“We need to change the way we look at education” – ETR

Inclusion Europe did an interview with Anne-Marie Callus. She explains the importance for all children to receive a quality education.  

“We need to change the way we look at education”

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Anne-Marie Callus is a lecturer at the University of Malta.  

She lectures and researches about inclusive education. 

 

Inclusion Europe did an interview with Anne-Marie Callus.  

She explains the importance for all children  

to receive a quality education.  

How do you define inclusive education?  

Inclusion is about asking what we need to do  

to adapt the mainstream education setting  

to meet the individual needs of students with disabilities.  

What are the long-terms effects of inclusion at school?

Having students with and without disabilities in the same classroom  

is an important step towards achieving inclusion in society.

If children with disabilities are sent to segregated schools,  

they will be excluded from society when they are adults.  

If children with disabilities are included in mainstream schools,  

they will be most probably socially included as adults 

How can inclusion of students with intellectual disabilities at university be improved?

Universities need to work 

with self-advocacy organisations.  

Together, they can examine:  

  • what the learning needs of students with intellectual disabilities are; 
  • what wishes students with intellectual disabilities have; 
  • what the university can offer to meet these needs and wishes 

What is the space allocated to the voice of students with intellectual disabilities in inclusion?  

All students with disabilities should have a voice  

in the planning of their education.  

It is often assumed that students with intellectual disabilities  

cannot represent themselves.  

So, they are often excluded  

from the discussion about education.  

 

But they cannot learn  

how to make choices and express their wishes  

unless we give them the opportunities to do so.  

What are the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis on education?

With schools closed, the use of online platforms and other tools of distance learning are very valuable resources.  

 

But some students do not have adequate support at home 

So, they are at risk of losing out their education  

Do you think distance learning can be negative to the education experience of students with intellectual disabilities? 

Distance learning is a very valuable resource 

But it cannot replace the experience of students being  

in the same class together with their teachers 

 

Students with intellectual disabilities require one-to-one support 

It is difficult to provide this support through a computer screen 

 

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