Week 5: Moving Forward as a Professional Supporting High-Quality Inclusion-Content Review
NAEYC’s (2000) Vision for Excellence identifies the following as one of its critical goals:
“All children have access to a safe and accessible, high quality early childhood education that includes a developmentally appropriate curriculum, knowledgeable and well-trained program staff and educators, comprehensive services that support their health, nutrition, and social well-being, in an environment that respects and supports diversity.”
How can high quality inclusive preschool services help attain this critical goal?
Inclusive programs are defined as learning initiatives that combine disabled and non-disabled students in learning programs. Such programs will guarantee an equitable learning system by ensuring that learners have an easy admittance to superior learning programs that are allocated in an equitable manner. This is achieved through the establishment of equitable learning systems as opposed to the earlier form of study that accorded ‘special’ education to disabled learners (Reid, 2005). An inclusive learning system boosts children learning needs and morale by according a student-centered system that ensures every student and the family is identically valued by according similar chances and experiences to all. Learning effectiveness is achieved by the adoption of participative and creative methods of learning to cater for both students, and this may include the use of technology. Such systems ensure that the superior learning techniques and programs are employed for improved learning. Diversity in the classrooms ensures the optimal exercise of one’s rights and ensures that all students acquire healthy relationships in a balanced manner irrespective of factors such as gender, race, and religion.
Pages 442-445 of the course text outline innovative national programs that support inclusion, support children and families who are culturally and linguistically diverse, and provide early identification and support. Select one of the programs profiled, and, in your own words, describe how the services provided support high-quality, inclusive education.
The National Task Force on Early Childhood Education for Hispanics focuses on the creation of technologically supported systems that will ensure second language learners, majorly from the Hispanic community, are supported in a manner that reduces the existing gap with students that use English as their first language (Darragh, 2009). The Hispanic children may literally be thought of as being ‘disabled’ in the learning environment due to the hindrance of the English language that makes learning harder for them. By smoothing the existing differences and difficulties, that such a community faces increases their confidence in classes with students that employ English as their first language. The inclusion of the background ensures that the students are proud of their roots and do not feel marginalized by the role that family and ethnicity plays in their learning environment. This creates a level of appreciativeness as opposed to abhorrence in cases where inclusive programs are not employed. As the program incorporates the services of various professions, it ensures the creation of a superior system for improved learning.
Based on pages 446-448 of the course text, explain how high-quality inclusive programs support universal options for all children.
High quality inclusive programs have to be attained through the combination of the two basic perspectives that embrace universalism in learning programs. The ecological perspective focuses on the prevalent student needs marked within the levels of diversity noted within a class. This may include linguistic issues, physical issues like a maimed hand, and psychological situations like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). These identified students all have various needs that when adequately met support a conducive culture where all the students are able to access the same learning facilities and chances ensuring an equitable system is achieved for all the students (National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center, 2010). These need require technical help from other professionals in the learning curriculum like the technology department that may use interesting learning programs presented in an easy format. As children love the media, the program has the ability to ensure maximum learning is achieved. Variation in the teaching curriculums is a basic component for superior learning.
Various professionals and the parents as well tend to be supportive in inclusive programs infusing an element of universality then the old system that attributes learning only to teachers. This overcomes the challenge of boredom within the learning community. With the inclusion of parents and other leaning player, the environmental perspective is realized as studies are expanded from the classroom setting to other locations like homes and museums. This agreeably is a universal learning system as the children interact with various individuals and acquire information in various delivery systems. Monitoring these perspectives is therefore very imperative in a universal curriculum.
Darragh, J. C. (2009). Introduction to Early Childhood Education: Equity and Inclusion. Boston, MA: Pearson Education.
National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center. (2010). Inclusion in Least Restrictive Environments. Retrieved from http://www.nectac.org/inclusion/default.asp
Reid, G. (2005). Learning styles and inclusion. Center Circle, CA: SAGE.