Inclusive teaching

Filling the pail

Current fashion, as well as a history of ideas dating back at least as far as John Dewey, see education as an intensely individualistic process. In a similar way in which the marketing industry treats consumers, students are sorted, assessed and labelled according to a range of supposed needs and teachers are encouraged to ‘differentiate’ or ‘personalise’ learning in order to meet those needs. All the while, large technology corporations compete to produce personalised learning environments.

It is true that students are different and it is also true that they will need a range of accommodations in specific circumstances. A teacher may, for instance, wear a microphone to help communicate with a student whose hearing is impaired. However, the individualistic approach generally ignores the fact that schools are communities of learners who gain from working together to meet their learning goals. It ignores the power of student solidarity and the…

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