How do we articulate the politics of inclusion with specialized teaching methods?
Following the paradigm of inclusive education, all children and adolescents are sent to their neighborhood schools. Enrollment is based simply on age, with full rights. However, there are also a number of specialized institutions where the personnel is trained to provide teaching that is specifically aimed at the difficulties faced by certain young people. It becomes therefore important to be able to transfer these skills into mainstream schooling. In New Zealand, for example, specially trained teacher “experts” are provided to assist “ordinary” teachers in meeting the needs of these children. In this way, once a week, the classroom teacher and a teacher's aide benefit from an outside perspective, which is well-informed and can provide access to teaching methods best adapted to each child. (Teachers Outreach Service, Auckland).
In certain countries such as Italy and Canada, almost all the schools that had dealt with special needs children have been closed in order to bring the children directly into ordinary schools. In Italy, for example, 75,000 specially trained teachers, team-teaching with “ordinary” teachers, are providing for 140,000 handicapped children4.
4 MUSSET Marie et THIBERT Rémi (2010), « Ecole et Handicap : de la séparation à l’inclusion des enfants en situation de handicap. » Dossier d’actualité de la VST, n° 52, mars. http://www.inrp.fr/vst/LettreVST/52-mars-2010.php