HLC's Theory and Practice of Inclusion

Elina is HLC’s Resource Centre for special education and inclusion. The main objective of setting up Elina was to make learning accessible to all children.

Special education is the education of students with special needs in a way that addresses the students’ individual differences and needs. Special education inclusion is the participation of special education students in regular classrooms and provision of support services to these students to address their individual differences and needs.

The main objective of inclusive education is that all students in a school, regardless of their strengths and their weaknesses, become part of the school community. Every student develops a feeling of belonging with other students, teachers, and support staff, regardless of ability. Elina envisions (a) creating a model inclusive environment where diversity is valued and children with vast differences learn together and (b) bringing about attitudinal changes in the educational community.

History

The need for setting up the resource room arose from the readiness and confidence to take inclusion at HLC to the next level and from recognising the right to education of ALL children. We believe that all children can learn and learn together. HLC has been practising inclusion for the last 10 years and this has given us an understanding of the advantages and challenges involved. The school has from this year embraced children with varied special needs and varied degrees of difficulty. Elina will facilitate the children to acquire specific skills as well as support their inclusion in the mainstream classrooms.

 

Facilities at Elina

The resource room offers services such as special education, occupational therapy, physical fitness and speech and communication.

The Program

To make inclusion work effectively for children with varied degrees of difficulty, a multi-prong approach has been adopted. This has been done based on functional assessments done by a special educator. Individualised Educational Plans based on these assessments are made which envisage all the needs of the child, including academics, language development, speech and communication, physical and sensory needs.

  • Learning of high-functioning children with special needs in the classroom is enabled by the high teacher-student ratio, the general teaching methodology as well as peer support. Daily remedial sessions address the specific needs of these children, which in turn helps them to adapt to the needs of a mainstream classroom
  • Some children need intensive remediation in academics only. These children are pulled out for their academic subjects to work in small groups of 3 or 4 so that their specific needs are met, their gaps in learning addressed and their joy of learning facilitated. With time these children will be ready to continue their learning in the mainstream classes.
  • Some children need intensive intervention in basic life skills as well as academics. These children have been grouped in small numbers according to their ability. Goals are set to address their holistic development language and communication, life skills, cognition and meta-cognition, physical, sensory and social development. These children are part of the mainstream classrooms for a part of the day. With time their participation in mainstream classroom activities will increase.

On-going staff training and co-partnering with parents

For inclusion to succeed, the school will provide continuing in-service training in the areas of team building between the general and special education teachers, cooperative learning strategies and techniques and strategies to modify instruction. We also seek to make parents active participants in the life of the school. Empowering them by conducting workshops for them periodically will ensure that the program followed at school is carried forward at home and ensure that everybody works towards a common goal.

Coordinator:

Ramalakshmi K

[email protected]