EDFD447 – Diversity in the Classroom
Assessment 1
Dijana Jovcevska (S00147602)
Topic 19
Illustration
Identified Factors




Male
Diagnosed Fragile X Syndrome
Has behaviour problem
Parents insist on best for their child
Figure 1. A child with Fragile
X Syndrome
A. How do issues of disability relate to Human Rights and Social Justice in the education
context?
Australian Human Rights Commission states that around one in five Australians has a disability
(2015). However, there are many significant barriers when it comes to take parts in daily activities
such as work, sport, and study (Australian Human Rights Commission, 2015).
Under the Commission, the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) was formed in 1992 which protects
individuals with disability across Australia from unfair treatment in many parts of public life. The Act
makes disability discrimination unlawful and promotes equal rights, equal opportunity and equal
access for people with disabilities (Australian Human Rights Commission, 2015). This Social Justice
ensures the equity amongst every Australians despite their condition.
In education context, DDA states that a person with a disability has a right to study at any
educational institution in the same way as any other student (1992). This includes all public and
private educational institutions, primary and secondary schools and tertiary institutions (DDA, 1992).
There are few implications for educators when promoting Human Rights and Social Justice in
education sector. The first implication is that educators are expected to offer a person with a
disability the same educational opportunities as everyone else when he/she meets the necessary
entry requirements of a school or college (DDA, 1992). Furthermore, the decisions that the
educators make must base upon a person's ability to achieve the essential requirements of the
course instead of making judgement according to assumptions about what a person can or cannot
do because of a disability.
The DDA ensures the rights and social justice of people with disabilities as it protects the area of
admission and access to education while ensuring their rights and justice from any form of
harassment in education sector.
EDFD447 – Diversity in the Classroom
Assessment 1
Dijana Jovcevska (S00147602)
B. How have issues of Human Rights and Social Justice informed the principles of inclusive
schooling for students with special needs?
The Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians (2008) states that Australia,
as a nation, values the central role of education in “building a democratic, equitable and just society”
p.4). The first educational goal for young Australians is to ensure that “Australian schooling
promotes equity and excellence” (2008, p.7). This means that all Australian schools must be inclusive
and provide all students with access to high-quality of schooling with equity and just, free from any
form of discrimination such as gender, ethnicity and disability. This provision of access to education
is in line and supports the DDA 1992 as mentioned in previous section (Section A).
The issues of Human Rights and Social Justice informed the practices and principles of inclusive
schooling for students with special needs. United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural
Organization (UNESCO) Salamanca 1994 underpinned the inclusive education framework today. The
fundamental principle of inclusive schooling is that "... Schools should accommodate all children
regardless of their physical, intellectual, emotional, social, linguistic or other conditions" (Salamanca
Framework for Action, Article 3, 1994). This means that it is crucial that schools acknowledge and act
in response to students’ diversity of needs and learning styles (Ashman & Elkins, 2012) through
careful design of curricula, organisation and teaching strategies.
A male student with Fragile X Syndrome often associated with a condition of mental retardation.
However, from a socio-constructivist perspective, this impairment can be supported through
inclusive schooling by social interactions between teachers-students and students-students. It has an
impact on the modification of meanings when teachers and peers exercise their influence over an
area known as "zone of proximal development" (Vygotsky, 1985). Thus in order to have a thoughtful
curricula, organisation and teaching strategies, it is a necessity for teachers to engage, enable,
prepare, encourage and challenge all students through maximising their individual talents and
capabilities. Consequently, it will establish enjoyment for lifelong learning and promote a fair and
just society that values diversity (BosTES, 2002).
EDFD447 – Diversity in the Classroom
Assessment 1
Dijana Jovcevska (S00147602)
C. What is the impact of having a disability? What might be the different perspectives of the
stakeholders involved in the inclusion of students with special needs?
Stakeholders

Student
with
special
needs
Two benefits






Parent/s
of student
with
special
needs
Able to have enriched growing and
learning.
Able to have role models who can facilitate
communication, social and adaptive
behaviours.
Have the opportunity to make new friends
and share new experiences which leads to
greater acceptance from their peers in and
out of school communities.
Increase their self-respect and self-esteem
as they start to make connection with
regular education students and teachers.
(Rationale for and benefits of Inclusion, 2004).
 Parents are able to see the positive growth
of their child’s social, cognitive, language
and emotional development in a regular
classroom.
 Parent/s of student with special need who
are involved in inclusion program fruit the
higher achievement, more positive attitude
and better attendance of their child.
(Parental Involvement in Inclusive Education,
2015)
Classmates  Allow students to be more accepting of
and other
differences among individuals.
students
 Able to develop important skills necessary
for their adult lives – including leadership,
mentoring, tutoring, self-empowerment
and improved their own self-esteem.
(Rationale for and benefits of Inclusion, 2004).
Two possible concerns limitations


Socialisation part of their education
takes precedence over their academic
part of their education
Not having a special education
classroom where there is less
distractions, more one-to-one
interactions and an individualised
academic program, may hinder the
maximum benefit of their education.
(Education Integration, 1998).


Parents may not always agree upon the
decisions made concerning their child or
the school community.
Parents of students with special needs
are not always represented in the
Parent Advisory Councils and School
Planning Councils due to various
reasons.
(Parental Involvement in Inclusive
Education, 2015)
 Inclusive classroom typically more active
than non-inclusive classroom due to few
factors such as students with special
needs will be in and out of the
classroom at various times, one or more
lead teachers. Consequently, it will
create distractions and regular students
may unable to concentrate.
 It may create a degree of jealousy or
resentment among the regular students
and students with special needs due to
‘special’ treatment that the teachers
give – for example, more one-to-one
interaction, modified assignments or
test, or their workload is smaller than
their peers.
(Preparing for Inclusion, 2004).
EDFD447 – Diversity in the Classroom
Assessment 1
Dijana Jovcevska (S00147602)

Teacher




Principal
Creates awareness and appreciation of
individual differences in all students –
utilising students’ strength that can be built
upon to create meaningful school learning
experience.
Allows teachers to learn new teaching skills
and strategies that can help all of their
students
Allows teachers to develop team work skills
such as teach collaborative problem solving
and acquire different ways of perceiving
challenges.


Not given proper training, enough
planning time throughout the day or
appropriate forum for teachers to voice
their opinions, concerns and
suggestions
Some teachers realised that it is difficult
to create inclusive classroom without
the help of others (e.g. teacher’s aide).
However, regular classroom teacher
may experience reluctance and
discomfort as they need to give up
control of their classroom.
(Benefits of Inclusive Classroom for all, 1999).
 Principals who are familiar with the
research literature and know that inclusive
services and supports produce educational
benefits for students with and without
disabilities, teachers, and families.
 Effective principals establish collaborative
teams, bringing together key stakeholders
who represent different perspectives and
roles in the school community.
(Forest & Pearpoint, 2004).
 Principal’s leadership pedagogies may
hinder inclusive practices when the
principal is yet to have leadership based
on “reculturing” and transformational
leadership pedagogies and philosophy
(Schmidt & Venet, 2012).
 Gives unrealistic expectation through
lack of equity in designing “at risk”,
“pass” and “high achieving” standards.
(Principals of Inclusive Schooling, 2005)
(Principals facing inclusive school or
integration, 2012).
EDFD447 – Diversity in the Classroom
Assessment 1
Dijana Jovcevska (S00147602)
E. What are some resources to inform teachers?
In their journal article, Behavioural intervention for problem behaviour in children with Fragile X
Syndrome, Moskowitz, Carr and Durand (2011), focuses on the study of how children with Fragile X
Syndrome behave and interact with their peers as well as possible intervention methods to guide
any misbehaviour performed.
Horner and Carr (1997) believed that the best intervention for problem behaviour with problem
disabilities is creating individualized, multi-component intervention programs built on the results of
ongoing functional assessment. The focus was placed on sleep disturbances, toileting issues, diverse
problem behaviours, language difficulties, deficits in social interaction, eye contact, and increasing
independence. They addressed these areas of concern by demonstrating that behavioural
intervention can be effective in the assessment and treatment of problem behaviour in naturalistic
settings which can also improve family quality of life.
Three children were selected with Fragile X problem behaviour and observed through several steps,
then collaborating with the mothers and tailoring multi-component intervention plans based on the
functional assessment information obtained from baseline observations and parent interviews.
Thereafter, parents were then trained on how to implement those strategies with their children.
Training involved; providing the parent with a written PBS plan, providing the parent with routinespecific implementation checklists, in vivo modelling of interventions for the parent through direct
interaction with the child, educating parents in the use of interventions, behavioural rehearsal and
problem-solving discussions.
Development of the intervention were then assessed and addressed accordingly with the correct
treatment strategy which meant removing reinforcement for problem behaviour or providing
reinforcement for alternative behaviour. Intervention plans were then designed specifically to cater
for each individual child cooperatively with the parents. Intervention sessions occurred over a period
of 6 months. Some of the interventions meant changing and manipulating setting events, increasing
predictability by abiding to consistent schedules.
The results demonstrated improvement such as 93% to 97%.It is encouraging that the results of this
study may inform teachers’ teaching practices by implementing natural intervention to reduce
problem behaviour in children with Fragile X Syndrome in natural settings and variety of natural
contexts.
EDFD447 – Diversity in the Classroom
Assessment 1
Dijana Jovcevska (S00147602)
F.
Reflection on personal learning and future teaching context
Reflecting back critically on this assignment enables me to put an emphasis on my collaborative
work with my partner and focus child diagnosed with problem behaviour and fragile X syndrome.
Through my work together I was able to educate myself positively about students with this
diagnosis. My analysis of the journal article behaviour intervention for problem behaviour in children
with fragile X syndrome (Moskowitz, Carr, Durand, 2011),allowed me as an educator to acquire
knowledge and a positive outlook that we as educators can provide constructive strategies to assist
students with these behaviours.
It is encouraging that the results of these papers suggest that behavioural interventions can be
implemented by natural intervention to reduce problem behavior in children with fragile X
syndrome in natural settings in a variety of natural contexts. As educators there are numerous
resources, websites, literature on intervention ideas, program planning and support for teachers
who work with inclusive classrooms.
Some of the strategies that can be used in the classroom are: seating arrangement, the type of chair
or desk used, movement in classroom, noise and visual distractions, seating arrangement (small
groups), observe styles of learner and teacher, social interactions and levels of
understanding/processing, collaborative work with parents. Therefore as teachers we need to be
well trained in being able to implement; modelling, rules, routines, cooperative learning, differential
reinforcement used appropriately, be positive, predictable, orderly environment, collate class rules
together with students and individual behaviour change strategies implemented appropriately.
Teachers must be able to accept ownership of the process and a commitment to all children in a
class. In addition Florian (2012) and Smith and Tyler (2011) state that teachers must be highly skilled
practitioner. Thus this must be evident on a day to day bases. This is also supported by Jordan, Glen
and McGhie-Richmond (2010) and Sharma (2012) by implicating that positive attitudes must be
evident if inclusive education is to be successful, and teachers must believe that all students are
capable of learning and contributing to the classroom community in positive ways. Therefore
teachers need to be supported by highly trained teaching assistance as Stivers, Francis-Cooper and
Straus (2008) suggest that the involvement of families is very important and essential for the success
of a full inclusive education. Only working collaboratively with families will produce a definate
success rate. Osberg and Biesta (2010) believe that flexible curriculum, individualized plans
contribute to a successful program. This is also true as we need to tailor individualized programs to
each child to be able to fully satisfy their behavior.
Current practice in inclusive education in Australia imply that all jurisdiction provide special
schooling options for students with disabilities and to be able to access various schools across the
country, to provide comprehensive range of pathways, maintain well developed policies to support
inclusive practices, school support, procedures and schooling in regular classrooms to be considered
as the best option whenever possible (Inclusive Education for students with disability. 2013)
My partnership with Ratna was a successful experience. Our first meeting was a productive one as
we were able to divide the work into two parts, both agreeing on the decision. Ratna chose the first
half and myself the second. Thus further following with several discussions about our parts, two to
three meetings, communicating through verbal and technological (email and mobile)
communication. The final result was put together with both reading and providing our input.
Furthermore this partnership proved to be a constructive experience in which we both gave 100%
input in this project. This partnership is evidence and provides groundwork for future collaborative
EDFD447 – Diversity in the Classroom
Assessment 1
Dijana Jovcevska (S00147602)
work between colleagues, families and students which relates to the above article that collaborative
work with families and PBS can stipulate positive interventions in supporting and improving problem
behaviour.
EDFD447 – Diversity in the Classroom
Assessment 1
Dijana Jovcevska (S00147602)
References
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EDFD447 – Diversity in the Classroom
Assessment 1
Dijana Jovcevska (S00147602)
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EDFD447 – Diversity in the Classroom
Assessment 1
Dijana Jovcevska (S00147602)
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EDFD447 – Diversity in the Classroom
Assessment 1
Dijana Jovcevska (S00147602)
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EDFD447 * Diversity in the Classroom - dIJANA jOVCEVSKA