the opportunity to acquire more knowledge and skills and does not let his condition hinder achieve his desire.
Conditions that Children withDisabilities are Educated in SingaporeSpecial Education and Mainstream schools.Integrated Childcare Centre Programme (ICCP)Special SchoolsMainstream Schools
Conditions that Children withDisabilities are Educated in SingaporeIntegrated Childcare Centre Programme (ICCP)Child care centers that run ICCP are funded by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and SportsCatered for children aged 2 to 6, mild to moderate hearing, visual, physical /speech impairments /developmental delays Maximize potential of these children who can benefit from an education in a mainstream setting by learning and playing with their peers at the centers
Conditions that Children withDisabilities are Educated in SingaporeIntegrated Childcare Centre Programme (ICCP)Prepare children with special educational needs to enter primary education at a later stage with a natural environment for them to learn, play, socialize and grow up in.
Conditions that Children withDisabilities are Educated in SingaporeSpecial SchoolsIndividualized Educational Plan (IEP) is drawn up for every pupilProvide educational programmes for children and young adults with disabilities between the ages of 6 to 16 yearsIn a number of these schools, younger children are provided with preschool programmes
Conditions that Children withDisabilities are Educated in SingaporeSpecial SchoolsIn the case of some special schools, children who join the Early Intervention Programme for Infants and Children (EIPIC) can be admitted almost immediately after birth when their disability is diagnosed. e.g. Balestier Special School and Margaret Drive Special School and Asian Women’s Welfare Association
Conditions that Children withDisabilities are Educated in SingaporeMainstream SchoolsAllied Educators (Learning and Behavioral Support) [AEDs(LBS)], previously known as Special Needs Officers, are deployed to support children with mild special needsIn order to support students with mild special needs, AEDs(LBS) work with teachers and other school personnel such as Allied Educators for CounselingEvery primary school has been staffed with at least one AED(LBS).
Public Views’ on Inclusive Education• inadequate support in mainstream schools for children withdisabilities• effective inclusion could be made possible when there aresufficient support and resources• still depends on the child whether he/she is able to cope in amainstream setting• giving more training to special education teachers in mainstreamschools• Singapore still requires some time to ensure inclusion practicesare being carried out effectively
What is Inclusion? National Association for the Ministry of Community Ministry of Education, Education of Young Children Development, Youth and Sports Singapore (MOE) (NAEYC) (MCYS)• Exemplifies values, policies, and • Opportunities provided for • advocates that every learnerpractices people with disabilities is provided opportunities• advocate every child’s right to • become active and “contributing • to acquire “knowledge, skillsplay a part in most activities and members of society” (MCYS and attitudes to live healthily”contexts Enabling Masterplan, 2012) (MOE Holistic Health Framework, 2012) • Effective Early Intervention and education for children with special • strengthen teachers’ and needs para-educators’ competencies • and eventually have equal opportunities to work and be “contributing members of society” in future
Benefits of Inclusion for ALL childreno Exhibit increased positive reception and diversityo Develop better communication and social skillso Show greater development in moral and ethicalprincipleso Create warm and caring friendshipso Enhance self-respect and esteemo Children model good behaviour of one another
Benefits of Inclusion for Teacherso Portray acceptance for diverse learners in classo Gain apt knowledge about using different resources tomeet the needs of all learnerso Maximise capabilities to plan lessons for all learnersand as they grow in experience, they get better in it
4 Pedagogies / Principles / Practice: Towards Inclusion1. Universal Design for Learning: Curriculum Development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn.Source: National Center on Universal Design for Learning, CAST 20122. Differentiated Instruction: the practice of modifying and adapting instruction, materials, content, student projects and products, and assessment to meet the learning needs of individual studentsSource: Differentiated Instruction, Curriculum, Assessment by DR Susan Allan3. Culturally Responsive Pedagogy: Using a multi cultural approach notion to teach all learnersSource: National Center for Culturally Responsive Educational Systems4. Understanding by Design: Focusing on the process to design an effective and holistic learning environmentSource: http://www.grantwiggins.org/documents/mtuniontalk.pdf by Grant Wiggins & Jay McTighe, 2004
Problems / Challenges towards Inclusion in Singapore Teachers’ lack of trainings and professionalism to implement inclusioneffectively. Efforts towards inclusion but concurrently more to integration in the localpre schools. No specific law or policy as a tool to change education of children with special needs. Singapore schools focus more on elitism (Schools ranking) despite thestrategy "Teach Less Learn more”. With that, schools are still focusing onstandardized education system. Typically developing children may or may not be able to see the significanceand benefits of inclusion due to the lack of exposure and awareness. Society’s perception: differences becomes a form of handicap when theyidentify difference as a problem.
Problems / Challenges towards Inclusion in Singapore (cont’d) Early Intervention starts at an older age (6-7) in Singapore and thuspreschool teachers could not accommodate to a childs needs that includes theresources, lessons and strategies used in teaching. Government initiated the funding for special education but it is not apparentas of yet. The structure of preschool education in Singapore has high student teachersratio, teachers lack of resources, support and time to meet the needs ofchildren with special needs. There is no fixed statistical figure on children with specific special needs andpeople in the pre schools sectors have difficulty identifying and seeing thenotion of the high increasing problem(disabilities in Singapore) thus they havelack of awareness about inclusion
Issues1. AcceptanceSocial: stigmatism causes an individual with special needs to have less opportunities to make friendsEducational: unequal opportunities for children who are not in mainstream school thus limitstheir potential to learn cost for intervention or therapy are unaffordable for many average income familiesthus unable to acquire the capabilities to learn. (For instance if the child cannot acquirethe basic skills to write, it will create a barrier for him or her to learn)Food for thought – “What about children that comes from a low income family? How canthe government advocate this?”Moral: Due to lack of acceptance & empathy amongst society, child feels inadequate inmany ways which results to low self esteem
Issues2. More of integration than inclusion in SingaporeSocial: child isolates himself/herself as no accommodation to childs needsEducational: academic performance is affected as child could not afford to accommodate tothe learning system. difficulty to participate actively in learning due to specific disabilitiesHOWEVER, Allied Educators in schools are evident examples of the effort MOE to workmoving towards inclusive education.Moral: Child gain a sense of guilt because of the ‘gaps’ between child’s performanceand peers’.
Narrative We gained some insights about achild’s, Raihan, by his pseudonym, current experience. Click ‘play’ to listen
A Child with Autism and His Experience at SchoolName of Child: Raihan (pseudonym) Age: 5In-Class ObservationsThe child has been observed to...• display positive enthusiasm in all the activities he does•need a longer time in digesting and understanding the instructions he has been given•practice independence while trying out the activities•resist any form of external help or guidance•require instructions that are specific and explicitly detailed•take a longer time to complete the given tasks and activities•able to learn quickly and follow routines very wellbe relaxed and easy-going amongst his peers
A Child with Autism and His Experience at School (Cont’d)ChallengesPresently, the child has been facing difficulty in his...• Social Development No direct interaction with classmates Has difficulty in verbally expressing his needs and wants• Fine Motor Development Adopts the Palmer Grasp in writing Finds certain tasks challenging, such as buttoning or unbuttoning a shirt
A Child with Autism and His Experience at SchoolWhat does the school do to help him? Teachers use visual schedules or the Picture Exchange Communication Systemin the classroom This assists the child when he wants to express or communicate something toothers but has difficulty in doing soThey do this to minimize any anxiety that the child might have in experiencingsudden changes in the day Recommended the child for the Early Intervention Programme in theschool, of which the child is now attendingRecommended the parent and guardians of the child in application offinancial schemes the school has
A Child with Autism and His Experience at School (Cont’d)What does the school do to help him? The school keeps Raihans parent and guardians updated on his progressthrough phone conferences and the communication book. The school also invites Raihans parent and guardians to a parent-teachermeeting at the beginning and end of each semester. At the parent-teacher meeting at the start of each semester, the teachers andRaihans parents discuss about setting certain goals for Raihan while at theend, they discuss Raihans learning development and advancement in meetingthose goals.
How do we image the collective experiences of individuals with disabilities will impact Singapore in the long run? Our Views on how Singaporeans view Individuals with Disabilities • Society of Singapore has negative views on individuals with disabilities • These views stem from lack of knowledge on the matter • We imagine that these collective experiences will evoke emotions of awe, respect, understanding and acceptance amongst Singaporeans
How do we image the collective experiences of individuals with disabilities will impact Singapore in the long run? How We think the Collective Experiences of Individuals with Disabilities will Impact Singapore • Encourage Singapore to make an effort and work together in building a whole new, positive perception of individuals with disabilities • How? Through own efforts e.g. online research, conducting surveys and interviews with individuals with disabilities • Conclusion: The desire to make this change in Singapore starts with us, the future educators
ReferencesAntia, S.D., Stinson, M.S. & Gaustad, M.G. (2002). Developing membership in the education of deaf and hard-of-hearing students in inclusive settings. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 7, 214-229.Berg, S.L. (2004). The Advantages and Disadvantages of theinclusion of students with disabilities into regular education classrooms. Retrieved on July24, 2012 from www2.uwstout.edu/content/lib/thesis/2005/2005bergs.pdfCentre for Enabled Living (2009). Integrated Child Care Centre Programme Retrieved July 22, 2012, from http://www.cel.sg/Services_Child_Integrated-Child-Care- Programme.aspx
ReferencesLim, L., & Quah, M. M. (2004). Educating learners with diverse abilities. Singapore: McGraw Hil.Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS). (2012). Enabling Masterplan 2012–2016. Retrieved July 24, 2012 from http://app1.mcys.gov.sg/Portals/0/Topic/Issues/EDGD/Enabling %20Masterplan%202012-2016%20Full%20Report.pdfMinistry of Education, Singapore (2012). Support for Children with Special Needs. Retrieved July 22, 2012, from http://www.moe.gov.sg/education/programmes/support-for- children-special-needs/
ReferencesNational Association Education for Young Children (2009). EarlyChildhood Inclusion. Retrieved on July 24, 2012 fromhttp://www.naeyc.org/files/naeyc/file/positions/ DEC_NAEYC_EC_updatedKS.pdfSharma, U., Ee, J., & Desai, I. (2003). A comparison of Australianand Singaporean pre-service teachers’ attitudes and concernsabout inclusive education. Teaching and Learning, 24 (2), 207-217. Retrieved July 24, 2012, from http://repository.nie.edu.sg/jspui/bitstream/10497/322/1/TL-24-2-207.pdf
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