A critical evaluation of an aspect of the inclusive practices, evidenced in the case study with reference to your own practice during school placements and wider reading.
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A critical evaluation of an aspect of the inclusive practices, evidenced in the case study with reference to your own practice during school placements and wider reading. Inclusive practice in the classroom involves many different aspects which all teaching practitioners need to be aware of, plan for, deliver and be able to reflect and evaluate upon in order to improve themselves and for the benefit of their pupils and school environment. Inclusive practice is vital as it ensures equality: all pupils are provided with the correct amount of support suitable for their needs to be able to gain the maximum benefits from their school experience, which will influence their entire lives. Should a pupil not feel included in the most desirable manner, there can be many negative consequences resulting from their feeling of being excluded from their main peer group. University of Bristol Graduate School of Education (2008 p48) considers the following principles essential to developing an inclusive curriculum: * "Setting suitable learning challenges; * Responding to pupils' diverse learning needs; and * Overcoming potential barriers to learning and assessment for individuals and groups of pupils." Inclusive practice includes ensuring that pupils from ethnic minorities, different races and cultures, English as an additional language, gifted and talented, different social backgrounds, special education needs, pupils of various ability levels are all included in the class and received the required support in the classroom. This could be in the form of additional support staff, classroom grouping, differentiation sheets, plus many more strategies depending upon the nature of the inclusion.
A perfect example of this from my own practice is when one pupil had a differentiated sheet for a numeracy activity. As a student teacher, I had consulted the class teacher as to the suitability of the differentiated task, and it was agreed it would be suitable. When briefing the TA who was to support that individual child before the lesson, the TA crossed out certain numbers she felt the pupil wouldn't be able to tackle. As a result, the pupil was not given the opportunity to develop further. In the plenary for the lesson, I verbally asked the pupil in question one of the questions the TA had omitted, the pupil answered the question correctly, and could also explain his reasoning. This I feel is perfect evidence of how on occasions, TA support can hinder the learning of pupils. As a student teacher, it is difficult to enforce your planning and methodology onto other members of support staff who are used to the main class teacher. However, when reflecting upon my experience, in the future I will ensure that TAs allows pupils to be challenged as it very well may be that the child is very capable yet being restricted by over support. The teacher planned for one EAL pupil to remind another regarding talking and loosing playtime if they continued. I strongly disagree with this method of behaviour management for the EAL pupil. My reasoning is that how can the teacher be sure that the pupil translates the correct message and that is it not really the pupils' job to remind pupils of different behavioural issues.
The Research Informed Practice Site (part of the governments standards site) is currently in further development to assist with teachers and schools self evaluation as this is considered vital to improve practices for not only inclusion, but all of the issues surrounding effective teaching. In conclusion, to be able to plan and teach a fully inclusive lesson, the teacher has to have a lot of prior knowledge of the pupils, the thoughts and methods of support staff, the knowledge of the schools routines and policies (behaviour management etc). From a student teachers perspective, there can be many limitations on the prior knowledge so self evaluation, and reflection are vital. The student in the case study has begun her journey of reflective teaching and may consider changes in the future to enable a more inclusive lesson. Jacques K and Hyland R (2007 p26) realise the one of the largest challenges in the classroom is to cater for the wide variety of children with their various learning needs and capabilities. All pupils do not arrive with the same prior experiences, skills, knowledge, and attitudes yet the teacher must teach so that they all can learn, and so that all can 'enjoy and achieve' (ECM, 2004a). The student in the case study, and teaching students all over the country are at the beginning of their lifelong journey of learning, reflection, and personal and self improvement. As we become more experienced, more effective methods for inclusion can be used, practiced, modified and perfected. This is however a cycle of continuous self improvement.
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