My Thoughts on Inclusive Education

Inclusive 1hands

Hello, my dear friends! Welcome back to the Spring semester and I hope the following six months will be more interesting and fruitful for all of us! This time I am taking all inclusive education courses due to the fact that it is closely related to my thesis. Frankly, I did not fully understand what inclusive education is and why it is called as “inclusive” one. Here I write my thoughts and want to share with some ideas on the inclusive education that I have understood so far.
Having read and analyzed two articles by Loreman et al. (2014) and Ainscow & Miles (2009) I personally get a full picture of the understanding of what the concept of inclusive education is and how it is perceived in different countries. The thing is that there are a lot of misconceptions and misunderstandings around the concept of inclusive education that come from the uncertain definition. According to Loreman et al. (2014), generally, inclusive education can be understood as one of the following basic categories, namely, 1) “conceptualizing based on its key features”, 2) “conceptualizing it as the removal of what excludes and marginalises” (p.14). Specifically, some scholars (Ainscow, Booth & Dyson, (2006) as cited in Loreman et al. (2014)) suggest 6 ways of conceiving inclusive education which includes educating all children within paying attention to vulnerable children and with disabilities, developing the schools for all layers of the society and etc. In my view, inclusive education is still observed as giving special education to children with limited abilities and for that reason has a narrow focus not in particular countries but all over the world.
Speaking about Kazakhstani situation toward inclusive education is troublesome at all. Firstly, the concept of inclusive education itself is completely new; consequently, it is not fully understood as it is. The majority of the people do not have any ideas about what inclusive education is whilst the rest thinks that it is all about disabled people. Therefore, in the context of Kazakhstan, inclusive education is teaching and working with disabled children who need a special education. For instance, having observed the school-gymnasium #65 in Astana which is considered to be a school with inclusive education I really understand what it is a practice in real life. Children with limited abilities are involved in the usual classroom and able to socialize. This is a good result for initial level of the implementation of the inclusive education in Kazakhstan. However, I do not really agree with the definition of the concept of inclusiveness. This is because it is not just educating disabled learners but giving an equal access to quality education to all children regardless their gender, race, socio-economic status and physical capacities.
To sum up, I want to say that we are as future leaders in education have to make the situation so that every single child could get quality education no matter their intellectual and physical abilities.
References
Loreman, T., Forlin, C.,Chambers, D., Sharma, U., Deppeler, J. (2014).Conceptualizing and measuring inclusive education.            Measuring Inclusive Education, 3-17.
Ainscow, M., Miles, S. & et al. (2009). Developing inclusive education systems: how can we move policies forward?, 1-9.

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8 thoughts on “My Thoughts on Inclusive Education

  1. Thank you for a such valuable post about inclusive education!!!
    I also support your point of view, actually i believe that inclusive education embrace children with special needs as well as gifted children. in the future it would be good to gather the information and illuminate the statistics about the practice and experience of developed countries which consider inclusive education to be a part of social life. I hold the same point of view that we as future leaders should give opportunities to all children high quality education in spite of their abilities.

    Like

    1. Thank you very much for supporting my view! I do agree that gifted education should be considered to be a part of inclusive education. Actually, my future thesis is about gifted children identification and support. It is very exciting and at the same time very interesting to research gifted education within the course of inclusive education.
      That would be amazing if we can do some comparative statistics on this matter and share the results with the community.

      Like

  2. Nice post, Aliya!
    The topic of inclusive education is indeed sensitive, especially for the society such as ours (and not only). And I agree with you that the notion of inclusive education is misunderstood by many. Going straight to the point, I would like to pay attention to what you mentioned as “disabled people (children, learners)”. As the first step to the implementation of inclusiveness in our schools, I suppose, it would be politically-correct to replace the notion of “disabled people” by “people with special (educational) needs”. In the former case, calling these people “disabled” we focus on their disabilities. Instead, the latter emphasizes that they are, despite anything, individuals, and that their difficulties are minor. To my mind, the way we call somebody or something, shows our perceptions towards them and this is what we might start with.
    Thanks for such a thought-provoking post!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Dear Bayurzhan!

      I am very happy that you liked my post! I absolutely AGREE with you! The way we call somebody shows our attitudes towards them for sure! Actually, as you have mentioned above the words like “disabled” should be replaced by “people with limited abilities or special needs”.

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  3. Dear Aliya,

    This is a great post! I started thinking about inclusion from the very different perspective. Thank you for this)))
    I fully agree with your opinion regarding the situation in Kazakhstan. Unfortunately, everything that was mentioned above is true, and no one can deny these facts… Also, I believe that several myths exist among our society that should be destroyed…

    Myth #1 Inclusion is only about children with disabilities (this is something you explained us earlier. Thank you for this)

    Myth #2 If inclusive education happens in Kazakhstan, everybody will be happy!
    Fact: Inclusive education is not about happiness, it is all about opportunities. And every single person should understand that inclusion will be full of surprises, and not all of them will be positive. If inclusion happens in Kazakhstan, it will take years and years to figure out the situation and overcome the drawbacks…

    Myth #3 If you have no serious physical or mental deviancies, you do not meet the definition of “Inclusion”.
    Fact: As far as I know, if you are breathing, you are a candidate for inclusion.

    These are my thoughts on Inclusive education! I do really believe that if the number of people like us who understand the concept of inclusive education rises, the process of its implementation will go smoothly…

    Good luck to all of us! Maybe some day this blog will become a history =)))

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Dear Aliya!

      Thank you very much for replying and commenting on my post! I appreciate that! Also, I really like your ideas and thoughts on inclusive education! In fact, that is the truth of our present time. However, these myths are happening not just in Kazakhstan but almost all over the world. We all as a world team should put a tremendous effort into making the future of inclusive education better!

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  4. Dear Aliya,

    Thank you for bringing up for discussion such a contentious topic as ” inclusive education”.

    It is a recent topic in Kazakhstan and the concept of inclusive education is known only in narrow sense of comprehension as you mentioned above. Accordingly, the use of this concept is associated with the development of ideas of including children with special educational needs into the admission to general educational process.

    In fact, the term “inclusiveness” was mentioned in the country’s long-term strategic plan – «Kazakhstan 2030: prosperity, security and rise of well-being of all citizens of Kazakhstan» which was issued in 1997. Since then, very little was done to move inclusive policies forward. Mainly, it continued to be the same in content as it was in the Soviet times.

    I think the barriers that exist in Kazakhstani concept of inclusion should be removed and should be broadened into deeper sense/scale of equality and support in the society.

    Firstly, it is the attitude of people, especially parents. Kazakhstani society consists of 130 different ethnicities and every person perceives inclusiveness diversely. Many people unfortunately see inclusive education through the mental or physical disability lens.

    Only we, who study inclusive education and policy, understand that such an attitude does not suit the inclusive concept and practice. That’s why Kazakhstani policymakers and educators should promote the idea of inclusiveness accurately as the initial step in attempting to increase the participation of students.

    Secondly, our schools are not ready to accept children with diverse needs in terms of qualified staff, provisions and school policy. If Kazakhstan wants to be in the cube of 50 developed countries, it needs to integrate into the world of educational space by valuing diversity amongst all learners.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Dear Zhadira!

      Thank you very much for supporting my post! I do really appreciate that! Specifically, I do share your opinion on the schools that are not ready for being inclusive ones. But I hope that everything will be changed soon…

      Liked by 1 person

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