Inclusive education for juvenile children of all abilities chains their participation in a gamut of early upbringing settings, community, and school-based, with apt modifications and accommodations that help them to attain school readiness and positive results throughout their learning experience (Sheffler, 2009). In achieving inclusive education for all learners, there are various aspects to be taken into account, and they include parent involvement, team collaboration, quality learning environment, peer access and engagement and student learning needs.
It is no doubt that parent involvement in early childhood education is beneficial to the learner and the school. Parental involvement results in higher academic rates of achievement for the learner reduces behavioral problems and improves social functioning among children with disabilities and that typically developed (Casey, 2010). Parent involvement should be emphasized throughout the lifecycle of children with disabilities, especially in their early learning. Parent involvement is important in the provision of quality inclusive education because a positive connection between parents and the schools positively influence children's attitudes and achievement in early education. Parent involvement help educators to better understand the family of the child and feel comfortable working with them in meeting the educational needs of the learner (Casey, 2010).
Team collaboration occurs when all the parties involved in educating children to come together to achieve the objectives and goals of the learner's learning outcomes. For example, in an Individualized Education Program (IEP), team collaboration implies that all members of IEP team work together towards the attainment of the child's IEP goals. Each of the party in the child's education should put equal effort, and that effort should be appreciated and respected by each of the leading to its reflection in the child's education programs. Team collaboration is especially important for a reflection of practices and exchange of knowledge. For instance, a team that would bring together Axline, Dibs and the parents would enhance the higher exchange of knowledge regarding Dibs educational needs and thus better development of IEP for the learner (Axline, 1964).
Quality Learning Environment
A quality learning environment is an outcome of inclusive classrooms that provides equal opportunity for the learner, irrespective of their learning needs, to achieve academic and social development (Grisham-Brown, Hemmeter & Pretti-Frontczak, 2017). As a teacher, one needs to create safe, responsive and nurturing environments that are crucial in supporting the learning and development of the children. Quality learning environments should deter challenging behaviors and provide for proper intervention for young children with disabilities. As such, a quality learning environment should provide necessary modifications and accommodations for all the learners with varying learning needs.
Peer Access and Engagement
Early childhood inclusive education implies that children of different abilities and learning needs are allowed to interact with the least restrictions (Grisham-Brown et al., 2017). This is to create least restrictive learning environments that allow children to interact with peers and engage with one another during learning and play. This is especially crucial as it helps children develop socially and improve communication skills.
Student Learning Needs
Inclusive early childhood education helps parents and educators to identify student learning needs and plan for their education (Sheffler, 2009). Identification of these learning needs should be the foundation of establishing necessary modifications to support communication, behavioral support and social skill development for the learner. An inclusive learning environment should ensure that the learning needs of each learner are accommodated, and the learner gets enough support to compete equally with peers.
In conclusion, inclusive early childhood education should create an enabling environment for learners with varying abilities and disabilities. In creating inclusive learning environments, parents, educators and even the community should collaborate in identifying learner's needs and planning for their education for better outcomes.
Axline, V. M. (1964). Dibs: In search of self (Vol. 1968). Mansion.
Casey, T. (2010). Inclusive Play: Practical strategies for children from birth to eight. Sage.
Grisham-Brown, J., Hemmeter, M. L., & Pretti-Frontczak, K. (2017). Blended practices for teaching young children in inclusive settings. Brookes Publishing Company.
Sheffler, J. L. (2009). Creating a warm and inclusive classroom environment: Planning for all children to feel welcome. Electronic Journal for Inclusive Education, 2(4), 4.
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