This Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 12 pm AT (1 ET) I will be a guest on the CBC Radio show Maritime Noon. I will be discussing and advocating for a flexible model of inclusive education. Marlene Munn will also be interviewed on behalf of the NBACL which promotes a full, and in my opinion, extreme model of regular classroom inclusion for all students. I am not sure if persons outside Canada can access the show on the CBC web site but this is the link for Maritime Noon if you want to try and listen to the discussion at the CBC Maritime stations listed on the right side bar under "Air Times".
I have commented previously on the NBACL's inflexible, extreme model of inclusive education which requires all students, regardless of their abilities or disabilities, regardless of the challenges they face, regardless of the evidence and regardless of whether it is in a specific child's best interests to receive instruction in the regular classroom. I have written and spoken often of the fact that we had to ask for our 16 year old son with severe autistic disorder to be removed from the regular classroom which overwhelmed him and resulted in serious self injurious behavior.
Autism, as the cliche goes, is a spectrum disorder and some autistic children thrive in the regular classroom. Some do not. For some, like my son, the regular classroom causes harm. Yet, the philosophically obsessed NBACL which acts as an unofficial division of the New Brunswick Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, as I described in Autism Education in the Era of the NBACL Inclusion Government, opposes a flexible model of education which would provide alternative learning environments for those children, like my son, whose challenges, based on the evidence, require learning in a quieter environment using different instruction methods suitable for them.
Some people find it difficult to believe that the NBACL, in this day and age, contrary to evidence, contrary to common sense, and contrary to the experience and wishes of parents, who best know their own children, would still insist that every child should be educated in the regular classroom. But that is exactly what the NBACL insists upon. As the NBACL likes to say its philosophy based full Inclusive Education policy "is that simple".
NBACL Web Site: Inclusive Education
What is inclusive education? It is simple: children go to their community or neighbourhood school and receive instruction in a regular class setting with non-disabled peers who are the same age.
NBACL Icon Gordon Porter in the Western Star (Newfoundland) article "Inclusion in the classroom simple, says educator"
CORNER BROOK — Gordon Porter believes inclusion is the most natural thing in the world. The educator and director of Inclusive Education Initiatives presented a session on inclusive education at the Greenwood Inn and Suites on Thursday. Porter, who is also the editor of the Inclusive Education Canada website inclusiveeducation.ca, spoke to parents, educators and agency professionals who deal with children with special needs at the pre-conference for the Newfoundland and Labrador Association for Community Living Conference taking place in the city today and Saturday. The session was sponsored by the Community Inclusion Initiative.
Porter’s session revolved around the theme of parents and teachers working together to make inclusion work.“It means kids go to their neighbourhood schools with kids their own age in regular classes,” said Porter.“If you’re seven years, old you go to the school just down the street. You go in a class with other seven-year-olds, and you’re supported if you have extra needs. “It’s so simple, it’s that simple,” said Porter."