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Tag Archives: inclusion

Educational Assistants

Educational assistants (EA’s) are so valuable in a school! The best qualifications of an EA are patience, love, creativity, and consistency. In my opinion, those qualities far outweigh any courses that may have been completed.
EA’s help provide students with the needed support to function within the classroom.

Here you see a big dice (di?) that one EA created in her ‘spare’ time. Also, a tactile ecosystem model. Both are examples of how an EA is making inclusion successful.

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Another Thought

20130402-233136.jpgI had another thought about my last post….

Mainstreaming is managing, while inclusion is investing.
Investing is more work, and does not always give the return we hoped for, but it is worth the time. If we stick with it for the long haul, and take some risks, we will see gains.

(Can you tell that we are studying metaphors in my classroom and that I had a meeting with our accountant today?)

Inclusion or Mainstreaming?

Lat20130329-180358.jpgely I have been driven by circumstances to be more reflective. What really happens in classrooms? Are our ideals met by practice?

Inclusion and mainstreaming have been used interchangeably but according to Katy Arnett in CAP Journal, 2013, the philosophies are very different. Inclusion should socially and academically benefit all children in a classroom even if they have different abilities and needs. Mainstreaming gives students with special needs access to the general ed classroom but the “different” abilities are not viewed as the teacher’s responsibility and peers work beside each other rather than with each other.

research showed that inclusive teaching practice was facilitated through the use of questioning that helped to build students towards more complex and challenging ideas, rather than take for granted that the students immediately and clearly understood the concepts under study before moving onto more complex questions
(Jordan et al., 1997, as cited in Arnett, 2013, p. 16)

the concept of ‘differentiation’ has also been heralded as a way to support inclusive teaching practice.
(Tomlinson 1999; 2001; Tomlinson & McTighe, 2006, as cited in Arnett, 2013, p. 16)

So the challenge is to turn ideals into reality. Do our practices reflect what we believe to be most beneficial to all? Can we start with becoming more aware and move towards becoming more proactive?  I realize the issues are complex but the ideal is worth the ongoing discussion.

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