The Blog is a collection of posts written by the Brindavan team in the space of Special Education.
Role of Management in the Journey of Inclusion
By Vijaya Mahadevan
As I was reminiscing my work in the field of special education for the last twenty-five plus years, I couldn’t help but ponder on how I have evolved over the years. Starting from working with children with varied special educational needs to promoting inclusion, teacher training and development. The latter, especially in the last 10 to 12 years has been in mainstream schools and preschool environment. Many in the teacher population have a myriad of myths and misconceptions when it comes to supporting children with special educational needs (SEN) in the classroom. However, what stands out in these musings of mine is the undeniable role the school management plays in making inclusion a reality. When the management believes in supporting children with SEN, it certainly percolates to the teaching, nonteaching and support staff who come in contact with the children on a daily basis. Teachers are often plagued with thoughts that range from, “children with special needs belong in special schools to will I really be able help this child effectively”. This is where the management steps in to facilitate the required training and support to the teachers. Of course, it does take a lot of hand holding, sensitizing and empowering the teachers with the required skills. In my experience, it has been very satisfying to see the teachers go through an osmosis, feel a sense of achievement and satisfaction when they see even a little progress in the child.