1. What is an inclusive education?

What is an inclusive education?

Published on 05 Apr 2023
General Article
Choosing an International School

Inclusive education is an educational approach that enables all children, regardless of their abilities, backgrounds, or circumstances, to be actively engaged in learning within the same classroom. The purpose of an inclusive education is to create an environment where every child feels safe and valued and has the opportunity to reach his or her full potential.


This approach focuses on understanding the individual needs of each student and providing the necessary support and resources to help them grow and succeed.


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Inclusive education strategies 

Inclusive education is a way of teaching and learning that supports all students to access learning and to participate fully and actively in a classroom setting. This type of education focuses on embracing diversity, celebrating differences, and creating an environment that encourages everyone to feel safe and valued. Examples of inclusive education strategies include:

1. Incorporating a Universal Design for Learning (UDL): This framework focuses on giving every student access to learning materials and activities in a way that works for each individual. It utilises a variety of tools, materials, and strategies to meet the specific needs of individual learners.

2. Developing Differentiated Instruction: This approach involves modifying instructions, materials, and activities to meet the needs of all students in the classroom. It allows teachers to focus on the individual learning needs of each student.

3. Integrating Collaborative and Co-Teaching: This type of teaching involves two or more teachers working together to provide instruction and support to a group of students. This teaching method creates a more supportive environment for students, as they have access to more than one teacher who can provide assistance and feedback.

4. Incorporating Social and Emotional Learning (SEL): This approach focuses on developing social and emotional skills, such as self-awareness and self-regulation. It helps students to better understand their own emotions and how to interact with others in an appropriate way in a variety of contexts.

5. Utilising technology: Technology can be used to provide access to curriculum and instruction for a wide range of students’ needs. These include using assistive technology for students with special needs, educational software and apps to provide differentiated teaching and online resources to broaden access to educational opportunities.

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Key elements in an inclusive education


An inclusive education requires the following elements: -

1. Access to high-quality curriculum to ensure that all students have the opportunity to learn the same academic material regardless of differences in their learning style, background, or physical ability.

2. A safe and supportive learning environment that provides a secure place for students to learn and grow.

3. Effective teaching strategies employed to accommodate different learning styles and needs.

4. Collaboration and involvement of stakeholders such as parents, educators and administrators to ensure that the educational environment is tailored to the individual needs of each student.

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What does an inclusive classroom look like?


An inclusive classroom is one that is welcoming and supportive of all students, regardless of their background, abilities, or differences. It provides a learning environment where diverse perspectives are valued and all voices are heard. An inclusive classroom provides students with unbiased access to learning opportunities, with an emphasis on understanding and appreciating each other’s backgrounds and experiences. This may involve having a variety of materials available for students to explore, in a safe and supportive atmosphere that facilitates open dialogue and discussion and provides students with opportunities for taking ownership of their learning. An inclusive classroom should also recognise and celebrate diversity in all forms, creating a space and time for all students to express their thoughts and feelings and to engage in dialogue with others.

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Why is inclusive education important?


An inclusive education is important because it promotes equal opportunities for all students regardless of their ability, ethnicity, gender, or socio-economic background. It allows all students to feel included, valued, and respected in their learning environment, which helps to create an atmosphere of acceptance and understanding. An inclusive education also helps students develop empathy and understanding towards others and encourages them to collaborate on tasks which can go a long way in building strong and friendly relationships. Furthermore, an inclusive education can help students develop social and emotional skills, which are necessary for success in college and at work in the future. Ultimately, an inclusive education is important because it helps to create a learning environment that is safe and supportive for all.


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Inclusiveness in international schools 

Based on a report by ISC Research, over the years, international schools have become more inclusive by providing various programmes of support such as EAL (English as an Additional Language), SEN (Special Education Needs) and others for students who may have a hard time adjusting to the curriculum offered by schools.

International schools are committed to providing an inclusive learning environment for all students. This includes welcoming students from different countries, cultures, religions, socio-economic backgrounds, and academic abilities. International schools also carry out a variety of activities, programs, and services to expose students to cultures and traditions practised by different nationalities with a view to generate greater awareness, knowledge and appreciation about them. These may include English language instruction, multicultural activities and sensitivity training, as well as various learning and support programs that are tailored to meet the needs of the diverse groups of students in the school.


Additionally, the school staff builds relationships with parents and guardians to enable all parties to better understand and support each student’s unique needs. By providing an inclusive and supportive learning environment, international schools can ensure that every student has an equal chance of success.


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In short, an inclusive education is one that values and supports diverse learners, providing students with access to a wide range of resources and opportunities that promote their learning and development. It reflects the importance of creating an environment that is welcoming and respectful of all students, regardless of their background, abilities or disabilities. An inclusive education fosters learning that is both meaningful and relevant, encourages collaboration and understanding, and allows all students opportunities to reach their full potential.


This article at a glance:

This article talks about the following:

·         What is an inclusive education?

·         Inclusive education strategies

·         Key elements in an inclusive education

·         What does an inclusive classroom look like?

·         Why inclusive education is important

·         Inclusiveness in international schools


Continue reading:

·         International Schools in Kuala Lumpur

·         International Schools in Selangor

·         International Schools in Johor 

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