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Intergroup empathy & inclusive learning in secondary schools






What EmPathy Does in Inclusive secondary school settings?

Techniques of fostering inter group empathy in schools

Inclusive Environment and empathy

Inclusive learning Strategies and Inter group emapthy

Inclusive learning leadership and empathy

Parents' attitude to inclusive education and intergroup empathy

by Ritu Tripura and Fatima Mohammadi

Interview with Chattagram leaders' school & college

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Inclusive education means all children are in the same classrooms and the same schools. It allows students from different backgrounds who have traditionally been excluded specifically for their physical disability to learn within diverse groups and to grow side by side.

Empathy ensures that in an inclusive learning environment all students are equally prioritized and teachers work individually to eliminate students’ learning challenges and enable them to participate in the mainstream of education. Teaching students (disabled and non-disabled) to be empathetic is essential for ensuring that learning takes place in a positive environment. To make sure that every student is empowered, teachers in the classrooms must teach students how to create empathic behavior. Even though teachers’ empathy encourages students to develop empathy, students must learn how to do so in the classroom, for example, by not bullying one another but rather working together to learn a difficult topic.

Inclusive education is to strive toward pedagogical practice that supports every teacher and learner to perceive themselves and others as capable of pursuing a path of learning that enables thoughtful and purposeful participation through a friendly and empathic environment. 1. Opportunities to Engage in Meaningful Learning through Diverse Experiences in the same environment- Inclusive schools recognize the importance of providing opportunities for students to interact with and learn alongside peers who have different identities and experiences from their own. 2. Value and regard for different ways of knowing- An inclusive curriculum provides learners with breadth and depth of content study, allowing them to recognize the contributions of diverse people to society and value both complementary and competing perspectives drawn from a variety of experiences. 3. Embracing Differences in Self and Others- If we want students to develop positive self-concepts and respect others, then classroom communities can help children find identity and value in themselves by promoting disability pride, body-positive messages, heritage and language pride, and positive racial identity. 4. Intellectual PursuitInclusive learning entails all students working toward becoming expert learners while understanding and accepting that such expertise develops differently for each individual.

One of the most important steps in ensuring that schools promote intergroup contact among students is for adults to model that type of behavior. If the school’s adult population isn’t diverse enough to meaningfully model intergroup contact, the school has a responsibility to hire enough adults to make that work; it’s really the backbone of our school for students to form connections. If school administration addresses students’ social-emotional needs and their staff receives cultural sensitivity training, they will foster a sense of belonging and acceptance.Schools can also set aside time and space for children of different abilities and socioeconomic backgrounds to interact with one another; these can be playgroups, clubs or activities, or an intentionally diverse shared homeroom. Schools can work very hard to facilitate connection among their students by having everyone go to an advisory group, say a 12 to 15-person group with a teacher, which can be similar to group therapy in some ways.

There are three important phases of the inclusive education model to boost leadership of students including 1) Planning for the development of every child with special needs using the instructional program. 2) Carry out student development activities for inclusive education; and 3) Measuring and evaluate real situations to improve individual student development. In general, this inclusive education model includes an input (aspects of management), process (learning management), and output (developing student quality).

According to Elmira’s (2022) study, most of the families do not know how to build contact with children with disabilities and do not want to work together. Therefore, researchers suggested some strategies to change some interactions between family and school through teachers- – The joint activities of the school with the family should be based on actions and activities aimed at strengthening and enhancing the role of parents; – Trust in the educational capabilities of parents, increasing the level of their pedagogical culture and activity in education; – Pedagogical tact, the inadmissibility of gross interference in the life of the family; – Reliance on the positive qualities of the child, and on the strengths of family education.

According to the findings from the interview at Chattgram Leader's School and College-

  • Even though this school is a role model for other schools in the country of Bangladesh in terms of providing quality education, this institution has still not been able to provide inclusive education. This institution only consider disabled students who have learning disabilities ( which is not a major case, and the challenges can be minimized by the help of the instructor).
  • Those students require a teacher who supports them in every activity. In response to the asked questions, most of the disabled students shared both positive and negative experiences of being vulnerable and not being able to cope with the non-disabled students inside the classroom and in the playground. They often are neglected and rejected to play with other classmates in the playground.
  • Even though they have close friends (non-disabled) who share their homework, help to learn mathematics, and write the homework, they are given no class activities such as group works, project-based work, or any pedagogical inclusive activities inside the classroom to practice empathy.
  • Surprisingly, teachers’ Key Informant Interviews (KII) revealed that parents do not want to agree with the instructor that their child needs extra support and has learning disabilities due to shyness and fear of being excluded, which creates more challenges to help the children to teach inside the classroom.
  • Furthermore, after examining children’s academic performance, they refer those children to special education “Proyash” which is an Institute of special education. However, this excludes a large group of people (particularly who are capable to learn with other children e.g. physically challneged) which hinders the growth of a society through ensuring equality and equity.
  • Moreover, KII with the teachers and the principal revealed that due to the lack of physical infrastructure, and lack of innovative and inclusive pedagogical approaches, lack of human resources e.g. efficient and trained teachers as well as sufficient teachers in schools are making difficulties to make the school inclusive for all.
  • Besides, the National Education Policy of Bangladesh does not have an effective policy and implementation to ensure that schools must take physically disabled students who can study along with others. Because schools often reject disabled students to get admission.