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Respect To Creating An Inclusive Environment In The Classroom

Demonstrates thorough understanding of inclusivity. Addresses personal pedagogy for inclusion with commendable breadth/ depth and insight.

INTRODUCTION (The issue of inclusion has been the ‘hot topic’ in educational policies worldwide since the Salamanca statement that appeals to governments to adopt the principle of an inclusive education (UNESCO, 1994).

In addition, during the Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s National Day Rally speech in 2004, he envisioned an open and inclusive society for everyone including the disabled, the disadvantaged, the old and young (http://stars.nhb.gov.sg/stars/public/). The theme on building an inclusive society was subsequently mentioned in PM Lee’s speech in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

With the Singapore government actively exhorting its citizens towards inclusion, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has also looked into providing resources to integrate children with special needs in the mainstream school system. This includes an initiative implemented five to six years ago to train special needs officers (SNOs) and teachers in special needs (TSNs) who are deployed to mainstream schools to help support children with special needs. http://www.nie.edu.sg/research/research-projects/inclusive-education-singapore-primary-school-classrooms

In order to construct my personal definition of inclusiveness, the term “inclusion” has to be understood. Inclusion stems from Special Education which caters to children with special needs. In Singapore, Special Education has been a separate provision only till recent years that we see an integration approach of Special Education practices being assimilate into the mainstream. And we are now being challenged

Inclusion as we know it today has its origins in Special Education. The development of the

fi eld of special education has involved a series of stages during which education systems

have explored different ways of responding to children with disabilities, and to students

who experience diffi culties in learning. In some cases, Special education has been provided

as a supplement to general education provision, in other cases it has been entirely

separate. In recent years, the appropriateness of separate systems of education has been

challenged, both from a human rights perspective and from the point of view of effectiveness.

Special education practices were moved into the mainstream through an approach

known as “integration”. The main challenge with integration is that “mainstreaming” had

not been accompanied by changes in the organisation of the ordinary school, its curriculum

and teaching and learning strategies. This lack of organisational change has proved to be

one of the major barriers to the implementation of inclusive education policies. Revised

thinking has thus led to a re-conceptualisation of “special needs”. This view implies that

progress is more likely if we recognize that diffi culties experienced by pupils result from

the ways in which schools are currently organized and from rigid teaching methods. It has

been argued that schools need to be reformed and pedagogy needs to be improved in ways

that will lead them to respond positively to pupil diversity – seeing individual differences

not as problems to be fi xed, but as opportunities for enriching learning.

The proposed study seeks to advance knowledge about inclusive education in Singapore, a largely uncharted area of research. Compared to many countries in the US, UK, and Europe, Singapore’s experience is unique in that there is presently no legislation that mandates inclusive educational practices for special needs children. However, in the past five to six years, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has invested considerable resources toward training teachers and providing infrastructure to integrate special needs children in the regular school system. To date, little research has yet been undertaken to understand what inclusion means in the Singapore context, how our teachers are responding to this initiative, and the extent to which inclusion is meeting the needs of children with special needs.

(So where are we in the education sector?

Describe current situation-we are still at the integration stage)

UNESCO views inclusion as “a dynamic approach of responding positively to pupil diversity and

of seeing individual differences not as problems, but as opportunities for enriching learning.”

For the purposes of my argument, I stress that by the term ‘inclusion’ I am not only referring to people with Special Educational Needs or disabilities as taking part in the mainstream. I intend ‘inclusion’ to mean involving and recognising the broad universe of differences that pupils present; of gender, of ethnicity, of cultural heritage, of religion, of language, and of sexuality.

My personal pedagogy with respect to creating inclusive environment in the classroom is not just recognizing the needs of children with different abilities and competencies but to be responsive to the individual needs.

My personal definition of inclusiveness is respond to the needs of all students by making specific adjustments to the delivery of lessons.

Every student needs quality of life

Seeing them as unique individuals

Negative social perception towards children with special needs

Importance of teacher’s attitude

Barriers to inclusion

Everybody had a wish list and I think everybody has a right to wish for something – the disabled, the disadvantaged, the old, the young, the married couples, newly-married and so on. And when I talked about an inclusive society, I include all of them, but if I cover all of them tonight, you will not go home till midnight. But at the right occasion at the right events over the next few months and years, we will talk about them, we will address them and we will see to their needs because an inclusive society has to embrace all and everybody must have the chance to have a good life and to be part of this Singapore Story. (http://stars.nhb.gov.sg/stars/public/)

Pedagogy=correct use of instructive strategies

Allied educator trained in special needs

What is inclusiveness?

Seldom see disabled around, usually ‘sieved’ out after psle.

Authoritarian- my classroom management style

Posits that schools have to respond flexibly to accommodate ALL students

Emphasizes:

Rights of ALL students

Schools adjusts and moulds to ALL students needs

Benefits ALL students

Full participation alongside typical students

Recognizes expertise of mainstream teachers to accommodate and differentiate for students with diverse needs

inclusive education describes

the process by which a school attempts to respond to all pupils’ needs as individuals

by reconsidering and restructuring its curricular organisation and provision and

allocating resources to enhance equality of opportunity” (Sebba & Sachdev, 1997,

p. 9). Inclusion therefore encompasses not only the physical placement of children in

mainstream schools but also the curricular and teaching adaptations, which are neces-

sary to enable children to make progress academically and to be socially included.

Discuss the reasons for adopting this personal pedagogy by making reference to:

Your own personal classroom experiences as a student, and

Relevant concepts, theories and materials introduced in this course.

Well-developed arguments in support of personal pedagogy. Displays critical reflection resulting in insightful discussion of how personal pedagogy evolved from personal experiences and knowledge of relevant concepts.

SGT-dwindling school population

Creating a accepting, positive classroom atmosphere

Vgotsky-ZPD

Describe the profile of a class that you are likely to be in charge of at the beginning of the school year. With that class in mind, based on your personal pedagogy, what will you do to create an inclusive learning environment in that new class during the first two weeks?

A very detailed and well-articulated discussion of actualizing their personal pedagogy into creating an inclusive classroom in all its various aspects. Good evidence of reflection observed in the translation of theory into practice.

One of the indicators of a progressive society is the way we treat those who are different or who need support so that they are not left behind.

Many teachers grew up in an environment which segregates disabled from non-disabled.

Accommodate students of varying degrees of disability

Tension between the vision of an inclusive society and the reality of the lives of people with disabilities because they do not have opportunities.

Therefore call for schools to be more inclusive of children with disabilities-how the young are taught to understand and include others who have different and diverse abilities and needs-hence teachers need to learn the values, knowledge and skills to be inclusive

Special Education has been in Singapore for nearly 60 years. And since then Singapore has undergone a remarkable change in special educational provision even though it has some way to go when compared to developed countries. There is an equal partnership with the Government and the voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs) to provide considerable expertise in coordinating and monitoring role in special education.

In Singapore, the preference is for selective inclusion where a continuum of a range of services is available. Full inclusion may not be the way to go for learners with severe and profound disabilities.

Students with special needs have always been there in the mainstream, but due to lack of awareness and poor medical support has caused many traumatizing moments for these students to go unnoticed in the society.

Fortunately, in Singapore, there is a growing acceptance of integration and inclusion in general education schools and individuals with mild special needs are mainstreamed from preschool to tertiary education.

Students with special educational needs are educated in a range of different settings, including mainstream and special schools1. Fortunately, there is a growing acceptance of integration and inclusion in mainstream schools and individuals with mild special needs are mainstreamed from preschool to tertiary education.

To provide adequate support for students with exceptional needs, Ministry of Education introduced Learning Support Coordinators (LSCs) to all primary schools in 1992 and subsequently, Special Needs Officers were introduced to both Primary and Secondary schools to help these students overcome the barriers their difficulties present, quickly and easily in an environment which is conducive.

Currently, more than 700 visually impaired, hearing impaired and physically disabled students attend mainstream schools2. With the number of students with special needs growing, Ministry of Education is also looking into other possibilities to improve the educational status of these children such as providing more training to teachers on special needs.3 and setting aside more funds to support student with special needs in both mainstream and special schools.

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