120129 Embracing Diversity Toolkit for creating inclusive learning friendly environments

120129 Embracing Diversity Toolkit for creating inclusive learning friendly environments

UNESCO Bangkok

The education of children with diverse backgrounds and abilities remains a major challenge in the Asia-Pacific region. In April 2000, the World Education Forum held in Dakar, Senegal, set as its second goal: “ensuring that by 2015 all children, particularly girls, children in difficult circumstances and those belonging to ethnic minorities, have access to and complete free and compulsory primary education of good quality.” Realizing this goal means increasing school attendance and completion rates; eliminating bias within
schools, national education systems, and curricula; and eliminating the social and cultural discrimination that limits the demand for schooling for children with diverse backgrounds and abilities.

Inequality in education remains a matter of concern for all countries, yet discrimination continues to permeate schools and educational systems. To bridge this gap, it is critical to sensitize teachers and education administrators about the importance of inclusive education. It is equally critical to give them practical tools to analyze their situation and ensure that all children are in school and learning to their fullest capacity, as well
as ensuring equity in the classroom, in learning materials, in teaching and learning processes, in school policies, and in monitoring learning outcomes.

This Toolkit accepts this challenge and offers a holistic, practical perspective on how schools and classrooms can become more inclusive and learning-friendly. It builds on experience gained over many years and on the strategies and tools developed by many organizations and individuals working on inclusive education and, more recently, in the area of establishing Child-Friendly Schools. This Toolkit is meant to be userfriendly and a means of inspiration for teachers who find themselves working in ever more diverse classrooms.