Inclusive education is gaining momentum around the world. The concept of inclusion in society is formulated incorrectly and requires right understanding. The experience of foreign education systems shows that inclusion is a special educational need that can be both temporary and short-term. There are countries with involved system of special education thereby not separating children with educational disabilities but by socializing them and equalizing their rights.
Keywords : inclusion, special education needs, education, children with disabilities, foreign experience.
New educational trends dictate new rules for teachers of any level. Young teachers who have just graduated from higher educational institutions are entering a new stage of their professional development and a great responsibility lies on their shoulders for the education of the future generation. Inclusive education is also subject to global changes in this process. The range of concepts of inclusive education is expanding, many developed countries give a broad concept to this type of education and determine that students need special educational needs that can be included in the education process, as an integral part of the entire educational process. Thus, it is necessary to find effective ways to prepare teachers to cope with their professional tasks in a specific environment.
In our society, the concept of «special educational needs» is being introduced very recently. We used to say «inclusive education», but the concept of inclusion in the mentality of the post-Soviet period was limited only by mental deviations. Today, in the process of integrated education, periodically updated teaching methods, introduction of various technologies-we are to start thinking globally and understand that inclusion has a broader concept and includes all students with special educational needs, these include the categories of persons whose livelihoods characterized by any restrictions or lack of ability to carry out activities in a way or within the framework that is considered normal for a person of a given age. This concept is characterized by excessiveness or insufficiency in comparison with the usual in behavior or activity; it can be temporary or permanent, as well as progressive and regressive. We must change our understanding of the word «inclusion», thereby revealing the essence of the education process, as a process of development and continuous improvement of general education, which should be available to all children without exception, including migrants, children from remote areas, national minorities and people with limited possibilities.
In modern world, one of the leading trends in a school education development is to ensure the education right for all. Many countries, including Kazakhstan, seek to help their schools become versatile including inclusion.
All Western countries have experience in teaching children with special educational needs and their own model of pedagogical support. The experience of inclusive education in Finland is of great interest to Kazakhstan as according the results of comparative international studies of education quality of 15-year-old schoolchildren (at this age in most countries of the world, students graduate from basic school), Finnish schoolchildren have the highest rates (PISA 2006, 2009, 2012). Effective elements of the Finnish experience can be adapted when organizing inclusive education in general education schools in Kazakhstan .
Finland is often at the top of various rankings in terms of safety, living standards and educational attainment. The Finnish basic education system is recognized as the best in the world by many international researches. According to research carried out by Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), Finland has also shown very good results over the past ten years, and Finnish schoolchildren are in the top international rankings. Finland is one of the rare countries where high student achievement is combined with life satisfaction (PISA 2018). Finnish schoolchildren feel more comfortable and learn more effectively than other European children.
In the last decade, Finland has demonstrated one of the most effective models of an innovative education system, which gives top priority to the most important subjects of education — students. In Finnish school system, along with being compulsory, free and equal, inclusion is one of the core values. But in order for the education process to follow the correct line, it is necessary to prepare teachers. The teacher carries a huge burden in the development of the personality.
In Finland, teachers have higher education (master's level). They are qualified, motivated and professionally independent professionals. They are encouraged to develop and test non-standard methods and educational environments. Due to the high level of education of teachers, standardized tests are not used in schools, and teaching focuses on building a motivating classroom space and on learning the material. Schools do not have ratings, and there are no school screening systems either.
In Finland, teachers are given freedom to independently organize the learning process and choose teaching methods. In this way the learning process is facilitated, since inclusiveness in Finnish schools is implemented in accordance with the principle of «school for all» based on the idea of compulsory and accessible education for every child at the place of residence. The teacher feels comfortable in teaching different children.
Inclusive education has been developing in Finland for over 20 years and is accompanied by serious scientific research based on the achievements of special pedagogy . Inclusive education is understood as a process of development and continuous improvement of general education, which should be available to all children without exception, including migrants, children from remote areas, national minorities, people with disabilities, children with temporary difficulties.
The country has a membership in UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education. Finland signed the Salamanca Declaration; signed but not ratified the Convention on Persons’ with Disabilities Rights. Inclusive education is enshrined at the legislative level. The law reflects the availability of education for persons with disabilities, providing for the creation of a differentiated learning environment depending on the nature of the violation. Special changes have been made to the National Curriculum to ensure integrated education of persons with disabilities in mainstream schools .
According to the analysis of scientific and regulatory literature the results of research on inclusive education implementation in Finland it can be noted that an inclusive approach is considered the fundamental principle of organizing basic education. However, not a single legislative or administrative document contains provisions on the basis of which “inclusive education” can be ranked among the fundamental principles of the educational process. It should be noted that the general principles of inclusive education are enshrined in legislation, which defines clear intentions to create an integrating educational environment. They have developed a modern Concept for Development of Inclusive Education in accordance with which all children study in basic school due to their capabilities. Everyone solves their own problems in educational process. The entire school team participates in solving the problems of students, and not only a special teacher (team approach) and this is a big plus, the teacher is ready for the educational process at any time, despite his specific qualifications. Specialists advise conditions the child will feel better. Parents choose in which class the child studies. Individual compensatory means and necessary equipment are provided for children with disabilities at the expense of the state. Secondary school teachers are trained to use them. Students with mobility impairments are provided with an assistant and hearing impaired students with a sign language interpreter. Special assistance is also provided to emigrants. They are first taught in a preparation class where the emphasis is on mathematics and Finnish as a second language. Education process in training class is carried out in native language. Then the student is integrated into general education . Professional staff is being trained to work in an inclusive environment at pedagogical universities or at pedagogical faculties of universities. The university training of teachers involves the inclusion knowledge and skills for working with children with disabilities, including preparation of an individual training program, teamwork skills, etc. Thus, special (remedial) pedagogy and inclusive education are important aspects of teacher training. The ideas of inclusive pedagogy are tested by students in the course of pedagogical practice in each course.
Educational institutions are interconnected and cooperate with each other. For example, secondary educational institutions directly cooperate with preschool institutions For this reason a card is opened for each future student which includes all characteristic features and state of health of the student. The educational institution provides three degrees of assistance:
- General assistance (1st degree). In this degree, assistance is provided by a teacher. The teacher seeks to show the required support to a child if he has problems in learning;
- Active help, or help of the 2nd degree — is provided in the event that the influence of a teacher does not have all the chances to contribute to the standard work of children with narrow abilities. The decision to apply for Grade 2 assistance is made by a multidisciplinary team. Active assistance is provided by a teacher, his assistant and a social educator. The teaching scheme (two teachers) is considered being more effective and is generally applied in inclusive Finnish practice. As well as a principle, in Finland this teacher who has received special training is considered a special teacher (the second degree implies a shallow study of the material used, in contrast to other students, entering the topic). The main purpose of the second degree is considered to be a prevention of academic failure. If a child, being present in the second degree, copes with the plan, it is possible to move him back to the first; if the second degree is not enough, children are moved to the third degree — the degree of special care.
- Specialized assistance (3rd degree). In order to progress to this degree, a student is to undergo a special medical and mental research, which is carried out at a special meeting of the Education Committee in accordance with Finnish law. In specialized groups there are up to ten students a teachers works with. In these groups children master the nine-year curriculum in eleven years. An individual curriculum is developed for each student in accordance with his own abilities .
In this way all children are integrated into regular classes. Education in mixed classes, in which teaching is carried out by permanent and special teachers at the same time, the number of students in such a class can reach 25 people. Provides dedicated support in the form of in-class and small-group learning.
In a Finnish inclusive school the object of adaptation is the educational environment and not the student. The educator is key in implementing inclusive education, but to effectively provide students with the support they need, teachers need to work together with peers.
The staff of each general education school has special teachers, teacher assistants, social workers, and a nurse. In addition to teachers, consultants work in the classroom, and assistants (university students) and specialists working with children with special needs help the teacher in the classroom. Counselors — teacher assistants — are assigned to all classes in which children who require special attention study. While the teacher is busy organizing and conducting the educational process, the assistant-consultant assists the student in solving educational tasks and communicating with peers.
A new and promising form of accompanying children developed in Finland is the interaction of teachers, co-teaching — joint teaching. Collaborative teaching is a form of cooperation between teachers, which involves teaching subjects in a classroom with a different contingent of students at the same time by two teachers (usually a teacher without special education and a defectologist).
Collaborative teaching according to teachers has many advantages both for students and for themselves. Working together they enlist the support of colleagues learn from each other and join forces. Planning lessons with a colleague increases the effectiveness of teaching moreover, it motivates and forces to approach activities with enthusiasm. Educators exchange materials and ideas. Working together makes better understanding the educational potential of students .
Children also feel more attention, receive more support and communication. In a collaborative teaching environment, students who need special support are noticed earlier and help them faster. In addition, the joint form of teaching makes it possible to take into account the individual abilities of students and more easily cope with problem situations. Teaching together motivates children to learn.
An important feature of inclusive education in Finland is group learning and support from classmates. Finnish coeducational educators organize work in groups or pairs as part of inclusive education. The composition of groups varies depending on situation or learning objectives. Groups are formed according to the ability to work together, according to the presence of special needs, characteristics of perception and level of training. Group work develops communication skills and interaction skills, children learn to respect each other. Each time, working in a group or in a pair with different classmates, children learn to communicate in a new way, accept each other as they are, learn to support those who need support. This interaction helps create an inclusive atmosphere .
Comparing Finnish education with domestic, we noticed the lack of professional readiness of personnel is the main problem of inclusion in education development which requires development of a certain system focused on study and dissemination of successful experience.
Finland is a country with no clear model of inclusive education. It relies on the traditional education system. At the same time, when implementing inclusive education in Kazakhstan, it is necessary to take into account the effective experience of foreign countries, in particular, the system of training teachers for inclusive education in Finland, the use by Finnish teachers of various forms of joint teaching and pedagogical support of children with special educational needs. The experience of Finland shows that the country is implementing massive inclusive practices and constructive inclusion technologies that exclude any discrimination and make the learning process accessible to all.
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