• The Open University

Understanding Inclusive Education: Current Approaches

Explore current policies and practices relating to children’s needs in inclusive care and learning environments.

Father and son playing with play dough
  • Duration

    5 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
  • Included in an ExpertTrack

    Course 2 of 3
  • Get full ExpertTrack access

    $39/monthFind out more

Unlock the knowledge and confidence to remove barriers to inclusion

This five-week course from The Open University will develop your awareness of current perspectives relating to the needs of babies and children under 12 years old who are perceived as having special educational needs and/or a disability (SEND), or in need of additional support.

You’ll start by exploring ideas of inclusion and inclusive practice in different care and educational settings with a focus on how it’s understood, and the principles and barriers to applying it.

Deepen your understanding of conditions relating to children with special educational needs

You’ll look at the process of early identification and assessment of special educational needs and disabilities.

Engaging case studies will develop your understanding of how certain conditions are identified, including cognitive and learning, communication and interaction, social and mental health, and sensory or physical needs. These include Corley who shares his experiences of living with severe developmental verbal dyspraxia.

Discover the importance of listening to children, families, and professionals

Through video and audio clips, you’ll learn about the importance of engaging parents, carers, and professionals in decision-making processes relating to children. You’ll also examine how social, cultural, and language differences impact on views of special educational needs and disability.

By the end, you’ll have the knowledge to assess and support children’s unique individual needs. Your learning will give you the confidence to challenge and remove barriers to inclusion in care and education and create plans that improve the lives of the children and young people you support.

What topics will you cover?

  • Contemporary and international perspectives on inclusion  
  • Inclusivity and exclusivity in practice 
  • Early identification and a graduated assessment model 
  • Building inclusive communities with others 
  • Cultural differences in special educational needs and/or disability 

Prove you're job ready

Highlight the new, job-relevant skills you’ve gained and supplement existing qualifications with a hard-earned, industry-specific digital certificate – plus one for every course within your ExpertTrack.

  • Learn the latest in your chosen industry or subject.
  • Complete each course and pass assessments.
  • Receive certificates validated by the educating organisation.
  • Impress employers with learning outcomes you can add to your CV.
  • Make your career dreams a reality.

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Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of inclusive practices in care/educational contexts
  • Describe how to engage with parents/carers and other professionals 
  • Explain how cultural differences can impact on the lives of children with SEND
  • Explore four key areas of educational needs and the specific conditions of Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Dyspraxia 
  • Assess current approaches to identification, assessment, and provision available for children perceived as having special educational needs and/or a disability

Who is the course for?

This course is for learners who would like to develop their skills and knowledge of special educational needs and disability.  It will enhance the professional development of those working or volunteering in care or educational settings with children aged under 12, including pre-school education and care settings for babies and children aged 0-5 years. It’s also suitable for parents and carers who wish to extend their knowledge in the area.  

Learning will be beneficial to anyone seeking a career in teaching or supporting learners in schools or other contexts. It will also be useful for professionals working in agencies across the health and social care sectors, for example social workers or health visitors. 

Who will you learn with?

I am an early years consultant and lecturer. I own a small group of private day nurseries. I am really interested in special educational needs, inclusion. I have two sons and three grandchildren.

Who developed the course?

The Open University

As the UK’s largest university, The Open University (OU) supports thousands of students to achieve their goals and ambitions via supported distance learning, helping to fit learning around professional and personal life commitments.

  • Established

  • Location

    Milton Keynes, UK
  • World ranking

    Top 510Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020

About this ExpertTrack

Gain vital insights and perspectives to help you provide more inclusive support for children with special educational needs.

Start learning today - free 7-day trial

After your free trial you can:

  • Pay $39 per month to keep learning online
  • Have complete control over your subscription; you can cancel any time
  • Work at your own pace and set your own deadlines at every stage
  • Only pay while you’re learning; the subscription will cancel automatically when you finish
  • Complete online assessments to test your knowledge and prove your skills
  • Earn digital course certificates and a final award that you can share online, with potential employers, and your professional network
  • Keep access to the content of courses you complete even after your subscription ends

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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