Debunking 4 Common Myths About Disability Inclusion

Debunking Myths in Disability Inclusion; Removing the Stumbling Block

If you look, you will find the word “inclusion” in the dictionary. But there is no universal definition of inclusion as it applies to educational settings.

To include is to make something fit as part of a whole, but real inclusion is so much more. It is working to ensure a true sense of belonging, and when our focus is on education, inclusion is ensuring that ALL students have equal access to curriculum and meaningful learning experiences.

Nevertheless, there is no blueprint for how to make this happen on a practical level in schools. As a result, each state, district, school, and even teacher may have a slightly different understanding of what an inclusive classroom is, let alone how to create one in practice.

There are so many myths and misconceptions that have become barriers to the widespread implementation of inclusive education. Below are four of the most common. 

Reforming Professional Development to Meet the Goals of Inclusion

We need everyone to advocate for inclusion; Removing the Stumbling Block

In secular education there is a cry for reform in the methodology of professional development for educators. Teachers are increasingly expected to reach their learners in authentic and meaningful ways through such practices as project-based learning and innovative uses of technology. Despite this, most professional development continues to be offered in a "one and done" fashion, with someone lecturing on a given topic and no follow-up offered. Tom Murray, in an article called professional-development reform: 8 steps to make it happen illustrates this point by writing, “Every year, school districts around the country waste a tremendous amount of time and money on ineffective professional development. The traditional model of “sit and get,” where a one-size-fits-all approach is utilized, yields abhorrent results…Professional development must undergo radical reform, from a model that’s outdated and ineffective to one that’s differentiated, meaningful and engaging.”  Differentiated, meaningful and engaging; that’s exactly the kind of education we want for our children, right? So why wouldn’t we want the same for those facilitating that education?
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