“The measure of a society is how it looks after its weakest members”
“The essence of our humanity is how we include the excluded in our society”
Anthony de Mello
The White Paper on Adult Education Learning for Life states that adult education should be underpinned by three core principles (pp12-13):
(a) a systemic approach which recognises that the interface between the different levels of educational provision, and the quality of the early school experience have a critical influence on the students’ motivation and ability to access and progress in adult education and training.
(b) equality of access, participation and outcome for participants in adult education, with pro-active strategies to counteract barriers arising from differences of socio-economic status, gender, ethnicity and disability.
(c) inter-culturalism – the need to frame educational policy and practice in the context of serving a diverse population as opposed to a uniform one, and the development of curricula, materials, training and in-service, modes of assessment and delivery methods which accept such diversity as the norm. This refers not only to combating racism and encouraging participation of immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers in education, but also to a recognition that many minority groups such as travellers, people with disabilities, older adults, and participants in disadvantaged areas may have distinct needs and cultural patterns which must be respected and reflected in an educational context.
Killester College of Further Education is fully committed to these three core principles and to ensuring that they are fundamental to the implementation of all policies in the College.
Being a City of Dublin ETB College, the management and staff of Killester College have a strong sense of social justice and, as such, continually strive to address the agenda of social inclusion. Consequently, Killester College is committed to being an Inclusive College. We are committed to creating an appropriate learning environment in which individual differences are accepted and embraced – a learning environment which concentrates on understanding how people learn so that we can better help them to learn. We strive to avoid the situation whereby the difficulty or deficit is located with the student but instead on the capacity of the College to understand and respond to the individual student’s requirements.
Central to the approach of Killester College is our approach to learning which we term Inclusive Learning. We believe that it is an approach that will benefit all and, indeed, represents the best approach to learning and teaching yet articulated. Inclusive Learning places the focus on learning and the students’ requirements. It involves the ‘match’ between how students learn best, what they need and want to learn and what the College provides. The Inclusive Learning approach does not deny individual differences but addresses them within the learning environment.
This Policy on Inclusive Learning will underpin Killester College’s approach to this challenge and builds upon the good practice and commitment of this College to the concept of Lifelong Learning.
In implementing this policy the College aims to provide the highest quality learning experience for all students. We will achieve this by striving to ensure that being an Inclusive College means that we have an Inclusive Curriculum and an Inclusive Classroom.
We will seek to create a learning environment in which all students will be able to:
• gain entry to the curriculum area they have chosen
• experience learning opportunities and support that will enable them to achieve their goals and progress to their chosen next step
• receive the encouragement to take responsibility for their own learning within a supportive framework.
Our goal is to empower all of our students so that they can:
- Learn independently
- Work independently
- Live independently
In short, we strive to empower them with the capacity to improve their Quality of Life.