As we continue to get ready for the start of the school year next week, the teachers are planning for the school year in different areas. John Van Plantinga, our Inclusion Specialist, gave an introductory workshop for the faculty. Inclusion, as defined by the International Baccalaureate is as follows:
“Inclusion is an ongoing process that aims to increase access and engagement in learning for all students by identifying and removing barriers.”
John’s presentation got me thinking about the definition of barrier. This could be anything from limited English to those students, especially young boys, who cannot be sedentary for the hours required by schools. We also define barriers as poor organization skills, fear of mathematics, depression or health problems, etc. Some of the barriers are permanent, like autism, dyslexia, and others can be improved or disappear, depending on the individual student’s situation.
The OIS inclusion website, Total Access Learning, is full of resources for teachers, parents and students. There is information on disabilities (professionally diagnosed cognitive or psychological problems) and difficulties (non-diagnosed, more common challenges of children and teenagers) as well as techniques and strategies teachers can use to improve learning. Below is an inspiring video from the Khan Academy and an example of the resources Mr. Van Plantinga has on his web site.