Some Common Misconceptions about Inclusive Education
The goal of education is to create opportunities for individuals to realise their true potential. Teachers around the world work relentlessly towards helping our children participate in the cultural, political, social, and economic aspects of life by providing them the required tools. However, even today, our educational system has not been able to guarantee such opportunities for everyone. Unfortunately, this educational disparity becomes prevalent from the very early years of a child’s life.
Social inclusion has been a top priority for the policymakers across the world in the recent years. However, ensuring access to early childhood education for children from disadvantaged backgrounds has still remained a challenge.
Inclusive education is defined by UNESCO as a process to help overcome obstacles that limits the presence and participation of learners. Experts believe, however, that the implementation of inclusive educational practices has been hampered significantly by a number of misconceptions.
- The most common misconception about inclusive education is that it only concerns learners with some kind of disability. It is true that this concept has been successful in addressing discrimination in education based on disability of a child. However, over a period of time, the idea was expanded to include discrimination on the basis of multiple factors, including social class, sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity, and linguistic/cultural/and religious association. Therefore, inclusive education looks to provide the right education to all by eliminating barriers to learning.
- There is also a common perception about inclusive education being expensive. However, compared to segregated education, inclusive education has a lower instructional cost. Adoption of this system doesn’t require a lot of resources. In fact, it is possible to cultivate an inclusive environment simply by redesigning practices and training.
- Some people have their apprehensions about inclusion because they believe that this may jeopardize the learning quality for other students. However, recent studies indicate that inclusive education benefits all students. It has been observed that participation in inclusive classrooms led to higher academic attainments, even for students without special educational needs.
- Another misconception people have about inclusive education is that it makes special educators redundant in the educational system, which is far from the truth. In fact, today, the entire world requires more special educators compared to ever before for the implementation of inclusive education.
- One may think that inclusion in education is only about our schools. However, this is a wrong perception because this concept demands significant efforts and changes in attitude from the society. In addition to accommodating learner differences, inclusive education is also about sharing a vision where the entire society has a role to play.
Please remember that educational inclusion is a continuous process for the elimination of obstructions that deny quality education for some learners. These barriers can only be dismantled by making learning more inclusive from early ages.
At Willow Bee Early Learning Centre, we are dedicated to offering the best in early childhood care for your children. If you have any questions about inclusive education or your child’s early childhood education needs, please feel free to contact us today.