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Situated Case of Practice Examining Teacher’s Practices of Inclusion Essay

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Updated: Jun 17th, 2022

The given assignment aims to consider the principles of inclusive education in Croydon Primary School. This educational establishment tries to contribute to the personal and academic development of every student by creating a motivating environment. It is necessary to draw attention to specific Croydon Primary School’s indicators to identify whether it copes with the task. Thus, its Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage (ICSEA) is 942. Furthermore, 70% of the school enrolments is with language background that is different from English, while more than 50% is from the bottom quarter of socio-educational advantage. Consequently, this assignment focuses on the lesson that took place in this specific background.

One should admit that there is the essential rationale for the reflection on the selected lesson. On the one hand, the information above has demonstrated that the school ICSEA value is below the average of 1,000, meaning that students of this establishment witness a lower level of educational advantage. The diversified language background also denotes that the school would benefit from reflecting on the lesson and improving inclusive practice. On the other hand, it is significant for teachers to reflect on whether and how they are implementing inclusive principles. According to Petriwskyj (2010), this approach will provide children with equal rights and opportunities, which will contribute to their social and academic growth. It denotes that the phenomenon under analysis is of importance for the entire educational system.

When it comes to inclusive practice, it is impossible to ignore the Universal Design of Learning (UDL). Ok et al. (2017) admit that this phenomenon is “a framework that can support the needs of all students, including students with disabilities and culturally and linguistically diverse learners” (p. 116). UDL includes a number of guidelines that try to ensure that every student’s needs and desires are addressed to create a productive learning environment.

Considering the information above, it is not a surprise that numerous policy and legislation documents address the issue of inclusiveness in education. Firstly, the United Nations stipulates that people with disabilities should have full access to education. For example, it means that such individuals should not be excluded from an educational system based on their disability; they should also obtain the necessary support to benefit from all educational opportunities. Secondly, Australia has its own regulation that refers to the Disability Standards for Education 2005. This document offers guidelines for educators to ensure that students with disabilities do not face any barriers regarding their access to education.

Body

The lesson under consideration was performed by my supervisor in my previous placement at the child care centre. The supervisor aimed to teach the students of 4-5 years old to count numbers 1-20. Assessment of the lesson reveals that it meets the general UDL guidelines. An inclusive classroom should offer multiple means of representation, action and expression as well as engagement, and these phenomena were present in the environment under consideration. They are required to make sure that learners’ neurological needs and peculiarities are met (Van Boxtel & Sugita, 2019). This information denotes that the supervisor took efforts to apply the inclusiveness principles.

Based on the data above, it is evident that the lesson implies some strengths, and this section will comment on them. The first advantage related to the fact that the supervisor combined visual cards and singing activities. The number songs were practised every day before lunch to make the students use the numbers in various environments to stimulate their cognitive activity. The second strength is the continuation of the first one because it refers to the repetition. It is useful that the supervisor motivated the learners to repeat the numbers regularly since the given strategy is likely to result in educational success.

However, one should also note that the given lesson implied a few essential barriers that could affect the educational process. Firstly, the assessment showed that the number cards were small; they were three or four times smaller than a standard piece of paper (A4 paper size). As a result, the children experienced difficulties with identifying the content. The barrier becomes even severer because some young children were already wearing glasses. Secondly, another challenge was connected with the fact that the school students were represented by immigrants and individuals who studied English as an additional language. In particular, two children were from China, one was from India, and two had Aboriginal backgrounds. This state of affairs resulted in the fact that some of the children did not speak English and could not understand the instructions. The supervisor ignored this situation as she thought that the children did not answer her questions because they were shy. This information denotes that some revisions and adjustments are necessary to build flexibility and accessibility into the lesson and related assessments.

The given section will offer revised goals that are appropriately challenging for all students. Firstly, it is necessary to ensure that all the students are able to understand the supervisor’s instructions. This objective is essential since this fact would mean that the children will achieve successful results in the sphere of education. Secondly, an important goal is to achieve that the children of 4-5 years old can count the numbers 1-20 according to the supervisor’s offers and recommendations. It is the primary educational goal of the whole lesson. Thirdly, it is significant to motivate the children to develop the cooperative play, meaning that they can play together and help one another during the game. The goals above are appropriately challenging for all the students, which is necessary to establish a productive environment.

One should admit that all these goals use the principles and guidelines of the UDL framework. The objectives are clearly articulated, which is of significance since UDL is difficult in classrooms with ambiguously formulated learning goals (Capp, 2017). For example, it refers to the requirement to provide multiple means of engagement. According to the UDL framework, an educator should foster collaboration and communication. Thus, the goal to establish an environment that is suitable for cooperative play meets the given requirement.

In addition to that, it is necessary to admit that the revised lesson plan should rely on flexible and varied teaching methods. On the one hand, the information above has stipulated that it is reasonable to focus on play-based teaching. According to Vogt et al. (2018), this approach is appropriate in this situation because a play activity is the most effective for young children, and it leads to better learning results. On the other hand, the proposed option is to use intentional teaching. This concept means that educators should be purposeful and thoughtful regarding planning lessons, helping children and others (Jung & Conderman, 2013). Lowrey et al. (2017) admit that “through intentional planning, educators can address the variability of learners’ ability to access and understand information, engage with content and instruction, and express what they know” (p. 225). These two teaching methods have the potential to result in successful results of children with disabilities.

The UDL principles and guidelines also support the choice of these particular teaching methods. It relates to the fact that the focus on a play activity leads to the provision of varied ways to respond and interact with materials. It is so because this teaching method will involve the use of specific cards that will be described below. Furthermore, UDL states that it is necessary to increase mastery-oriented feedback. This guideline denotes that an intentional teaching method is significant because it provides the students with feedback that promotes their growth and development.

The next point of discussion refers to the use of materials and resources that should ensure that all students are supported and challenged. Firstly, it is better to use larger cards bearing distinct numbers. The proposal is to provide the children with A4-sized cards to ensure that they can easily see the numbers. Secondly, it is suitable to introduce technology in inclusive education, and Lyons and Tredwell (2015) state that the use of technology contributes to the development of children’s creative thinking, analytical abilities and cooperation skills. In the given case, it is suitable to use a specific mobile application that is likely to get the learners interested. Every child is unique, but when it comes to children with disabilities, they deserve even more attention to their individual peculiarities. That is why educators should not limit these students to a single activity. The learners should be offered an opportunity to choose among, for example, a mobile application, song, number game on an iPad and so on.

The information above is in line with the UDL framework, stating that it is necessary to provide different options for perception and promote individual choice and autonomy. These guidelines demonstrate that it is the educator’s task to introduce variability in the educational environment. This strategy will imply significant advantages because children with disabilities will train how to make independent decisions and actions and overcome the existing challenges in their lives.

Finally, it is reasonable to comment on what flexible assessments can be used to support and challenge all the students. Not all children prefer answering when they are in a big group. That is why it is reasonable to assess children while they are in smaller groups. Furthermore, the division into smaller groups would result in more active learning among students. It refers to the fact that different tables can deal with various sets of numbers at any given time.

The proposal above also utilises the UDL principles and guidelines. For example, the organisation of multiple tables will help vary levels of challenge and support, which is necessary because of individual peculiarities of children with disabilities. Thus, García-Campos et al. (2020) conclude that the implementation of the UDL recommendations allows classrooms to improve students’ cognitive abilities. It denotes that all the suggestions above regarding the revised goals, materials, technologies and assessments aim to provide children with a more suitable educational environment that will result in better outcomes for them.

Conclusion

This assessment task has provided me with a perfect opportunity to reflect on my professional learning. According to “Reflection: The Key to Lasting Change” (2011), reflection is necessary for every teacher to allow them to analyse their professional activity and improve their skills. The assessment has helped me understand that it is obligatory to develop and demonstrate my personal skills since this approach is inevitably connected to students’ outcomes. Furthermore, I have seen that it is suitable to look at the teaching activity from the outside. Consequently, it will be a possible option to find a critical friend who will review my lesson and offer appropriate comments regarding how to improve professional skills.

In addition to that, the given assessment and the existing evidence allowed me to identify that every child with a disability has specific needs. For example, as it is mentioned in “Reflection: The Key to Lasting Change” (2011), students seek assistance, check progress, develop their points of view and others. It means that educators should do their best to ensure that these needs and expectations are met. Consequently, the given assessment demonstrated that the classroom could have multiple methods and approaches to provide the children with disabilities with suitable and proactive learning conditions. In other words, I have gained significant knowledge regarding the fact that it is up to a teacher to create an environment that would motivate the students with disabilities to become fully-fledged members of an educational process.

Finally, it is reasonable to stipulate that the assessment task has highlighted the necessity to meet the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST). Firstly, I have made sure that teachers deal with children that have various levels of abilities. It means that it is necessary to draw specific attention to the principles of inclusive education. Secondly, I have found that students with disabilities should receive special support. This claim denotes that such individuals require specific assistance to implement their full potential in the educational system. Thirdly, the given assessment task has demonstrated that it is necessary to achieve the students’ participation in the educational process. This condition is obligatory to ensure that all the learners are integral parts of the academic process, which can contribute to their development. In conclusion, the given assignment has revealed that teachers should not ignore the principles of inclusive education since modern practice draw significant attention to this phenomenon and proper education of children with disabilities. Consequently, this assessment task will inevitably improve my future professional activity.

References

Capp, M. J. (2017).. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 21(8), 791-807.

García-Campos, M.-D., Canabal, C., & Alba-Pastor, C. (2020). . International Journal of Inclusive Education, 24(6), 660-674.

Jung, M., & Conderman, G. (2013). . Childhood Education, 89(3), 173-177.

Lowrey, K. A., Hollingshead, A., Howery, K., & Bishop, J. B. (2017). . Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 42(4), 225-242.

Lyons, C. D., & Tredwell, C. T. (2015). Computers in the Schools, 32, 152-166.

Ok, M. W., Rao, K., Bryant, B. R., & McDougall, D. (2017). . Exceptionality, 25(2), 116-138.

Petriwskyj, A. (2010). . International Journal of Inclusive Education, 14(2), 195-212.

Reflection: The key to lasting change. (2011). In T. Loreman, J. Deppeler, & D. Harvey, Inclusive education: Supporting diversity in the classroom (2nd ed., pp. 240-254). Allen & Unwin.

Van Boxtel, J. M., & Sugita, T. (2019). . International Journal of Inclusive Education.

Vogt, F., Hauser, B., Stebler, R., Rechsteiner, K., & Urech, C. (2018). . European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 26(4), 589-603.

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