Inclusion – Education for ALL children

As an early childhood professional, it has always been a   concern for me that social barriers should be eliminated at mainstream preschools between disabled and non-disabled children.

Children should be taught since young to react positively to other children who may talk, think, move, behave, speak, learn or communicate differently from the “normal” manner.

One of the strategies I have always included in my classroom would be role-playing (read our article on role-playing). By letting able bodied preschool children experience the world in a manner almost similar to that of the disabled enables them to share and build a bond with the disabled child. Children become aware that they may share some form of similarities, and thus losing the feeling that the disabled child is different.

The purpose of these strategies are to build an inclusive system in my classroom. An inclusive education system provides ALL children with appropriate programmes. Programmes that which may be challenging, but supports each child’s capabilities. My long term goal in this aspect is to assist these children to be successful in the mainstream.

However, an inclusive setting isn’t easy to maintain. Other than being an ethical and economical issue, it is also a social issue. Teachers attitude towards the inclusive setting (this concerns support and training offered to the teachers) and parents reactions do play a huge role in the challenges faced.

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