What Are Unique Approaches to Inclusive Education?

What Are Unique Approaches to Inclusive Education?

What Are Unique Approaches to Inclusive Education?

Exploring the landscape of inclusive education, we sought the expertise of educators and specialists to provide their unique perspectives. From recognizing each student’s contributions to adopting Universal Design for Learning (UDL) for barrier-free education, discover the five transformative strategies they recommend.

  • Recognize Each Student’s Contributions
  • Identify Peer Mentors for Support
  • Implement Universal Design for Learning
  • Engage Students with Project-Based Learning
  • Adopt UDL for Barrier-Free Education

Recognize Each Student’s Contributions

One unique approach that is especially relevant to inclusive education is recognizing each student’s contribution. Every student brings some value—be it cultural, economic, social, ethnic, or racial, etc.—to a classroom. To facilitate inclusion is to tap into those qualities and allow all present to benefit.

The classroom teacher must be willing to cede some control to the process. Even the most unsuspecting of students has a contribution worthy of consideration. The classroom teacher must be extra intuitive and perceptive as to how that contribution will materialize. Writing? Speaking? Artistic expression? The classroom teacher would do well to remember how they learned best and allow that to guide their approach.

Jarrett Wilson
Paraprofessional – Autism Unit, Credit Recovery, Transition Assessment, Inclusion, Denison High School

Identify Peer Mentors for Support

Schools can identify peer mentors to work with their fellow students. Not only can this be of benefit when a student struggles with social integration, but the modeling of various study skills and learning strategies from a same-age or slightly older peer can be a great support to students that keeps them in the general education setting.

This approach can also help teachers to differentiate for students who are struggling and give an opportunity for high-achieving students to engage more critically with content as they work in a small group with their peers.

This type of program also supports students in developing empathy for their fellow students and keeps everyone learning in a positive environment; students with learning difficulties do not feel as conspicuous because the learning is happening as students are engaging in a joint problem-solving effort.

Heather Foose
Inclusive Education Specialist, Notre Dame de Sion Grade School

Implement Universal Design for Learning

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an innovative approach to inclusive education. It strives to create an accessible and captivating learning experience for everyone from the very beginning. Rather than retrofitting lessons for students with different needs, UDL encourages teachers to structure the material in a way that is inclusive of all students from the start. Everyone has a chance to learn, which is the goal.

With the UDL concept, the teacher offers different means of expressing the information to the students so that they can gain information using different modalities. These are different kinds of actions and outputs that help students demonstrate their level of understanding through various means. They also provide various ways of engagement to bring out the hidden talents and excitement in a student.

By way of illustration, a history lesson can deploy videos, audio, and tangible artifacts to present information. Students might reenact actions including writing, voice recording, or model building. Also, the possibilities of doing it alone or with group partners could drive the individual interests of students.

Through an upfront incorporation of such features, UDL accommodates different learners and establishes students who can be resourceful and goal-oriented individuals. It is a modern, individualized module that offers a tailored learning experience for everyone.

Aldi AgajAldi Agaj
CEO, Alter Learning

Engage Students with Project-Based Learning

Project-based learning (PBL) promotes inclusive learning by actively engaging students in collaborative and meaningful tasks that cater to diverse learning styles and abilities. In my classroom, PBL allows students to work together in teams to leverage their unique strengths and contribute in different ways to a common goal.

For example, a student who excels in research can gather information, while another who is artistic can focus on the visual presentation of the project. This collaborative approach fosters a sense of belonging and encourages all students to participate and share their perspectives.

Additionally, PBL often involves real-world problems, which can be tailored to reflect the diverse backgrounds and interests of the students, making learning more relevant and accessible to everyone. By providing various roles and responsibilities within a project, PBL ensures that each student can engage in a way that suits their individual learning needs, promoting an inclusive learning environment.

Dylan CallensDylan Callens
Teacher and Blogger, The Teachers’ Blog

Adopt UDL for Barrier-Free Education

I came across a UDL framework a few years back, and I found it effective for bringing inclusivity into education. It is a Universal Design for Learning. It aims to remove barriers to learning and provide it to all students, regardless of their abilities and learning styles. Equal opportunities to succeed will make the process easier for students.

Present information in various formats (text, audio, video, and graphics) to accommodate different learning styles. It ensures that all students can access and understand the content. Offer multiple means of expression. Allow students to show their knowledge in different ways, such as assignments, oral presentations, and more.

Moreover, it supports multiple means of engagement. Allow students to engage with the material in many ways that are personally meaningful and motivating. The easier the ways to learn, the easier it is to grasp the knowledge for students. So, educators have to create inclusive learning environments for all types of students.

Saikat GhoshSaikat Ghosh
Associate Director of HR & Business, Technource

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