By Candace M. Robick, PhD
Site Supervisor, College of Education
Is inclusion the appropriate practice for all schools? This is definitely a good question and one that needs to be addressed. As an educator, I believe that including all students in the curriculum and offering the appropriate modifications and accommodations for them to best navigate through the course is the best choice. Some parents and educators may wonder about the benefits of inclusion, and I would have to point them in the direction of advocating for and doing what is best for the child.
In life, we already know that we are not all working at the same level. This is one of the truths of education and differentiated instruction. Given the correctly trained teachers, the right amount of support and a curriculum that is research-based, the teachers should be able to maintain fidelity, thus maximizing the instruction of the student and helping them to achieve their true potential. Yes, it is true that some families believe that their child will do best to be with children that are operating at a similar level, but then you miss out on all of the wonderful growth opportunities.
As an educator, I enjoy seeing classmates work with their peers because they seem to be innately equipped to give the best and most practical instruction that will more readily accelerate the student. There is also often an enhanced level of comfort that the student brings to the learning situation that will help to make the student being assisted feel more relaxed. Learning is something that occurs every minute of the day as long as we allow it to happen, and what better way to help another than by utilizing all the resources in the classroom?
Empowering others, whether it be inside the classroom or outside the classroom during a school or sporting event, encourages exponential growth. Learning by doing is a magical process that not only enhances learning, but locks it in place, giving that student the chance to reach out and apply their depth of knowledge to all experiences.
Classroom teachers provide foundational knowledge in a variety of ways to their students through differentiated instructional design, accommodations and modifications. Oftentimes, students are our best resources because they may be able to teach a strategy or an academic process or procedure at a different level than you thought possible. It is important to believe that the human mind and human potential are essential for growth in life. Stepping aside and allowing education to occur in the right doses through multiple exposures of academic experiences causes the neurons in a child’s brain to fire, accelerating growth. Including all students in academia carries over to all aspects of life.
The most important example we have to illustrate this conceptualization is the movie Seabiscuit. This movie exemplifies the fact that although Seabiscuit may have been viewed as an undersized and overlooked thoroughbred, through the correct circumstances, the horse was able to achieve success. Valuing one another for who we are empowers us as individuals to look beneath the surface to see the true qualities that we all possess. Seabiscuit was supported and believed in by many people and value was created internally for Seabiscuit to endure any and all circumstances. Creating growth through learning and educational experiences is no different. Step out today and help all children feel included in their academic efforts. You may be surprised by the accomplishments that you will witness.
To learn more about how Grand Canyon University’s prestigious College of Education prepares future leaders to be inclusive educators, visit our website or click the Request More Information button to get started on your academic journey today.
More About Dr. Robick:
Dr. Candace M. Robick is a faculty site supervisor at Grand Canyon University. She works with undergraduate students who are working on their student teaching internships and with graduate students who are working on obtaining their principal papers. Either way, Dr. Robick is doing what she loves best: helping to model, create and inform teachers and principal candidates about learning science to instructionally maximize the potential of their students and working within the realm of administration and leadership. Having served in urban, public, private and chartered education since 2000, Dr. Robick brings her knowledge of curriculum, instruction and assessment to the forefront having served in a variety of different leadership positions. Dr. Robick resides in the small town of Mars, 30 minutes north of the City of Pittsburgh with her husband and two boys, Connor and Spencer.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.