Thursday, June 12, 2014

Primary School Inclusion: The Nuts and Bolts #Introduction

For a long time we have read about inclusive education and the benefits. Lloyd and I agreed with the principles of it so much so that we moved house and suburbs to live near a school that was pursuing it. But the practicalities of how it worked out in the primary school classroom were not clear in our heads, and it has only been this year - as we are seeing it in action that we can see how it works. And to our relief that it does indeed work.

So I thought I would share some of our experience of the day to day realities of inclusion in a series of blog posts. I know in Matt's early years if I had known what I know now, I would have been a whole lot less stressed about his education. Hopefully this can inform some other parents out there who are having to make the choice between special needs schooling and inclusion in a mainstream setting. And maybe even inspire other educators and schools that it is really possible!

I acknowledge that I will be writing about ONE experience - that is our own, with our unique Matt, at a particular school here in Cape Town. This is not a recipe for all - rather inclusion will and should look different in different schools and for different children. I also realise, certainly in other parts of South Africa, due to lack of resources and leadership commitment, there may not be schools like this available. So it is not a given that all can access this type of inclusion. However my deep desire is that our sharing might spark hope for parents to pursue something like this, to ask of their local schools to start thinking differently, and to inspire educators that inclusion is indeed possible.

Blog posts in this series:
# 1 Leadership with Vision
# 2 A Flexible System with Creative Solutions
# 3 The Learning Support Co-ordinator
# 4 The Facilitator
# 5 The Classroom

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