Citation

Embracing Inclusive Early Childhood Settings: Hearing all Children’s Voices

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Abstract:

Inclusive approaches, supported by government policies, in many parts of the world, promote the concept of inclusion of children with special needs into mainstream early childhood settings. Supported by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, all children have the right to reach their full potential. How can an inclusive, supportive learning and caring environment be best delivered to children with special needs and to all children?

Research has primarily focused on the importance of relationships, the teacher skills, the child and families individual needs in developing specific programs to meet these needs, overall focusing on the best way to champion the child’s inclusion into the setting. However, the question of the space of inclusion has not been addressed. What is this inclusive space? Where is inclusion taking place? Inclusion into what? Children are a vital part of this space, and yet they have not been given an opportunity to share their experience.

All stakeholders in these inclusive settings have not had their voices heard? This presentation will highlight the importance of researching and discovering children’s views on issues that affect them and the environments that they live and play in. If inclusion is considered to be a desirable outcome in early childhood settings, then, how can this be achieved if consultation with young children continues to be over-looked.

In Special Education goals are set and outcomes are evaluated based on the child’s individual needs. This individualisation assists the child and by targeting their strengths and weaknesses. However when considering the child’s inclusion, this individualisation may in advertently, isolate the child from the typically developing children. This presentation challenges us to think about the inclusive collective. The “New Sociology of Childhood” has forsaken the individualistic nature of traditional theories, instead, emphasising the importance of collective action, social structure and the competent nature of children. Young children are understood from this perspective to be developing within an ever changing collective.

As a PhD student, attempting to conceptualise my proposed research, I would argue that early childhood settings will be hindered from creating inclusive environments unless the views of all children are listened to and heard. Researching the views of young children will enhance the inclusion of young children with special needs and better inform inclusive education practice and policy.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

inclus (17), children (16), set (8), child (7), childhood (7), need (6), earli (5), special (4), research (4), young (4), view (3), voic (3), support (3), space (3), import (3), collect (3), develop (3), environ (3), polici (2), individu (2), outcom (2),
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Association:
Name: Children and Childhoods Research Symposium
URL:
http://www.iec.mq.edu.au


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p438727_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Watson, Karen. "Embracing Inclusive Early Childhood Settings: Hearing all Children’s Voices" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Children and Childhoods Research Symposium, Institute of Early Childhood, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, Sep 24, 2010 <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p438727_index.html>

APA Citation:

Watson, K. , 2010-09-24 "Embracing Inclusive Early Childhood Settings: Hearing all Children’s Voices" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Children and Childhoods Research Symposium, Institute of Early Childhood, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia Online <PDF>. 2014-11-27 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p438727_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Inclusive approaches, supported by government policies, in many parts of the world, promote the concept of inclusion of children with special needs into mainstream early childhood settings. Supported by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, all children have the right to reach their full potential. How can an inclusive, supportive learning and caring environment be best delivered to children with special needs and to all children?

Research has primarily focused on the importance of relationships, the teacher skills, the child and families individual needs in developing specific programs to meet these needs, overall focusing on the best way to champion the child’s inclusion into the setting. However, the question of the space of inclusion has not been addressed. What is this inclusive space? Where is inclusion taking place? Inclusion into what? Children are a vital part of this space, and yet they have not been given an opportunity to share their experience.

All stakeholders in these inclusive settings have not had their voices heard? This presentation will highlight the importance of researching and discovering children’s views on issues that affect them and the environments that they live and play in. If inclusion is considered to be a desirable outcome in early childhood settings, then, how can this be achieved if consultation with young children continues to be over-looked.

In Special Education goals are set and outcomes are evaluated based on the child’s individual needs. This individualisation assists the child and by targeting their strengths and weaknesses. However when considering the child’s inclusion, this individualisation may in advertently, isolate the child from the typically developing children. This presentation challenges us to think about the inclusive collective. The “New Sociology of Childhood” has forsaken the individualistic nature of traditional theories, instead, emphasising the importance of collective action, social structure and the competent nature of children. Young children are understood from this perspective to be developing within an ever changing collective.

As a PhD student, attempting to conceptualise my proposed research, I would argue that early childhood settings will be hindered from creating inclusive environments unless the views of all children are listened to and heard. Researching the views of young children will enhance the inclusion of young children with special needs and better inform inclusive education practice and policy.


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