Creating an Inclusive Classroom
Despite it being well into the summer holidays the discussion went at the usual fast and furious pace with 107 contributors and 885 tweets! As often happens in these debates, the definition of what we mean by inclusion took a lot of unpicking.
It was agreed that it meant being fair but there was the element of ‘fair to whom’? Did being fair to ALL mean that some had to miss out? Special schools were brought into the mix about how they cater for those youngsters often excluded by the mainstream. Exclusion itself was tossed around for a while. Is exclusion a contradiction of inclusion or a necessity? What about behaviour? If that is considered is it possible to have an inclusive classroom with ‘usual suspects’ in it?
As the discussion moved towards ideas on how to establish an inclusive classroom, the philosophy of the school was highlighted. That old chestnut of testing was also mentioned and how that is totally anti an inclusive approach. The difficulty of planning for inclusion across a week with possibly 25 individual lessons was a cause of concern for some. Is it possible to differentiate for 25+? Is this not positive discrimination? One group that was brought up was those pupils in the middle. It was felt that there was some attention on the extremes either SEN or gifted but does that mean that the middle gets over looked?
Among practical ideas were: using different methods of recording work especially those that used IT), displaying all work, the use of working walls. The use of questioning and language was promoted. Make sure everyone understands and has been able to contribute.
Notable Tweets from the Session:
@Nic5Harrison The inclusive classroom is about embracing differences – the curriculum is not a ‘one size fits all
@mikeatedji Inclusion of whom? Is it the same for all groups?
@jennah1000 is it alwys appropriate to include every child, regardless of issues?
@teachitso Severe behaviour problems held other kids back. Inclusion costs life chances
@davidhunter just teaching one child is an opportunity missed for another.
@cherrylkd SEN should have opp to mix with all abilities. Otherwise it’s not inclusion
@deerwood Working Walls and open doors are important for inclusion?
@BenRogersOVA Secondary teachers need to get into primary classes to see how it is done. Knowing the kids really well makes huge difference.
Tweet of the Week:
@deerwood Inclusion should benefit all pupils not just the ‘included’ pupil
Notable WebLinks Highlighted During the Session:
About your hosts:
One of your co-hosts @theheadsoffice is a retired headteacher having great fun linking with class blogs and running 100 Word Challenge for kids