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Expert presentation by Ms. Gerison Lansdown, International Expert on Child Rights


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Inclusive education – What is it?
From 4th Child Protection Forum in Tajikistan, 2013.

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Expert presentation by Ms. Gerison Lansdown, International Expert on Child Rights

  1. 1. Inclusive education – What is it? Gerison Lansdown 4th Central Asian Republics Child Protection Forum Dushanbe, Tajikistan 1-3 August
  2. 2. CRC • Article 2 – non discrimination • Article 28 – right to education on the basis of equality of opportunity • Article 29 – education to fulfil optimal potential CRPD • Articles 3,4, 5 and 7 – obligations on States to take all measures to protect from discrimination on grounds of disability • Article 24 – the right to inclusive education at all levels, and to be provided with all necessary supports and reasonable accommodations The right to education
  3. 3. ‘a process of addressing and responding to the diversity of needs of all learners through increasing participation in learning, cultures and communities, and reducing exclusion within and from education. It involves changes and modifications in content, approaches, structures and strategies, with a common vision which covers all children of the appropriate age range and a conviction that it is the responsibility of the state to educate all children’. UNESCO 2005, Guidelines for Inclusion: ensuring access to education for all, Paris Defining inclusion
  4. 4. The human rights and principled case • International human rights law makes clear the right of every child with a disability to an inclusive education • Segregation is inherently discriminatory – marginalising and rendering invisible children with disabilities • Segregation has condemned millions of children to denial of many fundamental human rights – family life, freedom of association, play, health care, optimum development, protection from violence, access to justice • Inclusive education promotes respect for human rights, human dignity and diversity
  5. 5. The social and educational case • It produces positive changes in attitudes within schools towards diversity by educating all children together and leading to greater social cohesion. • Children with disabilities are less stigmatised and more socially included. • Children without disabilities learn tolerance, acceptance of difference and respect for diversity. • Children with disabilities have access to a wider curriculum than that which is available in special schools. • It leads to higher achievement for children than in segregated settings. Indeed, there are educational benefits for all children inherent in providing inclusive education. • Education is a means to ensure that people can enjoy and defend their rights in society and contribute to the process of democratization both in society and in education.
  6. 6. “Inclusive education has not only benefited the children with disabilities but also benefits all the other non- disabled students in the school by teaching them how to care about others and help others.” (Headmaster from Xin Dian Primary School in Sanshitou, China)
  7. 7. The economic case • Recognises children with disabilities as contributors to society, not burdens. • Reduces welfare costs and current and future dependence • Frees other household members from caring responsibilities, allowing them to increase employment or other productive activities. • Contributes to the maintenance of a flourishing economy and society • Promotes productivity, human potential and health and well being. A UNESCO study found that up to 35.6 per cent of global GDP lost due to disability is estimated to take place in Europe and central Asia. UNESCO, Policy Guidelines, on Inclusive Education, 2009 The World Bank argues that the total value of GDP lost due to disability is between $1.4 and $1.9 billion US dollars. World Bank, cited in Richler D, UNESCO, EFA Monitoring Report – commissioned study ‘Quality Education for Persons with Disabilities’, 2005
  8. 8. Barriers to inclusive education Within government Within communities Within schools Lack of political commitment Hostility towards and lack of understanding of disability Reluctance on part of teachers and other parents towards including children with disabilities Discriminatory laws and policies Inaccessible environments and facilities Failure to engage parents of children with disabilities Failure to provide early identification and assessment Parental fear of bullying and discrimination Lack of resources and support for schools and teachers Inadequate support and training for teachers Poverty and social exclusion Rigid teaching and assessment systems Persistence of the medical model of disability Persistence of the medical model of disability Persistence of the medical model of disability
  9. 9. Medical model – child is a problem and needs to change Social model - school needs to adapt to include and accept all children Social versus medical models of disability
  10. 10. Medical model Social model Child is faulty Child is valued Diagnosis is made of child Strengths and needs defined by self and others Child is labelled Barriers are identified and solutions developed Impairment becomes focus of attention Outcomes-based programmes designed Child is assessed and monitored Resources made available Segregated and alternative services are provided Training provided for parents and professionals Ordinary needs put on hold Relationships nurtured Re-entry only if ‘normal’ enough or permanent exclusion Diversity welcomed; child is welcomed Society remains unchanged Society evolves
  11. 11. Values of inclusion • Equality – every child is of equal worth • Rights-based – all rights apply to every child without discrimination • Participation – children are engaged, involved, and contribute to decisions that affect them • Respect for diversity – every child is different and must be included, diversity enriches learning • Community – children live in a community with others inside and outside the school, inclusion involves collaboration with communities, inclusion in education is one aspect of inclusion in society. • Sustainability – education must prepare children for sustainable lives within sustainable communities, inclusive schools build the relationships, opportunities and understanding for life in the longer term • Non-violence –skills are developed for negotiation, mediation and non- violent conflict resolution between adults and children and children themselves, bullying of any child who is different is challenged
  12. 12. Courtesy of Michigan Alliance for Families
  13. 13. Segregation • Children are classified according to their impairment • Allocated a school designed to respond to that particular impairment Integration Children with disabilities are placed in the mainstream system Often in special classes Only able to remain as long as they can accommodate the school’s demands and fit in with its environment Inclusion Recognition of need to transform the cultures, policies and practices in school to accommodate the differing needs of individual students An obligation to remove the barriers that impede that possibility Moving from segregation to inclusion NOYES
  14. 14. Elements for successful inclusion Values and commitment need to be backed up by practical action Teachers trained, supported and willing to learn, all staff committed to inclusion, supportive governing body Partnership and involvement with families, provisio n of information and resources Involvement of local communities – volunteers, faith groups, friends and neighbours Assistive devices – wheelchairs, bra ille, audio equipment, sign ing, ramps Social services – financial and practical support Health services – early identification of impairment, occupational therapy, on- going treatment and support
  15. 15. So how do you measure inclusion?
  16. 16. Restructuring the cultures, policies and practices in schools to respond to the diversity of students in the locality. Indicators to assess inclusive learning environments Producing inclusive policies Evolving inclusive practice Creating inclusive cultures Creating inclusive schools: indicators of effectiveness
  17. 17. Inclusive cultures • Every child is welcomed • Staff co-operate • Children help each other • Staff and parents collaborate • The school is a democratic environment • The school develops shared values, based on respect for human rights • Expectations are high for all children • Children are valued equally • All forms of discrimination are challenged • The school promotes non-violence in all interactions and disputes
  18. 18. Inclusive policies • The school admits all children from its locality • Systems are in place to support every new child settle in • Teaching and learning groups are arranged to support the learning of every child • The school ensures that its buildings and grounds are physically accessible to every child • Behaviour and inclusion policies are developed in collaboration with staff, parents and children • Staff parents and children are all familiar with the policies of the school • Professional development is provided to support teachers to promote inclusion and respond to diversity • Inclusive and accessible mechanisms are introduced to enable children to share difficulties or challenges they face
  19. 19. Inclusive practices • Learning activities encourage the participation of all children • Children are actively involved in their own learning • Children learn from and support each other • Lessons develop an understanding of similarities and differences between people • Assessments encourage and value the achievements of all children • Staff plan, teach and review together • Staff develop shared resources to support learning • Schools promote mutually sustaining relationships with local communities.
  20. 20. Summary Inclusion is a philosophy and approach – not a programme or a service AND  It is an educational, economic and human rights imperative  It serves the interests of individual children, their families and the wider society  It is possible – examples exist across the world of positive models of inclusion BUT it needs political commitment and vision directed to introduction of legislation, systems, training and support, re- allocation of resources, public awareness and education, and removal of the barriers that impede progress.