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Becoming a Great Inclusive Educator

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Edited By Scot Danforth

Inclusive education continues to grow in popularity and acceptance in the United States. However, most teachers – general and special educators – are poorly prepared to be successful in inclusive classrooms and schools. Undoubtedly, the challenge to professionals involves the acquisition of new knowledge and skills. But inclusion requires far more. It calls upon educators to trouble everything they think they know about disability, to question their deepest ethical commitments, to take up the work of the Disability Rights Movement in the public schools, and to leap headlong into the deepest waters of the rich craft tradition of inclusive teaching. This book offers educators the guidance and resources to become great inclusive educators by engaging in a powerful process of personal and professional transformation.
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Part Two: The Living Tradition of Inclusive Education Practice

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PART TWO

The Living Tradition of Inclusive Education Practice



In part 2, we begin an exploration of the fourth challenge: steeping yourself in the tradition of inclusive practice. Through practical experimentation and research analysis, working for over two decades, educators and parents have developed a growing repertoire of promising inclusive education practices. Joining this tradition of pedagogy involves learning what this tradition has created so far.

Teaching is hard. Teaching well is fiercely so. (Tomlinson, 2000, p. 11)

Good instruction is good instruction: the goals and procedures are clearly articulated; the instruction is relevant, accessible, and responsive; and the tasks are interesting and challenging, but reachable with effort. Disabled students benefit from good instruction, just as all students do. (Broderick, Mehta-Parek, & Reid, 2005, p. 200)

Imagine that you are hired to teach in a school where doing inclusion well is as ordinary and everyday as breathing oxygen. The question of whether or not to embrace inclusion as a crucial social goal was long ago eclipsed by the daily task of working together to develop and refine the classroom and school practices that make inclusion successful. Over many years of concerted effort, cooperation between professionals and families, and intensive adult learning, a tradition of knowledge and practice has grown. To a new teacher, the culture of knowledge is thick, deep, powerful, and practical, providing guidance and sustenance at every ← 97 | 98 → step. As a newcomer,...

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