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Inclusivity in Education, the Transgender Learner. Inclusivity in education starts with the recognition of diversity. It is treating learners as individuals rather than as a uniformed group.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Inclusivity in Education "Inclusive education is about embracing all, making a commitment to do whatever it takes to provide each student in the community-and each citizen in a democracy-an inalienable right to belong, not to be excluded. Inclusion assumes that living and learning together is a better way that benefits everyone, not just children who are labelled as having a difference" (Falvey, Givner & Kimm, 1995, p.8). The term inclusive education has been widely used in recent times and is usually thought to imply education for learners with evident disabilities such as hearing/visual impairment, physical disabilities or learning difficulties, this is inaccurate. Inclusive education means a structure of education that is progressive and accessible enough to meet the diverse needs of all learners, including those with disabilities. Inclusion is a continuous process of educational development that is valuable to all learners regardless of their capability to learn including those who have exceptional or special educational needs. Inclusion improves and maintains self-esteem and encourages acceptance, understanding, and friendship. Establishments in which all learners are included are healthier, more balanced, and beneficial for all members. The author is director, Training and Research, Institute of Cerebral Palsy, Calcutta An inclusive educational system starts from the attitude that everyone in the establishment, learners, educators and support staff should believe that they belong, understand and realise their potential, whilst contributing to the life of the establishment. An inclusive culture is of paramount importance to diverse experiences and perspectives that aim to enrich the educational environment. Achieving an inclusive educational culture goes far beyond just deciding to run awareness days on bullying, drug and alcohol abuse or putting in a random ramp for accessibility, or offering diversity training to staff. Educational inclusivity will not be achieved by simply developing a valued statement that just discusses and highlights the importance of inclusion. An inclusive educational establishment's culture requires an improvement in the attitudes of all involved within the establishment as well as the expansion and improvement of policies and procedures that support and strengthen inclusive behaviour. ...read more.

Middle

The college offers specialised courses, ESOL courses, for learners who speak English as a second language. This course is designed to assist with improving a learners English speaking, reading and writing skills. Many other provisions include a child care service provided for learners with childcare needs. This centre is situated on site and provides facilities for children aged between 6 weeks to 5 years. Children are cared for by experienced staff and the centre aims to fit in with full time course timetables. This allows for young parents and the more mature parent to access education within the college knowing that their child is in a safe and caring environment. The student services department is available to learners to gain advice and assistance of any financial support that might be available such as the Assembly Learning Grant, Educational Maintenance Allowance, travel cards and meal vouchers, which can all decrease the added financial stresses that learners may experience and helps to minimise financial hardship. This also aims to cater for those learners that come from a lower income household. Career counselling is also available to help learners secure jobs after they leave college. All of these provisions contribute to an inclusive educational environment where learners can access the support they require and the recourses needed to assist in overcoming the many different boundaries and obstacles that can often hinder the learning experience and achievement. However recent evidence suggests that there are more learners within the college coming out as transgender. Although a growing number of colleges are beginning to consider the needs of transgender learners such as the University of Sheffield who offer Trans Gender Change Administrative Support who can offer professional advice, assistance and guidance to transgender learners, most establishments still offer little or no support to this portion of the community. If educational establishments are truly committed to the inclusion of all learners and helping foster their personal development and academic success, then they cannot ignore the transgender learner. ...read more.

Conclusion

Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans History Month takes place every year in February. It celebrates the lives and achievements of the LGBT community. LGBT people's lives are often marginalised or entirely invisible within many aspects of the curriculum and college life. Engaging with LGBT History Month is important as it is a way of addressing challenging heterosexist attitudes, and gender normative attitudes within the college and the wider community. LGBT History Month seeks to raise awareness of LGBT people and the issues that affect them. The commitment of educational establishments to valuing all members of their communities may appear weaker where colleges fail to engage, on an equal level, to each of these initiatives. Through organising and publicising events for LGBT History Month the college can send out a clear message to all members of the community that LGBT people are valued, accepted and included. Such work can be linked to healthy college status and a National Inclusion Quality Mark, as well as being taken into consideration when the educational provision is being evaluated. Refrences Warwick et al., 2004 Ofsted, 2010 Austin, P. Student Involvement: A Developmental Theory for Education. (2009). Journal of College Student Personnel, p25. Department of Education. (2010). Inclusion in Education. Available: http://www.csie.org.uk/inclusion/index.shtml. Accessed on 10th December 2011 Christine Salisbury (2009). An Inclusive School Culture . University of Illinois-Chicago: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p4. Falvey, M. A., Givner, C. C. & Kimm, C. (1995). What is an inclusive school? In R. A., Villa, & J. S. Thousand, (Eds.),Creating an Inclusive School (pp.1-12). Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Coalition for Queer Action. Queer Action Campaign: Gender-Neutral Bathrooms. 2001. Available: http://www.pissr.org/research.html. Accessed on 29th December 2011 The Human Rights Act (1998) The Equality Act (2010) (UNESCO, 2001). (Staub & Peck, 1994-1995; McGregor, 1993 Ross-Gordon 1993, p. 53 Tornillo (1994) Lieberman (1992) (pp. 14-15), Tisdell (1995) (Frank, 1999). The author is director, Training and Research, Institute of Cerebral Palsy, Calcutta ?? ?? ?? ?? Catherine Hillier Inclusivity in Education 2012 ...read more.

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