Inclusive Practices in Current Inclusion Policy: Early Childhood Setting
Inclusive Education in Early Childhood Settings
Today, the role of the government is to provide education to all the children from different backgrounds. It is important to note that a given child will be learning in his way and will be different compared to other children studying and learning in respective school environment. Hence, it becomes important for the teachers to determine how different children will be learning in a given environment (Allen & Cowdery, 2015).
Some are born gifted while some will require more efforts so that he can learn important subjects in a given academic environment. The purpose of developing inclusive practices is to make sure that the different educational institutions will be including the individuals that belong to disadvantaged groups, minority ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and also from other poor socio-economic backgrounds.
It will thereby allow teachers to develop a pedagogy that will make all the students learn on the same common platform. The constructive learning approaches will improve the learning capabilities of these children in a given learning environment (Allen & Cowdery, 2015). Through such inclusive practices, the government will make sure that the different education needs of the children are fulfilled.
Also, for this purpose, there are number of policies and acts enforced that will guide the education system. It will also ensure that all the schools and other learning institutions are following the norms and procedures of inclusive practices in their respective environment.
This report will thereby highlight the importance of inclusive practices in Current Inclusion Policy and Legislation in relation to early childhood settings by focusing on different methods of creating an inclusive educational environment. It will involve both the educators and the administrators of the schools and other educational institutions to become a part of this practice and focus on implementing different methods (Allen & Cowdery, 2015).
Also, the senior management of these schools will be monitoring the practices of the teachers, will carry out performance analysis, and accordingly will provide recommendations to improve the current practices in the near future.
Current Inclusion Policy and Legislation in relation to Early Childhood Education
- United Nations Convention on The Rights of the Child (UNCRC)
There are several acts and polices formulated so that the concept of inclusive practices can be implemented across all the schools and other institutions. The United Nations Convention on The Rights of the Child (UNCRC) was developed and formulated in 1989 with an objective to protect every child's political, social, civil, cultural, health, and economic rights (Cologon, 2014).
The convention of this act states that any individual under the age of eighteen is entitled to receive the rights to education. Hereafter, they will be referring to as a child and hence, the concerned stakeholders of the education community need to follow four major principles in their practices.
These include - best interest of child, non-discrimination, respect for views of the child, and focusing on the survival and development (Shackel, 2016). Through these guiding principles, the teachers will be able to provide better quality education to all the children in a given community. There are also articles formulated for increasing the participation of the children in different education activities and also simultaneously protecting their rights in the field of education (Cologon, 2014).
These articles further make sure that the government is listening to their voices and hence will provide them with every support and opportunity to grow in the field of education throughout their career lives. The UNCRC contains around 54 articles that focuses on how the government and the parents of the children need to work together to formulate different rights (Cologon, 2014).
The initial articles address the needs of inclusive practices as well. The next articles from 43 to 54 address on the methods that the teachers need to implement in a given education environment. Also, as per the Article 2, the teachers need to avoid racial and discrimination thoughts for the children (Cologon, 2014).
They need to provide equal education to all and thereby fulfill their respective needs. According to the UNCRC, it is the moral responsibility of the government to protect and provide all care and education services to the children that are facing issues such as abuse, violence, and neglect (Shackel, 2016).
- Australian Disability Discrimination Act (ADDA)
The community over a given period understood the importance of separate recognition for different people with different backgrounds, values, beliefs, culture, and abilities. Also, there were new laws and acts formulated with an aim to improve the quality of education. The Australian Disability Discrimination Act (ADDA) was thereby formulated to protect and support people who face problems of disabilities and discrimination in the field of education and employment (Cologon, 2014).
There were recent changes formulated so that the principle of equality can be installed both in the educational institution as well as in the workplace environment of the organization. It will thereby allow disabled people to have access to both education and profession rights in a given environment.
It might happen that certain children will need special attention and hence for them the government provided special education need under this act. As per this law, discriminating a person is considered a crime and hence it is more important to focus on ways to overcome such problems in a given community (Baldwin & Sorrell, 2013).
Further, it is noticed that there are three types of unlawful discrimination. First is the direct discrimination wherein a person will be discriminated due to his disability; he will feel ignored and unequal at the respective place in a given environment. The second main type is the indirect discrimination wherein more opportunities will be provided to those individuals that are able and will perform as per the expectations of the organization.
The respective authorities will overlook the performance of the disabled people and hence will not consider them for different tasks and responsibilities in a given environment. Finally, the third type includes the harassments that take place in different ways. It is one type of demonstrating disrespectful behavior toward a person and hence it is important to support that person so that he can overcome from the problems of feeling humiliated and discouraged.
It is thereby unlawful on the part of educational authorities as well to eliminate the access of any person with disability by either refusing their applications or by terminating their access or by not considering them for different positions in the organization. During the 1960s, people from Asia and Africa used to suffer from different types of discrimination (Munoz et al., 2015).
Hence, to overcome such issues, the National Legislation formulated the Racial Discrimination Act in 1975 (Munoz et al., 2015). This act did not allow people to differentiate anyone based on their race, ethnic origin, color, and imitation status. This act is operated at the federal level and is also administered by the Australian Human Rights Commission (Muñoz et al., 2015).
It will thereby protect not only the individuals under this law but also their children at respective educational institutions. The children will there feel more confident and will be able to receive similar and equal quality education as received by other children of the school. Thus, even the schools will be able to overcome such challenges and will be working in the interest of such children in a given environment.
Theories and Approaches to Early Childhood Inclusive Practices
There are several theories developed that emphasize on the inclusive pedagogical practices among the teaching staff in a given early childhood setting. Lev Vygotsky was a Russian psychologist who developed the socio-cultural theory to focus on the relationships between children and the learning community (Shaffer and Kipp 2010).
Lev Vygotsky found different elements such as - education environment, approach of the teaching staff, language communicated, emotional and social domains impacting on the learning of the child, and cognitive settings. He also implemented the scaffolding method wherein the focus was on the children's cognitive skills (Lopez, Calan, & Rivera, 2016).
As per Lev Vygotsky, it is important for the teaching staff to understand the mind-set and the ability of all the children in a given environment (Shaffer and Kipp, 2010). They will be coming from different socio-cultural backgrounds, will be speaking different languages, will follow different values and principles, and will also have their personal beliefs (Lopez, Calan, & Rivera, 2016).
Hence, considering all these elements, the teaching staff needs to design their pedagogy that will address the different needs of the children and their parents in a given early childhood setting. Lev Vygotsky found the socio-cultural phenomenon that established the connection between social interactions and higher mental functions (Lopez, Calan, & Rivera, 2016).
The teachers need to focus more on the children that are suffering from different disabilities rather than any normal child in a given environment. Mary Ainsworth is an American-Canadian psychologist who proposed John Bowlby’s attachment theory (Bretherton, 1992). She researched the African and American cultural backgrounds and attachment processes and thereby found certain secure and insecure attachments between infants and their mothers (Bretherton, 1992). Based on these processes, she found four attachment styles.
These include - secure attachment, anxious-avoidant insecure attachment, anxious ambivalent- resistant insecure pattern, and disorganized or disoriented insecure attachment style (Lopez, Calan, & Rivera, 2016). As per this theory, the role of the mothers is also equally important in providing education to the children.
The kind of relationship between the child and mother will be different and since the child will be obeying to all the instructions of her mother, it is important to teach the child the right set of theory and subjects in a given environment.
There are several other theories developed that focus more on providing education to the children with disability in an early childhood setting. It is thereby the moral responsibility of the teaching staff to recognize such children and thereby fulfill their different education needs (Lopez, Calan, & Rivera, 2016).
Importance of Family Perspectives and Community Networks in influencing educators' pedagogical practice
Today, people of the community and other concerned authorities have realized that there is a need of inclusive education practices in a given education system for a given early childhood setting. Hence, it is more important for the parents, other concerned stakeholders, and the management team of the education systems to work together on this issue (Ramey, 2015).
They need to first identify the individual needs of such children and accordingly setup an environment that will provide more assistance to the children with disability. Also, there are certain barriers to such implementation such as misinterpretation of the meaning of the word inclusion, unsuitable behaviors and hurtful language of the teachers toward the children with disability and their parents, and other restricting norms of the educational institutions.
Hence, it will be important to formulate strategies to overcome such risk factors and issues and thereby make sure of delivering inclusive education practices in a given environment. One needs to avoid these barriers to develop a positive relationship between the family members and the teachers in a given environment (Ramey, 2015).
As Vygotsky mentioned, it is important to enhance children's socialization skills and other such developmental domains. It will thereby make sure of building and maintaining networks and connections with families and other communities. According to EYLF educators, the teaching staff needs to have secure, reciprocal and respectful relationships with the children and their families that will thereby provide an encouraging learning environment (EYLF, 2016).
Also, parents need to follow certain guidelines and topics so that even they can contribute accordingly for the development of their children. It is important for the educators to develop a strong community network through which they will make sure of delivering the inclusive education practices, following the principles of the theoretical frameworks, and thereby ensure overcoming all the bias and discrimination for the children with disability and other such issues in a given early childhood setting (Gartrell, 2013).
Role of Educator in the Provision of Inclusive Early Year's Education
The role of the educator is important as they have an important responsibility to serve toward all the children in a given classroom environment. He needs to follow the Code of Ethics, ensure accountability and transparency, and thereby ensure provide value education to the children (Chirstenson & James, 2015).
He can formulate separate teaching plans for the different children based on their learning abilities. It will help him overcome the challenges from the gender, linguistic, cultural, and gender backgrounds. Further, educators also need to work in close coordination with the families and communities so that they can prepare the learning plan for all the children (Christenson & James, 2015); even, they can devise recommendations to the parents so that even they can teach their children certain specific skills and abilities in a given environment.
Today, it is important to develop such positive learning environment across all schools and educational institutions. It will thereby help them overcome the barriers of bias, discrimination, racial practices, and other such issues in a given education environment. The purpose of deploying reflective practices is to make educators understand their responsibility in their working profession (Benade, 2015).
They are not only required to deliver lectures and sessions as per their daily working schedules. They also need to work closely with the parents and other concerned people and thereby develop inclusive learning practices through which they will be able to provide proper education to the children with disabilities in a given early childhood setting (Lindeman & Anderson, 2015).
The inclusive practices will ultimately benefit to all the concerned people in a given environment and will thereby improve the outcomes of the educational domains (Benade, 2015). It will also make sure that they are following the given acts and principles and thereby working closely on the positive development of the children from the education perspective.
Such positive learning environment will thereby improve further the different education practices and processes. The senior management of these education systems can monitor the different practices and provide their recommendations for further improvement (Gupta, Rous, & Schertz, 2016).
The early year for any given child will be full of complexities, as he will be interacting with different variables of the environment. The role of the parents and teachers will be quite crucial at this point, since it can impact the growth of the child. There are different education-programs developed for the purpose of developing the child from the social, cultural and educational perspectives (Lesaux et al., 2015).
This report highlights the importance of inclusive education practices specifically for those children that are suffering from disabilities and other such issues. For this purpose, the government has even formulated laws and acts through which the educational institutions need to follow them in their daily routine practices (Lesaux et al., 2015). Further, the role of parents is equally important as they will be teaching values, principles, beliefs, and traditions to their children. They thereby need to work in close coordination with the educators and formulate teaching plans that will overcome the learning challenges for the children.
The role of the mother is important as she needs to focus on her attachment style with her child and accordingly treat him or her in a given environment. Finally, the educators need to make sure that they overcome the challenges of bias, discrimination, and racial differences so that they can provide equal value education to all the children in a given environment (Lesaux et al., 2015). The children on the other hand will be able to receive quality education and will thus meet their respective development needs from the education perspective in a given early childhood setting.