- How accessible is your school, classroom or learning space?
- What challenges do you face in providing a fully inclusive education?
- What support do teachers need from slt to deliver inclusive lessons?
- Is it more important for a child to be included academically or socially?
- Is there a need for special schools?
Pre chat task
— UKEdChat (@ukedchat) November 19, 2015
Inclusion is an issue has an impact on every school and every classroom. It is an area close to many people’s hearts and can draw out quite strong emotions. I chose questions that hopefully educators could relate to whether they worked in mainstream or special school settings. I merged the first question with a task asking uked-chatters to contribute their three word definition of inclusion to a padlet in addition to tweeting.
Question 1 itself (How accessible is your school, classroom or learning space?) gained a contribution from Amanda all the way from Australia and host of #includEDau a weekly inclusion chat who has a very accessible classroom, but reflected that her school was always working towards improving. Milot teaches his students across Skype, so has a very accessible classroom.
Onto question 2 (What challenges do you face in providing a fully inclusive education?) Amanda started us off with “Teacher knowledge, parent understanding and time constraints” all of which a number of contributors agreed with, but she followed it up with a suggestion that these could be overcome using “through PL, tenacity and stubbornness”. Limited resources came up as an issue that would follow through into other answers – See this comment, for example. Polly (@pollpuddleduck) suggested that the range of needs in any one classroom may be an issue. This was echoed by some tweeters who did not use the Hashtag!
It was quite an intimate chat so far, Louise jumped in for question 3 (What support do teachers need from slt to deliver inclusive lessons?)
- Coaching, professional learning, access to advice, partnership (via @loumsanders)
- support good practice in the classroom / work closely with families and ensure long term planning takes place to meet needs. @PollyPuddleduck
- believe that technology would enhance inclusion. Why not invest in getting students to have #tech in their classrooms! https://twitter.com/mirrenduh
- Excellent communication throughout institution is essential to high quality inclusion.https://twitter.com/ChrisChivers2
- Professional development. Investment in teachers’ skills is investment in students’ learning. https://twitter.com/bridgewillows
Question 4 (Is it more important for a child to be included academically or socially?) was a bit of a tricky ask, Chris echoed many of the answers stating “Know child, challenge, support and celebrate achievement within community. Sense of belonging.”. Amanda also mentioned the importance of a sense of belonging. A lot of people said it came down to the individual’s needs but all aspects were important. This is my personal opinion as well. Academics are not the most important reason to be in school for many children.
Louise mentioned the need to address issues around poverty as well, an issue that could be a chat all to itself. Ben brought up the issue schools face in having to supply data for students with SEN that may detract from teachers focussing on the wider issues faced by vulnerable young people.
Question 5 (Is there a need for special schools?) was a bit of a devil’s advocate type question. I work in a special school so I am biased. But there was a resounding agreement that the need existed. Suzanna said that they provided acees to the specialist teaching some students require. This was echoed by Chris stating the need for highly individualised education. Milot did not fully agree suggesting they could be incorporated.