Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Inclusive Classrooms Project: An Excellent Resource for Teachers

The idea of inclusion makes some teachers nervous. In the education world, inclusion means placing students with special needs alongside typically developing students so that they learn together. While most would agree that this arrangement sounds great in principle, teachers are often intimidated by the demands of serving kids with a diverse range of needs in one classroom.

Teachers College’s Inclusive Classrooms Project aims to support teachers in providing effective education for all populations. The developers of the project believe that students labeled “disabled” can participate in, and benefit from, general curriculum when provided with appropriate supports.

There are several ways teachers and administrators can benefit from TCICP’s work. For example, educators in the New York City area can arrange for on-site consulting or a workshop for their school, or visit one of the TCICP Demonstration Schools to see the model at work.

For those too far from New York to learn in person, the project’s website is an excellent resource. The Practices page provides teachers with ideas for incorporating tested techniques into their classrooms; topics include culturally relevant curriculum, positive behavior supports, technology, assessment, peer support, and multi-modality. All downloads are free. The Learning Library shares recommended titles, both print and digital, that teachers can consult for even more information.

Since both students with and without disabilities have been shown to benefit from inclusion, TCICP supports teachers in creating a win-win scenario.

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