Inclusive Education and Physical Disabilities

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The background of inclusive education using Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological model. Inclusion is about including everyone, irrespective of ability, gender, language, or disability, in order that all learners can belong at school and have access to the educational outcomes that schools offer. People are treated differently due to their cultural differences, religious beliefs, the color of skin, why should we let our education system fall into one of these categories of differences. In apartheid time, our education system was divided and made different due to the color of skin, but since then we as individuals have evolved and so has our education system. If we are to take a closer look at Inclusive education, we must incorporate Urie Bronfenbrenner as well.

Let us start from the beginning. What is Inclusive Education? It is an education system which recognizes the important fact that all learners should feel welcomed in mainstream/private/public educational environment and also in their own community. The capacity the local and ECD school to respond to the needs of ALL the learners, including the ones who need extra support, due to learning or physical disability, social disadvantage, cultural differences, or other barriers of learning.

In 1970 Urie Bronfenbrenner published “Experimental ecology of education” The book acknowledges that there are influences that have an impact on learner’s success or failure. Bronfenbrenner states that in order for Inclusive Education to be successful, there are systems/environments that need to be beneficial to ALL the learner’s social or schooling aspects. Bronfenbrenner has stated that these systems add to the barriers of learning. The Systems: Macro-system, Exo-system, Meso-system, Micro-system, the learner. Let’s start firstly with the learner, this type of approach that teachers should focus entirely and what benefits the learners is called the learner-centered approach. The learner should normally be participating with peers and the environment around should be achieving and feeling valued.

The downside is trying to create an environment that fosters inclusivity for ALL learners, each system has an impact on the learners. The Micro-system is connected to the home, the peers, and the school. For example, the parents might not supportive of the learner’s education or the learner might not have parents. The peers at school might be a negative influence, there is discrimination involved. Lastly the schools, there might be a lack of resources, the class sizes are huge and the teacher does not use the learner-centered approach when teaching. The Meso-system just confirms that there is a connection between the systems and what has or obtained. The Exo-system is what surrounds the learning environment. The school staff, the policies of the school, and school values and culture. The Macro-system is related to the learning institute as a whole. The schooling curriculum we have to follow.

The implications of the socioeconomic barriers to learning and how to make educator’s aware of circumstances in South Africa that may contribute to barriers to learning.

These curriculums are too rigid and allow no room for flexibility. The barriers of learning and their implications on the learner can be found anywhere within the learning center, education system, etc. An example of a socioeconomic barrier is the lack of educational resources, the differentiation of different learning skills needs to be accommodated by the school’s resources which will help the learner succeed in learning. The barrier of lack of recourses could be the reason for discrimination and disability. Another barrier of learning is transportation, learners who live in severe poverty areas have no access to transport which means they cannot go their learning centers, learners who can gain access to transport but they do not accommodate learners with disabilities.

Emotional barriers to learning are included, learners have illnesses that may prevent them from attending school or they have difficulty learning in that environment which does not accommodate them. Parents/ Caregivers who are not financially stable or equipped to send their child to school or the learner has younger siblings and responsibilities to deal with so they cannot cope with schooling. The concern that is not thoroughly prepared for inclusive education is very great, as teachers, we need to know the circumstances of barriers of learning and have knowledge about how to go about teaching learners who are diverse physically, race, emotionally, mentally, etc. Educators who have past experience regarding inclusive education have a more positive remark towards the barriers of learning, study shows that some teachers are not trained properly in teaching learners with disabilities. Educate teachers about teaching styles that accommodate the diversity of the learners e.g.: those with visual disabilities or physical disability, support the learners with special needs. Create a supportive environment where diversity is present and there is a collaboration amongst teachers.

Creative ways of how these barriers may be addressed. Establish a support structure at each school to assist learners identified as needing support. Teachers should provide multiple opportunities for correction; nothing makes a learner more confident when he/she corrects their mistake and can redo it. The teacher should always reflect on what has been taught to see if the learner has understood fully. Teachers should make the classroom and lessons very engaging, learners will feel more included and welcomed. Teachers should teach at an appropriate grade level with grade-level expectations, once that foundation has been laid, then scaffolding can commence. Lastly, teachers should always be consistent, the learners will know already what needs to happen and they will develop schedules and have a sense of responsibility if given a duty, teachers should build a relationship with the learner, make them feel loved, appreciated, and included.


Cite this paper

Inclusive Education and Physical Disabilities. (2020, Sep 22). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/inclusive-education-and-physical-disabilities/

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