Inclusion and educational development of children and youth


Inclusion and educational development of children and youth

In recent decades one of the issues which most concerned the educational systems of most countries, from legislators, administration, teachers and parents, is the inclusion in schools; promote conditions so that all children and young people are welcome in schools there and find opportunities and support to enable them achieve their personal and academic goals. Certainly from the Salamanca Declaration (1994), which focused primarily on students with any disability status, the concept of inclusion has gradually evolved towards diversity and other conditions of vulnerability associated with learning difficulties emotional problems, communication and language and the various forms of social exclusion among others.

In fact much has been said and discussed educational inclusion from looks and approaches that put the emphasis on different aspects or priorities according to the perception of several authors or groups. Probably the definition that has had more acceptance and impact among us and around the world is derived from a model of understanding of ecological and social development and, therefore, focuses on the difficulties that some students are in their educational process; therefore it is understood to include both depending on the characteristics of the student but in terms of the barriers to the presence, participation and success of some students, for various reasons, have to face throughout his schooling (Ainscow & Booth, 2002). So the focus is put on the conditions of learning environments (classroom, school) present in the political cultures and practices.

In line with this understanding ecological and social educational inclusion in this brief reflection, I would like to focus on the consequences for the development of the students. It is not enough to be present at school (Being There) but what becomes critical is the participation (Being active) and commitment (engagement) of all students in learning experiences and relationships with peers and adults.

Indeed, what seems to have positive effects for the development of all children and young people, and therefore becomes a quality indicator of educational inclusion is the ability of schools to provide opportunities for all students to engage in the classroom, at school, in significant activities, engage and interact with their peers and adults.

From this perspective, what becomes the priority is the quality of universal measures aimed classroom for all students that consider various opportunities and levels of demand and achievement by students. Only participating students learn; just learning, will progress and be respected. The future of educational inclusion is inextricably linked to the school improvement in the quality of the educational transformation practices. Certainly there are students that need action (supports) and other additional students more intensive and personal that cannot be underestimated in any case. History, however, has shown clearly that more than thirty years investing time and effort to develop programs geared to students (PDI, PI…) has not been generally disclosed as a measure that allowed the transformation and innovation of educational practices in schools. Often we are where we were with the same doubts and the same questions. Individual measures do not transform the system, regardless of what it may have occasionally some pupils benefit.

Specifically, this change of perspective that focuses on the transformation of the conditions in the classroom, creating opportunities for all students to participate and be valued, and that means rethinking the roles of personal supports (tutors, specialists, careers etc.) now the challenge is to progress in inclusive education, to build a school for all children and young people.

Climent Giné

Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences and Sport, Blanquerna. URL.

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