Linda Graham is the author of Inclusive Education for the 21st Century. Linda Graham has been a teacher and lecturer in special education in England and Australia. She is currently head of the School of Education at Charles Sturt University, New South Wales, Australia. Graham has published numerous articles around inclusive education and is an international speaker on inclusive education.
What is Inclusion? How can we include all children in our school? What new skills do we need to make a success of inclusion? How do I make inclusion work in my classroom? All teachers will be familiar with these questions. They are being asked in every school, at every level. The need to move towards an inclusive education system for all children has been underlined by the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child by the Irish government, and the publication of curriculum policy documents and programmes for schools. However, implementation has been hampered by a lack of clarity about what inclusion means and how it can be achieved.
This book deals with some of these issues. It is designed as a practical guide for teachers and other professionals working in schools. It offers a framework of practical strategies that can support teachers in developing inclusive practice in their classrooms and schools. In this way, it will contribute to making education more accessible to all children, including those who have previously been excluded from schools because they have special educational needs.
Inclusive education is a complex issue, and making classroom design decisions to support all students can be difficult. With so many factors to consider, coming up with a comprehensive solution can seem insurmountable.
In her research, Linda Graham found that the most effective inclusive education practices tie together the three core components of access (all students are in the same classroom), engagement (all students are participating), and achievement (all students are learning).
The next step is understanding how to create a space where all three of these components can be supported. For example, while some classrooms may be designed as a single open space, others might have multiple rooms that can be used by different groups of students at different times.
Accessible classrooms also need to be furnished and equipped with materials that enable all students to achieve their goals—whether that’s a particular student working in a wheelchair or an entire class using specialized tools for a science experiment.
And finally, it’s important for teachers to understand how different learning styles affect student engagement levels: some might prefer hands-on activities while others thrive with more traditional lectures or discussions.”
The purpose of inclusive education is to create an environment in which all students can learn at grade level or above within their ability. These teachers have an understanding that each student learns differently and that the teacher’s role is to understand the student’s unique needs and provide appropriate instruction. Teachers are aware that it is necessary to be able to adapt instruction as needed to meet the needs of each individual student.
For example, when a student has a visual impairment or hearing loss, they may need special accommodations through technology. For students who are not normally able to read well because they have dyslexia or other reading disability, teachers might use an alternative method for class instruction and provide oral presentations during which the teacher would read from notes.