At the end of this chapter, you will:
be able to discuss the principles of inclusivity
recognise the diversity of students' needs
describe ways in which educators can be more inclusive in their teaching, specifically in respect of science
demonstrate how the EYLF supports the educator in making decisions relating to inclusive practices in science.
Our system of education and care is based on the premise that all children have the right to equal opportunities to experience life and learning to the same extent. Yet, the children in early childhood settings arrive with a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences based on social and cultural norms in their lives. How the early childhood practitioner actually puts this into practice in a science context is the focus of this chapter.
Principles of inclusivity
Social justice and equity are important elements of early childhood services in which there is an emphasis on including all students in the everyday life of classroom settings. Accordingly, this emphasis has been instrumental in changing both policy and practice to meet the needs of a diverse range of learners. In particular, people who were often discriminated against and segregated in the past on the grounds of their religion, race, ethnicity, sexuality, disability or gender are a central focus of this educational reform. An outcome of the reform is the focus on inclusive education that is based on the right of all students to access and participate in general education.