In the past, it was common for children with certain problems or disabilities to not be able to attend classrooms that were considered “normal”, since there was a tendency to think that this would only slow down or harm the rest of the students. Fortunately, this is happening less and less, as we are becoming aware that it is necessary to include these children and create an atmosphere of companionship and collaboration among all students.

Students were excluded for a myriad of reasons, from a teacher’s inability to understand a student’s particular disability to the belief that students with special abilities could not keep up with the rest of their peers. But regardless of the reason, it is clear that in the past these students were left out of many activities that other students did enjoy, including peer relationships.


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However, thanks to the growing popularity of inclusive education all this is changing but, if it is your dream to be a teacher of early childhood education, keep in mind that it is essential to understand inclusive education to ensure that each child who walks through the door of the class always have the opportunity to develop their full potential.

What is inclusive education

What immediately comes to mind when mentioning the phrase “inclusive education” is putting students of all kinds of abilities in the same classroom, but in reality it is much more than that. Inclusion means that every student participates, feels welcome, and can achieve their academic goals. For example, a teacher with an inclusive classroom might employ several different techniques to teach a concept that accommodates different learning styles.

Of course, it should be clear that inclusive education is not yet the norm in all schools , but thanks to the many inclusive programs and existing training courses, more and more schools are advocating this type of education, which is much more democratic.


Benefits of inclusive education

Why are so many schools focusing on inclusive education in the classroom? The answer is simple, and that is that there are many benefits for all students involved. Inclusive education is a child’s right, not a privilege, and therefore all children with disabilities or special abilities should be educated with other children of the same age, and have access to the general education curriculum in the same terms.

The benefits of inclusive education are numerous, both for students with disabilities and those without. On the one hand, students with disabilities benefit from having role models in the classroom and being challenged with higher academic expectations and in an environment of equality. On the other, the rest of the students make friends with a greater variety of people, build an understanding of diversity, and prepare in a much more realistic way for that world out there, in which people are generally not divided according to their capabilities.

But inclusive education has benefits for teachers too. In addition to expanding their understanding of different types of students and teaching methods, teachers often work more closely with their colleagues and develop better relationships with them. Therefore, although additional work is to be expected from teachers, they are not expected to know all the strategies to help students with special abilities, and that is where relationships with other specialists and educators begin to be established. and to nurture each other.


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Critics of inclusive education

Despite the many benefits that inclusive education has for all students in the classroom and for teachers, inclusive education also has its detractors. Some critics, for example, fear that both students with disabilities and their learning peers will be disadvantaged or lacking in an inclusive classroom. Another idea is that special education students would not get the truly specialized learning they need , while other students would not get the amount of time and attention they need from their teachers as well.

Another concern is the cost that this type of education may have, since certain disorders, such as autism, may require a higher percentage of resources. But despite these somewhat more negative ideas regarding the benefits of inclusive education, the truth is that a school cannot arbitrarily decide to reject students with disabilities just because, and it is an issue that we cannot ignore. Don’t these children deserve an effort from everyone?

So, are the disadvantages greater than the fact that sharing a school and spaces can be enormously positive for children? There is no doubt that teaching an inclusive classroom requires very thorough planning in terms of course material and teaching style, in order to ensure that each student is learning and improving their skills as they should . But it is also true that teachers can access additional training, if appropriate, or include somewhat more specialized staff in schools who can give support to other teachers, especially in the most complex moments.


And you, what do you think of inclusive education? Is it practiced in your school or in your children’s?


In my school it is practiced and we are overwhelmed. Without any help, without assistants. Each teacher and each group “supports the screams”, cries and other attitudes and stops doing class because they must attend to the “child” included. There is no right.

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Yes, it is a shame, unfortunately not all the necessary means are put in place at the moment so that it can be carried out effectively. It is a task of all.

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