Tom is a four year old boy and is attending preschool for the first time. He suffers from a condition called Cerebral palsy. According to Alvarez, (2014), Cerebral palsy (CP) is an abnormality of motor function, the ability to move and control movements and is acquired at an early age, usually less than a year of age. Tom and his parents represent the Rastafarian culture. His parents have long dreadlocks, but his dreadlocks appear to be in the initial growing stage. He is wearing a foot brace that serves as additional support for his body movements. Tom’s parents are eager to have him enrolled in the school, but is faced with a dilemma during the registration process. The teacher clearly demonstrated her lack of experience and the school’s inability to offer an environment that caters to the diverse needs of children.
I will be examining the types of discrimination highlighted in the case study and reflect on examples of educational practices that respect and recognize the fundamental rights of children. I have explored numerous readings to validate my statements, perspectives and personal belief. My overall reflection is based on an understanding of the importance in creating an environment that is inclusive and represents diversity. I am deeply saddened that both Tom and his parents first encounter in a learning environment is tarnished by a negative experience.
Issues Relating to Discriminatory Practices
There are quite a few issues identified in the case study, the focus here emphasizes the importance of recognizing, addressing, and providing acceptable practice. The teacher reveals that the school is a faith school and Tom will have to cut his hair in order to be accepted. The teacher tells them that meals cannot be provided to him because he will be the only vegetarian in the school. She expresses inexperience and lack of training in being able to care for Tom’s needs. She does not address the accommodations offered by the school to assist Tom both in the indoor and outdoor areas. This significantly contributes to the realization by Tom’s parents that the school is not suited for Tom. The overall attitude of the teacher towards Tom and his parents can be regarded as discriminating and unbecoming of an education professional. In the early childhood setting, it is important to note that children deal with real issues and challenges. Some of these may include; physical disabilities such as hearing/speech impairment, loss of limbs/wheelchair bound, learning disabilities.
The concepts and theories related to inclusion are ever changing and teachers need to increase and develop their knowledge and abilities in order to execute duties that reflect appropriate practices. The teacher in the case study portrays practices and policies that seek to infringe on the rights of children. The teaching profession of today recognizes and value the...