Special needs children may experience developmental delays, psychiatric disorders, and medical and congenital conditions hence poor learning than regular children. Special educational needs are protected by law to ensure equal learning opportunities for children with learning problems or disabilities. Disabled children have a slower learning pace and ability than regular students, hence likely to be held behind the rest of the class. Special needs education is conducted in separate classes, schooling, and programs from the regular educational environment. Including special needs children in general education, the classroom requires thoughtful planning, teacher training, appropriate support, and resources. I support a system where students spend most of their time in regular education programs and less time in special class learning for special attention needs and evaluation. Therefore, the inclusive education plan should have appropriate strategies for education, testing, and grading special needs children in inclusive classrooms.
First, I would set basic principles during the transition to inclusive education. The disabled and healthy children may feel anxious or have misconceptions about learning with the opposite group, hindering learning. The educators establish general concepts about the disabled and general students. They learn they are different and everyone have their weakness and strength areas to prepare them psychologically for a mainstream environment. The children should be triggered to establish relationships and interact during the orientation stage by allowing all students to discuss their strengths and weaknesses. Educators should take the opportunity to dispel myths about people with disabilities. For instance, teachers can educate that a physical disability does not reflect their intelligence. For the children to interact and learn alongside each other in a mainstream environment, the tutors should highlight and address the student-specific issues and differences between general and special needs learners.
I would utilize Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to meet all students’ diverse and variable needs in inclusive education. UDL is a research-based approach to the idea that every student has a personalized learning style and pace. The strategic, recognition and affective networks are the cognitive networks identified by UDL to influence learning (AI Hazmi & Ahmad, 2018). The teacher should set differentiated learning goals between the various students and apply only the student-relevant lessons. Therefore, the UDL facilitates the creation and implementation of flexible, responsive programs by offering different options of lessons and how information is processed. Moreover, UDL provides multiple means of representation, action, and expression. The design of learning in UDL is determined by how students respond to or demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and engagement in learning (AI Hazmi & Ahmad, 2018). UDL includes a research-based set of principles that give scientific insights to guide learning environments that are effective for all in inclusive learning.
Teachers should use a variety of instructional formats and means of representation in inclusive education. Students particularly special needs learn differently and hence need the application of multiple representations and expressions. For instance, some students are visual learners, others understand text information better, while some do best with a combination of visual and text presentation (Strogilos, 2018). Therefore, different mediums of presenting information are necessary, such as Google slides, books, and online videos. The different mediums of conveying information may also increase engagement and assessment for special needs learners. Through the use of various teaching techniques and mediums, teachers can give the special needs children the attention they need and increase equitable learning for slow and fast learning students.
Additionally, I would familiarize myself with 504 or IEP education plans to ensure accommodation and academic success for disabled children. The 504 plan is a scientifically approved method of ensuring disabled children have equal opportunities to learn in a regular classroom environment while still being provided with the special aid they require (Francisco, 2020). The IEP model allows for learning outside the regular classroom with support staff suitable for special needs students. I would utilize interdisciplinary efforts in education by including counsellors, teaching specialists, parents, and health professionals. Finally, I would develop a behavior management plan to suppress disruptive behaviors that may arise, especially from disabled students. Behavior management plans should be extensive and shared with parents in home settings. I would utilize the small group plan of behavior management modified to the challenging behaviors of particular students with set expectations for individual students.
In conclusion, I support inclusive education over mainstream learning for special needs students that challenge the status quo, eradicate curriculum barriers, presents education goals for all, serve all students equitably, and engages all students. During the transition to inclusive classrooms, I would set the basic principles to familiarize the students with the learning environment, avoid stigmatization, and facilitate mingling between the special and regular students. The UDL would provision me with scientific principles to meet the diverse and varying needs of the students. I would utilize multiple instructional formats and means of representation to cater to special needs and enhance engagement. The 504 plan and IEP models are methods of customizing classroom learning implemented through interdisciplinary efforts. The appropriate strategies in the inclusive education plan will enhance academic progress for special needs students whose parents are complaining about performance.
Al Hazmi, A. N., & Ahmad, A. C. (2018). Universal Design for Learning to Support Access to the General Education Curriculum for Students with Intellectual Disabilities. World Journal of Education, 8(2), 66-72. Web.
Francisco, M. P. B., Hartman, M., & Wang, Y. (2020). Inclusion and special education. Education Sciences, 10(9), 238. Web.
Strogilos, V. (2018). The value of differentiated instruction in the inclusion of students with special needs/disabilities in mainstream schools. SHS Web of Conferences, 42, 3. Web.