Inclusive K-12: Benefits and How to Advocate for Them

K-12 is all about offering integrated learning environments for kids. It is all about offering inclusive education, about looking at the many ways and approaches that schools right along with their classes, programs, and lessons might be designed in a way that all kids can participate and learn. If that is the kind of education you want for your kids, here are some of the benefits that they’ll get when you enrol them in a school with a K-12 programme. Read on to know how you can advocate for this type of education as well. 

Benefits of Inclusive Education 

An inclusive school means all kids can learn. They are given the opportunity to develop mentally, physically, and socially. Many believe that inclusive education is only important to kids with learning disabilities, though, as it makes room for them in the classroom and that representation matters, especially when previously there were few. However, an inclusive education benefits all kids. 

  • Different learners. There used to be four types of learners, though, the expanded version now has seven: visual, auditory, verbal, logical, physical or kinesthetic, social and interpersonal, and lastly solitary and intrapersonal learners. This means kids absorb and retain information in many ways. With an inclusive education, teachers are well aware of those differences and take the right approach to address the needs of every student in the class, whether they’re in preschool or a senior high school student. 
  • Curricular activities. Many schools have curriculums that focus on STEM subjects. However, very few of them offer extracurricular programmes that balance out all the focus on the STEM courses. That’s what an inclusive education offers. It recognizes the fact that not all kids excel in STEM subjects. By offering other courses, kids are well able to find subjects that align with their talents and interests. That helps with their growth and development. 
  • Socialization. The best education is more than a student’s academic achievements. If a student has learned how to socialize, how to communicate with others, how to build connections and relationships, then the education is a success. The true goal of any school is to teach kids not to win math contests or top science quizzes. More than the academic strength, they need to grow up with well-developed communication skills. This goes beyond merely knowing how to talk or speak for themselves. Communication is a two-way street. This means raising and training kids who are not only adept at self-expression but also at connecting with others. They do this by listening. The best communicators aren’t the ones who know how to outtalk anyone. The best communicators are those who know how to listen and hear what the other person isn’t saying. That’s the level of socialization, that deep regard for others and their well-being, that consideration, that’s the mark of an inclusive education. 
  • Emotional Development. Kids who are emotionally intelligent know how to manage their emotions. They don’t get mad for no reason. They understand the situation and know that a tantrum—while it might feel good for a while—will get them nowhere. That might seem deceptively simple as a concept but it’s not. Even adults have a hard time controlling their temper and impatience. But an inclusive education doesn’t just prioritize academic growth. Rather, it also puts forward the need and importance of emotional development. With emotional intelligence, kids grow up well adjusted, able to take in situations with little to no trouble. They are adaptive, they see both sides of a problem, and they are empathetic. They are an asset to any organization. These are just some of the benefits of a school producing emotionally intelligent children. 

How to Advocate for Them

Put your money where your mouth is. Money talks. When you put your kids in a school that supports inclusive education or implements the K-12 programme, you are saying that this is the kind of school that you want to exist. You support its existence. By choosing that school for your kids, you’re making a statement to the rest of the parents that this is the school that you believe in. That counts for something. That helps spread awareness around. That support and belief in the system help in making others understand why there’s a need for more schools that offer an inclusive education. 

How to Choose a School

Do your homework. Find out what the school’s teaching philosophy is. What is its stance on discipline? Does it provide special education services? Does it have staff and teachers with the right credentials to handle those classes? Also, what kind of extracurricular programmes or activities does the school offer? Do they provide a wonderful balance to the curriculum that’s likely focused on STEM subjects? What about language learning options? By asking these questions, you can determine which school fits the bill. 


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