Inclusive education is the way of teaching and learning for all equally including those with “special educational needs” with non-disabled and disabled people learning together in mainstream schools, colleges and universities. Inclusion and diversity mean that every child should have equal learning experiences with positive outcomes despite any race, nationality, skin colour, socioeconomic or religious base, in early childhood education and childcare programs.
We may define inclusive practice as attitudes and methods that ensure all learners can access mainstream education. We have to ensure that everyone works to help learners feel welcome and valued and that they get the right support to help them develop their talents and achieve their goals. Education can actually benefit all learners on equal bases if it is truly inclusive in all aspects not only specific for disabled learners.
Advantages of Diverse and Inclusive Education:
Diversity and inclusion defy all differences including those of culture, race, religion, age, family structure, sex and sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, learning style or any disability which may hinder learning. Diversity and inclusion across our entire community are characterized by guiding principles of respect, equity, justice, humanity, peace, and personal responsibility.
Diversity and inclusion allow children to diminish these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment. It helps to develop understanding among all of them by surpassing simple tolerance to ensure people truly value their differences. This allows them to embrace and celebrate each individual in an organization.
In a classroom with a diverse curriculum and inclusive environment, all have the opportunity to see themselves as unique individuals in the midst of diversity. When a child is in a group compose
d of children who have different learning styles, he develops a strong sense of identity. When it’s clear that all people are not the same, one’s sense of uniqueness is a point of focus. More diversity means richer possibilities for establishing healthy relationships.
How Do Children Learn Diversity?
It is definably encouraging for humanity to experience these practices, as children learn to embrace their own individuality and respect and appreciate one another’s differences. As we move on with this practice, children learn to:
- Develop a better understanding of inclusion and diversity where they can talk confidently about their race, gender, and abilities
- Know what our personal differences are and how to overcome them
- Learn to make this world a better place by respecting each other in spite of differences
Inclusive education in the classroom focuses equally on catering for children with special needs, such as physical impairment or autism, and for children considered ‘at risk’ or ‘disadvantaged’ about issues such as socio-economic circumstances.
A Globalised Approach:
The world is becoming more globalised, generating multi-cultural societies and therefore ethnic and cultural diversity in many world nations. Diverse mind thinking acknowledges the importance of incorporating children’s unique identities and diversities to enable positive experiences for personal growth and lifelong learning. Developing an effective curriculum for inclusion that supports children manage their own needs in diverse and different multicultural group settings is therefore an important goal in an inclusive approach to diversity in early childhood settings.
Tips For Developing Diversity and Inclusion:
Through our methodology, we ensure we are including cultural diversity in our day-to-day activities with children in a way that fosters respect for diversity and differences. Here are some useful tips for getting started to make your learning a diverse and inclusive one:
- Share stories from a range of cultures, for example, stories from certain tribes or countries etc.
- Explore a variety of cultural creating art relating to different occasions, like Christmas, Eid, Diwali, Chinese New Year etc to celebrate diversification
- Use music and songs from a variety of different cultures and learn the lyrics to songs in other languages to encourage diversity
- Arrange social family gatherings and celebrate cultural events, particularly when relevant to their own culture
This is how we can explain to children that we all may be different in looks but we all are the same humans actually and we should celebrate the idea of anti-bias education where all humans are equal and nobody has the right to suppress the other on the basis of personal apparent differences.