The Discrimination Act (1992) and Human Rights Act (1998) govern some of the principles of inclusively, diversity and discrimination based on culture, age, race, sex, ethnic and economic backgrounds and disabilities. A definition of inclusive learning is taken from the Open University website and refers to the Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education (CASE) (University, 2010): “Inclusion means enabling all dents to participate fully in the life and work of mainstream settings, whatever their needs. Further examination of the CASE (CASE, 2010) website illustrates the broader social and institutional context of inclusive practice. Teachers, management, support staff and parents need to coordinate and minimize potential issues that may exclude students, systematically by adopting policies and procedures to work together.
Teachers and other staff may through exclusion set lower goals or have lower expectations for students with disabilities or difficulties. A fundamental shift in thinking is that capabilities are not causing exclusion, it is system design and people therein that are disabling not the student. Another fundamental shift is the move from integration to inclusion. Integration implies moving a student into an environment whereas inclusion is a more seismic change in terms of policy, planning and curriculum to involve the student. Of particular importance within education is the inclusion of children with learning difficulties or learning disabilities.
In 2001, the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Act (SENDS) modified and became part of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DAD). The act requires institutions to change their practice by anticipating the changes they need to make and to be proactive in making them. Figure 1- A list of the Main Legislative Acts Relating to Diversity and Equality A definition of learning disabilities is taken from the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCSC, 201 0): “Learning disabilities (OLD) are neurological disorders that can make it difficult to acquire certain academic and social skills. Whether you’re a parent, educator, or an adult with OLD. Learning about OLD will help you support your child’s or your own success in learning and life.
A learning difficulty need not necessarily be a developmental disability. However, many children that do have learning difficulties have additional developmental disorders – see Table 1 . Specific Learning Difficulties Range of Developmental Disabilities Dyslexia is only one of a group of difficulties that may include Dysphasia: writing difficulty Dysphasia: motor difficulties Disqualify: a difficulty performing mathematical calculations Attention deficit disorder, or attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADD or ADD): concentration difficulties with heightened activity levels and impulsiveness Espalier’s syndrome and autism: emotional behavior or even social communication difficulties.
Nervous system disabilities Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (Ids) Down syndrome Fragile X syndrome Autism Spectrum Disorders Sensory-related disabilities Metabolic Disorders Degenerative Disorders Table 1 -? A range of Learning Difficulties and Developmental Disabilities Inclusion has benefits to both mainstream students and those that have a disability¶y’. Social stigmas are broken down and other students then learn about disabilities and disabled, students are not marginal’s ,but instead integrated into a wider social context. Learning disorders affect a significant number of people within the population and as a teacher it is vital that their needs are taken into account when planning the delivery of a subject.
As Petty (2009, pap) states for these to be inclusive the teacher needs to address their needs by: Individualized assessment of their present skills and abilities An individual plan focused on learning related to their everyday live Deliberate and intensive teaching focused on clear goals Furriness’s methods (Bernstein, 1 980) – e. G. Bridging As Petty (2009, pap) highlights discrimination applies to our inbuilt set of references and filters and can create false impressions. The teacher therefore is involved in not just the learning process but the teaching methods; motivation; emotional, moral development and teacher-student relationship. Principles underlying inclusively in practice are met by presenting communications in multiple ways to suit the needs of learners. Learners should have the ability to express themselves through a number of mediums and activities incorporated for group interaction (without prejudice or isolation).
Some learners will require more reinforcement than others. One of he key aspects of devising engaging material is novel perspectives from which to approach the subject. This can keep learners engaged and maintain interest. The amount of novelty, reinforcement, variety, and surprise needs tailoring to the level and nature of the subject. Many of the changes to practice and reform within an educational setting may only require adjustments to the environment; however cognitive disabilities such as ADD may be disruptive for teachers and other pupils. Students may suffer loss of confidence if teachers and peers are intolerant of such a cognitive disability.
If institutions implement changes, but do not train people and involve them in the change process, then there is a danger it will be ineffective and potentially detrimental to students with learning difficulties or disabilities. What is learning? There are no clear definitions Of learning. In reviewing definitions for learning there are a number of common themes which vary in their expression: 1 . Learning is a process of gaining knowledge and skills 2. Learning is a relatively permanent change in behavior based on an individual’s experience 3. Learning is a change in behavior gained from the acquisition and assimilation of stimulus from the environment These perspectives differ due to the many frameworks that can be used to model learning e. G. Communication, memory, behavior….
Psychology, which is the study of the mind and how it works, offers the broadest base of knowledge on learning as a process. Different schools of psychology can offer lenses or perspectives to view and improve our teaching and for opportunities to examine inclusively. Learning is a complex process and each individual may go through the process of learning in different ways. It is the aim of this essay to expand upon the theories covering learning and to evaluate assumptions to learning and teaching. We can start by reviewing the humanistic view of Mascots hierarchy which characterizes learning as a basis for self development. Mason’s model includes extrinsic e. G. Wider social, health, wellness and intrinsic factors within as illustrated in Figure 2.
We must remember that education and learning have far wider social and political implications for society (social integration, welfare, economic independence, family… ). Figure 2 – Mascots Hierarchy of needs (each layer is sequentially attained once the needs of the previous layer are fulfilled) Factor Review and inclusively Motivation Moscow (Moscow, 1962) proposed a model of hierarchical motivational factors each or which precede the other (sequentially). Students attitudes and motivations matter and affect their development – Expectancy Value Theory (Petty, 2009,vii, 614 p. ) p. 60. Motivation = Expectancy x Value; the lower the score the lower the motivation.
Keller (Keller, 1987,2-10) proposes that attention is connected to motivation and uses the model of ARCS (attention, relevance, confidence and satisfaction). Self actualization as a concept is hard o define. For practical purposes the lower physiological form the basis for potential barriers to inclusion – the need to have a safe learning environment, social support, economic help if from deprived background, feedback in equal measure to others to promote self esteem. Encouragement and feedback to ensure equally that learners have the ability to develop their confidence and learn; also to develop their social skills. Social-economic background Social and educational backgrounds of parents affects children’s achievements.