What is Inclusive Education?
Inclusive learning provides all students with access to flexible learning choices and effective paths for achieving educational goals in spaces where they experience a sense of belonging. In an inclusive education environment, all children, regardless of ability or disability, learn together in the same age-appropriate classroom. It is based on the understanding that all children and families are valued equally and deserve access to the same opportunities.
Inclusive learning goes hand in hand with Universal Design for Learning (UDL), a set of principles for curriculum development that gives all students an equal opportunity to learn. According to the National Center on Universal Design for Learning, “UDL provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for everyone — not a single, one-size-fits-all solution but rather flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs.” UDL shares many commonalities with the Theory of Multiple Intelligences espoused by Harvard Professor Howard Gardner, whose work documented “the extent to which students possess different kinds of minds and therefore learn, remember, perform and understand in different ways.”