An online training program for teachers is transforming classrooms for students with disabilities and/or learning difficulties.
Since completing the Inclusion Online training and adopting the Inclusion approach, Seymour College teacher Rachael Broughton says her Year 6 students are much happier, more engaged and better behaved.
'We also have a much better attendance rate. Our classroom is a fun, safe place to be,' she says.
Ms Broughton has always had a drive for excellence in special education, reflected in a 21-year teaching career and personal experience. She has a Masters of Education in special education needs, plus her daughter has dyslexia.
To further her professional development, Ms Broughton completed four courses covering dyslexia, hearing loss, communication needs and Autism Spectrum disorder in the classroom.
The Inclusion Online courses give teachers the skills and confidence they need to modify their teaching methods for students with different learning needs. They learn about how each student learns, what engages them and what triggers negative emotions.
'The training has made me realise how every student is an individual with their own strengths and way of learning.'
'It has opened my eyes to what I was doing wrong in the classroom — like talking too much!' Ms Broughton says.
Ms Broughton now tutors her colleagues and says feedback from fellow teachers has been overwhelmingly positive.
Inclusion training has improved the way teachers relate to, and teach, every single student.
'It's not just those of my students who are on the spectrum or have learning difficulties — the student-centred approach works for everyone,' Ms Broughton says.
Principal Gail Hardman says it confirms the belief that every child can learn given the right opportunities.
'The training has increased our staff's understanding of reasonable adjustments that can be made, so each student's point of need is met.'
The Inclusion Online learning portal offers teachers and other educators in Victorian Government Schools a suite of free professional learning courses.
The program was developed in the United Kingdom and has been adopted in many parts of Australia. The Victorian Government is a partner in the program.
See: Inclusion Online
Inclusion training reflects our vision that all Victorian students should have access to a quality education, no matter their background or circumstances.
Students achieve better learning, engagement and wellbeing outcomes when they receive personalised support that aligns with their individual learning needs.
Work is underway to better support schools to recognise and meet the aspirations and needs of students with disabilities.
For more information, see: