Monday, January 3, 2011

What's To Fix?

Alberta Learning recently defines an inclusive education system as "a way of thinking and acting that demonstrates universal acceptance of, and belonging for, all students. Inclusive education in Alberta means a valuebased approach to accepting responsibility for all students. It also means that all students will have equitable opportunity to be included in the typical learning environment or program of choice."  Setting the Direction Framework - June 2009

I will say that this post is a little disconnected simply because I'm hoping that writing about it will help me connect it all a bit more.  It starts with these two posts that I've read this past week:
Both posts are written by people on the spectrum and speak to my heart because I feel that we currently have a system that makes people feel like they are broken or need fixing.  But in a truly inclusive mentality, what strikes me about these posts is that they could be written by a lot of people.  This is not exclusive to those who have autism.  I, myself, felt empowered reading these posts thinking that I need to take the lead that is being given to me here and I also need to quit listening to the voice inside me that points out all that is wrong.

William Stillman wrote a piece entitled "The World Needs People With Autism".  I understood it the first time I read it but as I dig deeper into the true definition of inclusion I'm seeing that by imaging a school that truly includes people with disabilities makes it very evident what needs to be fixed for all students in the school.  And one of those things is exactly what these two blog posts speak of - we need to ensure that we are not in some way feeding in to the idea that our students are broken or need to be fixed.

Where do I go with this?  I have no idea but I'm starting to think more and more that inclusion is not really about modifications and UDL but rather it is about teaching every child to know and understand and celebrate their uniqueness.

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