There are many ways in which inclusive education can be defined. All of these definitions take into consideration the educational requirements of children with disabilities. Inclusive education helps integrate all students into a healthy community.
Inclusive education is education that should be accessible and equal for all students, irrespective of their caste, religion, race, gender, and disabilities. The inclusive learning environment aims for all students to receive fair treatment and equal opportunities. Student diversity and individuality should be valued in an inclusive learning environment without prejudice. It is one of the best strategies for fostering an open and tolerant society. Over the last 50 years, the Indian government has taken steps to develop a wide range of programs and services aimed at assisting children with disabilities and non-disabilities in their educational pursuits.
Social Effects of Inclusive Education:
1. Respecting individual differences:
The goal of inclusive education is to ensure good and high-quality education for all individuals. This helps in acknowledging and respecting the differences in needs, abilities, and learning expectations among students and communities, and eradicating discrimination among them.
2. Empathy and compassion:
Inclusive education helps students develop compassion, empathy, and respect towards other individuals and their fellow students. This also raises their emotional intelligence as they learn about the positive and negative effects of their actions, which helps in their emotional and mental development.
3. Relationship building:
The objective is to create inclusive environments, which essentially means working closely with society. By interacting and collaborating in a common space, students can change their perspective and judgmental approach, which ultimately results in relationship building among peers.
4. Build confidence:
When all children, despite their differences, are given the same opportunities as other students, it helps them overcome their sense of inferiority, which boosts their confidence and aids in personality development.
Ways of Implementing an Inclusive Environment in the Classroom
1. Learning through collaboration:
The classroom should include tasks and activities that provide opportunities for every individual, enhancing peer engagement and promoting inclusivity by encouraging all students to collaborate with a variety of people.
2. Addressing the needs of students:
Inclusive education includes children with special and additional needs, and all these needs should be addressed accordingly. This includes better seating arrangements, additional study material, and structured pathways, so they can comfortably adjust with their peers.
3. Teaching strategies:
Teachers must be well aware of their students’ needs, and they should make an effort to include strategies in their teaching methods. This comprises learning sign language, auditory and visual aspects to improve learning and make it more fun for every student in the classroom, regardless of their disability.
Inclusive education can change society for the better. It will help students learn empathy and develop a positive approach toward all kinds of individuals, understanding how a person has their strengths and weaknesses and that they shouldn’t be judged for that. This will strengthen relationships among individuals and avoid conflicts based on their disabilities. Inclusive education will create a path of equal opportunities for all students, regardless of their background or disability.