Inclusive Schools Week happens every year in the first full week of December, and this year, it takes place from December 5 to December 9. Sponsored by the Inclusive Schools Network (.I.S.N.) and Stetson & Associates, Inc., this holiday aims to celebrate schools’ progress in providing supportive, high-quality education for school kids. The two organizations, I.S.N. and Stetson & Associates work hard to promote inclusivity in schools.
History of Inclusive Schools Week
Inclusive Schools Week was first started in 2001 by I.S.N. in an attempt to bring more attention to the state of schools, and how the institutes were educating children and working toward making their learning environment conducive to learning and growth. Over the two decades that the program has existed, it has evolved to encompass a much broader scope. Inclusive Schools Week now also aims to acknowledge and celebrate the work that parents, teachers, and volunteers do to improve the quality of education, and how welcoming and adaptive the learning environments they create are. It pays tribute to all who’re contributing to education.
Besides shining a spotlight on the people who have contributed to its progress, Inclusive Schools Week also aims to highlight how inclusive education is heavily influenced by the factors and people around it. The program raises awareness about how culture, policies, and practices in and around schools can promote or prevent inclusive education. Furthermore, the week-long celebration provides an opportunity for people to suggest ideas and improvements for inclusive schooling. This kind of open-space discussion fosters growth and development in inclusive schooling.
You might be wondering why a whole week in a year is dedicated to highlighting the importance of inclusive schooling, but the truth is, it’s worth it. Several children learn in unconducive learning environments, which affects their performances. The traditional schooling environment and teaching style are hostile to many kids, especially those with learning disabilities. Inclusive schooling focuses on recognizing that the current school system marginalizes a large group of children in need of education.
Inclusive Schools Week timeline
Inclusive Education is first mentioned as an alternative to special education, and it’s proposed that schools take on a broader range of responsibilities to children and their needs.
The first Inclusive Schools Week is held in an attempt to raise awareness about the cause.
Susan Peters proposes a series of actions to follow when creating inclusive schooling, which are implemented as a prototype program.
Inclusive education is being fought for and discussed by the third generation and has now become focused on a person-centered perspective as opposed to a rights perspective.
Inclusive Schools Week FAQs
What are the benefits of inclusive education?
Inclusive education promotes better social and motor skills in children, as they interact with different people and learn many lessons along the way.
What are the social aspects of an inclusive school?
Inclusive schools should have spaces where children meet and interact with each other. These spaces should be outfitted with varying sitting arrangments, with tables, and materials that accommodate everyone. And these spaces should be welcoming and should promote healthy discussion and interaction.
In what little ways can I promote inclusivity?
You can set up a diverse library that holds different tools for different learning styles, including diverse content and materials in lesson plans, or you can offer an open-door support policy.
How to Observe Inclusive Schools Week
Be a mindful teacher
As a teacher, there are plenty of things you can do to teach your students about inclusive education: Have them research what inclusive education entails, and then let them decorate the class with their findings. Encourage students to adopt and adapt to various communication styles, such as sign language, speaking with assistive technology devices, and so on. Make an effort to implement routines and habits in the classroom that encourage students to engage and communicate with each other in a way that everyone can understand.
Be a mindful adult
Whether you’re a parent, mentor, or guardian to a child, you can make an effort to be more mindful of how you talk about education and inclusivity. Children often mirror what their elders think and say, so it’s important to act in an exemplary way. Make sure to speak about disabilities respectfully and without discrimination. Teach your child to feel comfortable in their learning environment and to ask questions when they’re confused.
Be a mindful child
If you’re young and still in school, there’s plenty you can do to make your school more inclusive! You can research what inclusivity in schools looks like and why it’s important to have. Get to know your peers, and ask if they have a preferred way of learning and communicating so you can use it with them.
5 Facts About Inclusive Education That Will Surprise You
Owing to the varying nature of disabilities and preferences of students, there is no one approach to education that works for every student or even the majority of students.
Inclusive education promotes social cohesion
Inclusive education forms a foundation that helps improve kids’ communication and tolerance for marginalized groups.
It’s about equal access
Inclusivity is about providing access to information, opportunities, and spaces to everyone and ensuring that the access benefits everyone as well.
Inclusivity is built by everyone
Everyone’s actions matter when it comes to building an inclusive society.
Inclusive education can solve the unemployment crises
Many people from marginalized groups find it difficult to gain employment because of discrimination, but inclusive schooling can provide better opportunities for everyone and help solve unemployment crises.
Why Inclusive Schools Week is Important
It makes a difference
We wholeheartedly believe that inclusivity in schools matters. We believe that Inclusive Schools Week is an excellent opportunity for everyone to do their part in improving the state of our educational system so that our children and many generations after theirs can have the best possible foundation in life.
It’s a tribute
The week also celebrates the contributions of people who have worked to get us this far in the cause. We think it’s essential to thank them for their efforts and time over the years. We hope that they continue to work for this cause and inspire many others to join them also.
A celebration of progress
Inclusive education has come a long way since it first started, and celebrating our progress is important. Take some time to reflect on what changes have been implemented and how far we’ve come.
Inclusive Schools Week dates