Friday, December 13, 2013

Don't we already do Inclusion

If you have not heard Dr. Paula Kluth speak about autism and inclusion, you should make an effort to do so. She is a knowledgeable and dynamic speaker whose passion for including individuals with disabilities into everyday life is palpable. When I was at a workshop she presented in October, I picked up the book "Don't We Already Do Inclusion?" 100 Ideas for Improving Inclusive Schools. It finally reached the top of my reading pile. Since I had previously enjoyed her book, You're Going to Love This Kid, I was excited to see what insights she brought to this text.

This book recognizes that in many places, inclusion is the norm. No situation, however, is perfect for every person. What worked in the past, may not function in the future. One of my concerns with the book is the idea that inclusive classrooms settings are right for every child. I strongly believe that there is no one solution for every child. As adapted as a classroom can be for a child, there may be reasons for that child to be educated in a separate setting. Placements need to be determined on an individual basis.

This book is more of a series of discussion prompts than a how to guide. The author describes an idea and then asks the reader to consider how each idea could be applied to his situation. The beauty of the book is that it recognizes how unique each individual and setting is. The challenge of the book is that it is often short on specifics. People who need detailed maps will not find it as useful as other books.

The book is a great jumping point for discussions. Professional Learning Committees may benefit from discussions centering around the various issues. There is no right order to attack the book. Someone could skim it and identify an area of concern to examine. Randomly opening pages and talking about the text there could be an interesting approach as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment