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  • Writer's pictureTosca Killoran

Embracing Learning Differences in International Baccalaureate Schools: Breaking the Stigma of Disabilities with SENIA

Learning differences are gaining increased recognition in the dynamic landscape of international education. International Baccalaureate (IB) schools, known for their commitment to holistic education, are at the forefront of creating inclusive environments for students with diverse learning needs. However, despite the strides made, there is still work to be done in breaking down the stigma surrounding disabilities. This article explores the challenges and progress in embracing learning differences within IB schools, focusing on the pioneering work of the Special Education Network in Asia (SENIA).

Understanding Learning Differences in International Baccalaureate Schools:

International Baccalaureate programs prioritize the development of well-rounded individuals with a global perspective. As an IB School, ISHCMC aims to nurture students who are not only academically proficient but also socially and emotionally intelligent. In pursuing these goals, IB schools recognize the inherent diversity in their student body, including those with learning differences.

Learning support specialists play a crucial role in identifying and addressing the unique needs of students. They collaborate with teachers, parents, and administrators to create tailored interventions that enable every student to thrive. The IB framework encourages a learner-centered approach, fostering an inclusive ethos that celebrates diversity.

The Role of SENIA in Promoting Equity:

SENIA, a network dedicated to supporting students with special educational needs in Asia, has been instrumental in advancing the cause of equity within international schools. By providing a platform for educators, specialists, and parents to collaborate, SENIA facilitates sharing best practices and disseminating the latest research in special education.

SENIA promotes inclusive practices beyond mere accommodation, emphasizing the value of diversity in the learning environment. Their conferences bring together experts who share insights on effective teaching strategies, innovative interventions, and the latest advancements in assistive technology.

Breaking the Stigma:

Despite the progress, the stigma associated with disabilities persists. Changing perceptions and fostering understanding is a collective effort that involves educators, parents, and the broader community. One way to initiate this change is by participating in events like the SENIA conference.

The SENIA conference serves as a hub for discussions on creating stigma-free environments within schools. Workshops and sessions at the conference delve into neurodiversity, inclusion strategies, and the importance of embracing different learning styles. By attending, parents can gain valuable insights into supporting their children and contribute to the broader goal of breaking down societal stigmas associated with learning differences.

How Parents Can Contribute:

Parents play a pivotal role in creating inclusive communities. By registering independently for the SENIA conference using the code "ishcmcparent," they gain access to a wealth of knowledge and actively contribute to promoting equity in education. The 10% discount extended to parents by SENIA is a gesture that acknowledges the importance of their involvement in their children's learning journey.

ISHCMC stands as a beacon of inclusive education, valuing and nurturing the diverse talents of every student. The work of SENIA further amplifies this commitment by fostering collaboration and understanding among educators and parents. By attending the SENIA conference, parents can become advocates for change, breaking the stigma surrounding disabilities and contributing to the creation of educational environments that celebrate the unique strengths of each learner.

  • Conference Dates: March 1-3, 2024

  • Location: International School Ho Chi Minh City (Secondary Campus)

  • Registration Code: Parents can register independently for the conference and receive a 10% discount on the registration using the code: ishcmcparent 



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