And the prize for having green eyes goes to…

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Returning to the beginning for just a minute; after all the parental lobbying, meetings, discussions and arguments one day the staff were informed that the school was now an inclusive school. This immediately evoked an intense reaction from teachers and parents. Amongst many objections we heard the following…. This is a school for normal children, these new kids will be rejected by the normal kids, they will never integrate into our school as they have poor social skills, they will frighte...
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Liquorice allsorts: The varieties of being human

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The basis of inclusion, whether pertaining to the psyche, the family, the school, the community or the nation is the reality and importance of diversity. The natural diversity we find inherent in being human, in humans and the human experience. It is how this issue is dealt with that determines whether inclusion of the diverse elements will be part of the whole. Based on my own experience, years of grappling trying to reach an understanding that was respectful, true and useful, observing  peo...
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Winners and losers

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I would walk a mile for supportive education. It’s really meaningful to me. The sense of importance attached to this idea probably emerged as a result of my experiences at school...unsurprisingly. I Would Walk a Mile for a Camel http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIxtnMfCURs Widow of Marlboro Man Sues - Chicago Tribune http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1996-09-13/news/9609140118_1_marlboro-man-lung-cancer-philip-morris When I graduated from primary to high school in Ian Smith’s land ...
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“Educate (and raise) each child according to their way”

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We managed the inclusive and supportive education programme at the school. There were many miracles that we saw at school over the years. By miracle I don’t mean that there was a divine or supernatural component, I am open to that kind of experience but other than being open I have no way of knowing about that kind of “miracle”. Rather by miracle I mean that the thing that occurred ran contrary to the firm expected conviction of what was and what wasn’t thought to be possible. It is thus a wo...
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The irate game ranger’s mother or the best thing we can do for our children.

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As the counsellor at the school each year for the new generation of grade 9 kids we spent time working on subject choices for matric. Over the years I had embarked on a number of approaches in dealing with subject choice. Initially I would arrange for representatives from the University of Cape Town, Cape Technikon and vocational colleges to come and address parents and grade 9 kids. Paths and options would be presented and explained. In those days there was no place for less is more. We were bo...
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ADHD is not always about deficit

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David was in grade 9 at the Middle School. He had been referred by teachers because they found him unable to concentrate and sit still in class whilst they were teaching. So he was psycho-educationally assessed very thoroughly, referred to a medical specialist and came back with a diagnosis of ADHD. I remember having a conversation during handovers with the principal of the High School. He was nothing short of outraged that such words, ADHD, were used when describing David in the classroom. “...
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Jewish Life Article

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School in Harare was a disaster for Julian Leon educationally and psychologically. So it might seem strange that he went on to spend nearly 20 years working at a school as a counsellor helping to develop the inclusive education programme at Herzlia. “Herzlia however,” he says “is more than a school, it is community and family, my own children were there. I had a responsibility to them and all the kids who needed support to try and make their experiences different”. Here Julian tells his story. ...
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