The issue in this case
In the video “Kids…why can’t They Be Like We Were—Perfect In Every Way” the most important issue is the inequalities faced by some people in the society. From the video, it is evident that some groups of people in society suffer from discrimination either based on their age, nationality, gender or even their past experiences. A case in point is the experience of young children in Pakistan who are exposed to a lot of cruelty, as indicated in the article.
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According to Campaign for Labor Rights (2004), these children are forced to work for an international company for long hours at very little pay. Even after doing good work, their efforts are not recognized as depicted by the classroom experiment where no child wrote about the origin of the ball. This video highlights a situation whereby people are only concerned with the end results of a process and do not honour the efforts dedicated to making the process a success.
As the child’s efforts in Pakistan, teachers efforts in making the education system success on many occasions is not honoured. In the movie, Cole, a child with special needs, is put in a normal class. This exposes him to several challenges, given the fact that he is the only child with special needs in the classroom. On the other hand, the classroom teacher is expected to ensure that learning continues normally in the class.
The presence of Cole in the classroom distracts the attention of both the teacher and that of the other children. The community expects the teacher to incorporate Cole in his classroom and change his behaviour to that of a normal child, while at the same time attending to the other children. The main issue in this video is the challenges faced by a teacher when special needs children are added to his or her class. Despite these challenges, this video goes ahead to show how the teacher’s effort of ensuring the success of each and every child in the classroom is not recognized.
Advantages and disadvantages of including a special-Needs child in a normal Classroom
Adding a special-needs child in a normal class is both a blessing and a curse to all the members of a classroom. Among the advantages of adding a special-needs child in a normal classroom is that the other members get an opportunity to interact and learn about this category of people. In this case, the special-needs child will act as an example to the other members of the class. In return, the special-needs child will benefit from the love and protection.
The special-needs child’s interaction with the other members of the class will give him or her sense of belonging. As a result, the self-esteem of the special-needs child will be boosted, and the child will adopt a positive attitude in life. In the case of Cole, he including him in a normal class will give him an opportunity to learn from others (Davey, 2005).
By socializing with other children, his behaviour will be influenced by that of the majority, and he may end up being just like normal children. In this case, the normal children will assume the role of role models to the special needs child, and this will influence his behaviour greatly, as indicated by the Global Exchange. The other members of the classroom will get a chance of learning from experience and thus change the negative perception towards special-needs children held by many people.
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On the other side, adding a special needs child in a classroom may disrupt the attention of both the teacher the other children. This may affect the normal learning and teaching in a classroom difficult. For instance, the teacher may be required to alter his or her teaching strategies in favour of the special-needs child. This usually slows down the process of learning and teaching, which lowers the overall performance of the classroom.
In my opinion, special-needs children should be taught separately from normal children to avoid negative effects on teaching and learning the class. Special-needs children require the attention of specialized teachers. Teachers trained to teach normal children my not fully meet the needs of special-needs children. In addition, adding a special-needs child in a class burdens the teacher. Schools should therefore be constructed with special classes for special-needs children and employ teachers specialized in this category of children. With this setting, the special-needs children can interact with the normal children during non-class time.
The responsibility of teachers
Society measures the performance of teachers on the general performance of their classes. This, therefore, means that anything that may distract the process of teaching and learn in a classroom should be avoided. Furthermore, teachers are trained differently according to the needs of the learners. Teachers trained to teach normal children may not be in a position to meet the needs of special-needs children. Special-needs children should, therefore, be taught by teachers trained to teach special education. Adding a special-needs child to a normal class, as discussed above, will not only divert the attention of other children but also make the teacher’s role much harder. Attending two categories of children in a single class may be very challenging to the teacher (Davey, 2005).
I am of the opinion that special needs children should not be added in a normal classroom. Adding special needs children to a normal class will overwork the teacher and lower his or her performance. Education is supposed to be a wholesome, positive change in the mind, body and soul of the learner. Teachers are expected by the community to perform this responsibility and are judged according to the degree of influence on the children. This will only be achieved when barriers to teaching and learning are removed from the classroom.
In-class strategies to deal with special-needs children
In the event that special–needs children are added to a normal classroom, some modifications need to be done in order to make the process of teaching and to learn success. Among these strategies includes training teachers to tackle various categories of children.
This will empower the teacher with knowledge on how to teach and control a classroom with a mixture of normal and special-needs children. Secondly, the physical environment ion the classroom should be modified to cater for the special needs of the children. For example, the class environment should allow children with physical disabilities to move around. Thirdly, the curriculum should be adjusted according to the needs of the learners. It should allow for several breaks in between the learning process for the special-needs children to rest. Finally, teachers should socialize normal children with special-needs children to ensure harmony in the classroom.
Campaign for Labor Rights. (2004). Coca Cola and Anti-Union Violence. Web.
Davey, M. (2005). A child held behind. The New York Times. Web.
Global Exchange, (n.d.) Mexico and Human Rights. Web.