The department of special education of the University of Iowa advocates the concept of inclusive education. The idea of inclusive education is that every student despite the strengths and weaknesses that they have, will all be treated equally and be accepted as part of their community at school. This would mean that students that have special needs in schools should not be discriminated against and should instead be understood and treated as equals.
What the organization wants to advocate is that children with special needs should not be isolated instead we as educators should make them feel accepted by the community as well as help them gain new friends and help provide them with the same opportunities that normal children enjoy. In order to achieve this goal the organization developed several strategies such as content/behavior strategies. One example of such strategy that the organization is trying to suggest is that the students themselves are responsible for what they would learn. Teachers should also expect their students to be more responsible. The organization also suggests that the curriculum used should involve the use of things in your students lives as subject for discussion. Students would share stories of their lives or other people’s stories that might be related to them.
Another strategy would be the use of techniques that would include the developing of classroom rules like children should respect each other and trying to prepare a curriculum which would interest the students. Teachers could try to involve things that may matter to their students in order to get their attention. Teachers should also try to be more observant with their students so that if a problem arises the teacher would know what the root of the problem is. Other things like the room arrangement should also be considered. Things like number of people in a room, the lighting and the arrangement of the students are all important. The teacher should also try to consider if the work he is giving the students is too hard or not, if he is teaching too fast or if his voice is too loud and make appropriate adjustments if necessary.
By trying to apply the strategies suggested by the group, I as an educator could help advocate their cause. As an instructor I should try to be able to understand more my students. I need to understand that each student is special and have special needs. This is why my expectations for each student should also be different as not all students have the same capabilities. Because of this is I need to be able to adjust in order to handle the differences each students has. If possible I should also be able to assign assignments that would be able to best match the skills of my students. By doing this I as an educator would be able to appreciate the diversified skills of each of my students. By doing this I would be able to better understand that each human being is unique and special, being able to understand people better and being patient would make me into a great teacher.
The use of inclusion also promotes advocacy and leadership, children would learn more about the importance of respecting each other which will thus promote social equality. One important aspect of being a leader is to be able to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your followers and how best to utilize these characteristics. This is why inclusive teaching could be used as a tool in building the nation’s future leaders. Other teachers should also apply this, if all teachers is like this then the country will see many great leaders in the future. (University of Iowa Department of Special Education).
University of Iowa. Inclusion “children who learn together, live together”. Retrieved on February 2, 2008 from http://www.uni.edu/coe/inclusion/.