Inclusion and Diversity

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The professional role of the class teacher is continually changing. It has long been expected that teachers should effectively accommodate all children regardless of their needs, with strategies and practice differing within and between settings to ensure that all children learn. However, recently more specific and detailed guidance has emerged that focuses on understanding the range of children’s needs (Hanko 2003). Instead of expecting children to ‘come up to standard’ or otherwise be segregated, an emphasis is now on schools to adapt and be flexible in order to accommodate, fully integrate and include every child (Tassoni 2003). Every Child Matters (ECM) details how it is the legal responsibility of the class teacher to ensure its five…show more content…
As the observed child was being encouraged to share his experiences one is able to see how this guidance is being achieved.
This leads one to explore other strategies that encourage diversity. In particular a model of best practice put in place a different approach to teaching children from diverse backgrounds due to the particularly high numbers of children learning EAL (Appendix 5). In this setting, professionals encouraged cultural diversity by allowing, when necessary, children to use their home languages. Support for this belief has been seen within the Plowden Report which also embraces the child centred philosophy (Bourne 2001). Similarly research by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO 1953) supports this view, reporting that the home language is the best medium for instruction and for literacy development and should be used for as long as feasible. An explanation for this would be that because the home language facilitates subject learning and literacy development it is the means through which ‘a child absorbs the cultural

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