The Inclusive Concept of Montessori Education and the Human Right to Education for the Disabled

A Possible Model for an Inclusive German Education System


Term Paper, 2012

14 Pages


Excerpt

Table of contents

1. Introduction

2. Disambiguation of integration and inclusion
2.1 Connection of the two terms in pedagogical discourse
2.2 Definition and demarcation of the concepts of integration and inclusion

3. The legally anchored right to inclusion in the German education system as a human right
3.1 The Salamanca Declaration
3.2 The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

4. School inclusion in Montessori pedagogy
4.1 Maria Montessori and her educational concept
4.2 Inclusive approaches in Montessorian practice

5. Extended final part

Bibliography
Books used
Journal articles used
Internet sources used

1. Introduction

Integration and inclusion are (pedagogically) central concepts of the present, which are increasingly widespread in the media today. Not infrequently, they are equated with each other in everyday use, because one might think that the word inclusion has replaced that of integration. Behind these two terms there are different demands and goals, which play a very important role in the field of pedagogy, including in the field of school. What integration and inclusion pedagogy have in common is the claim to teach children and young people together, regardless of their individual abilities and disabilities as well as their social, ethical and cultural background. Since 2009, Germany has committed itself to establishing an inclusive education system, thus ensuring joint education for children with and without disabilities. However, the question always arises as to how this can be implemented. If you look at Montessori pedagogy, it becomes clear that there is already a long experience with an inclusive concept.

The following work will focus on the inclusion of people with disabilities in the area of school. First of all, it will be shown why the words integration and inclusion often appear side by side, and how they are related to each other, especially in pedagogical discourse. Then I will define the term inclusion. To this end, it is necessary to distinguish this from that of integration in order to get a clear picture of the points in which the two differ from each other.

In the following part of this work, I will make it clear that providing an inclusive school system has been an obligation for Germany since the signing of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It is intended to show how this human rights came into being and then article 24, which enshrines this in law, will be examined in more detail.

As one way to realize the inclusion of disabled people in the school sector, Maria Montessori with her educational concept as well as the inclusive approaches of Montessori pedagogy − as they are implemented in practice − will be considered.

Finally, in the final part of this work, I would like to draw a conclusion as to whether this inclusive concept meets the requirements of Article 24, whether certain disadvantages result from this concept and whether it can ultimately serve as a model for the expansion of the inclusive education system in Germany.

2. Disambiguation of integration and inclusion

2.1 Connection of the two terms in pedagogical discourse

In the discourse on integration and inclusion, the two terms imply the pursuit of participation for all people in all areas of the community. This participation should therefore be equal, equal, barrier-free and unlimited. Thus, finally, a human right can be realized (cf. Feuser 2010, p. 17): "The integration and the being lifted into social societal conditions" (Stein et al. 2010, p. 11).

According to Prof. Dr. Georg Feuser, who has been dealing intensively with the topic of integration and inclusion in the context of disability education for years, integration includes the goal that all children and young people can learn together, regardless of their different learning opportunities, their level of development and their impairments. Even another language, religion or nationality must not stand in the way of joint teaching. According to Feuser, such an integrative system in the areas of education, training and teaching, which does not require selection and segregation, can then be regarded as an inclusive one from a technical point of view. He is therefore of the opinion that the integration of disabled people into the classes consisting of non-disabled persons is the premise for the implementation/emergence of an inclusive education system. Thus, by taking place a change in pedagogical practice towards an equal and equal participation in education for all people, inclusive fields in the field of learning could finally arise (cf. Feuser 2010, p. 19 f.).

Such or similar views are repeatedly expressed by other authors in the literature on the inclusive education system, such as the special education teacher Prof. Dr. Alfred Sander:

"Inclusion can be understood as an optimized and expanded integration: optimized by the reduction of the often still observable weaknesses of integration practice and extended by the inclusion of all children and adolescents with special educational needs of whatever kind" (Sander 2008, p. 350).

You can already see here that the two terms are not really separable from each other. That's why they so often appear in contact with each other. In the discussion of the term, the concept of integration is also often mentioned as the "to be overcome" and the concept of inclusion as "the further one" (cf. Stein et al. 2010, p.10). However, they are not to be used interchangeably, as they show an important difference, which is explained below.

2.2 Definition and demarcation of the concepts of integration and inclusion

The term integration means "inclusion" or "inclusion". So it's about "(...) To include people with special needs in a group of people or a system of people without disabilities, i.e. to integrate individuals who were previously excluded (...)" (Eckert et al. 2010, p. 8). The disabled individuals are therefore included in society or in the education system and accepted by it, but they are still regarded as a separate group due to their influences.

Inclusion on the other hand, the words "inclusion" or "inclusion" are synonymous, which means that no one is excluded from the outset and thus no integration is necessary. People with disabilities are therefore no longer considered and treated separately from non-disabled people. That is why the need to integrate disabled people into the learning groups of non-disabled people is eliminated. The idea of inclusion implies the goal of granting a common participation in social life and thus also a common learning from the outset, ignoring the diversity of the individuals (cf. ibid.). People with and without disabilities are therefore not considered to be two different groups. In this way, a heterogeneous or diverse class can develop.

However, the implementation of the idea of inclusion does not only affect the pedagogical level, but above all also the (educational) political one. The claim that people with special needs in Germany have access to mainstream schools is now a human right in the form of Article 24 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (BRK). The next section will show how this human right came into being and what aspects it contains.

3. The legally anchored right to inclusion in the German education system as a human right

3.1 The Salamanca Declaration

A paradigm shift in education policy was already introduced in 1994 by the World Conference of UNESCO[1] in Salamanca, Spain, with regard to a paedda-gogik prepared for special needs (cf. Eckert 2010, p. 8). The articles of the so-called Salamanca Declaration were signed by the 92 UNESCO member states existing at the time – including Germany (see Van der Wolf 2010, p. 76). The resulting demand is to ensure that all children receive an education that does not require discrimination and is of a high quality. This implies that people may not be selected because of their special needs, i.e. because of their disabilities (cf. Eckert 2010, p. 8).

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Details

Title
The Inclusive Concept of Montessori Education and the Human Right to Education for the Disabled
Subtitle
A Possible Model for an Inclusive German Education System
College
Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg
Author
Year
2012
Pages
14
Catalog Number
V1161563
Language
English
Keywords
inclusive, concept, montessori, education, human, right, disabled, possible, model, german, system
Quote paper
Eva Herrmann (Author), 2012, The Inclusive Concept of Montessori Education and the Human Right to Education for the Disabled, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/1161563

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