Teaching Geography in Secondary Schools: A Reader

By Maggie Smith | Go to book overview

13

Inclusion in Geography

Maggie Smith

The focus on inclusion in recent years runs through many different aspects of education - it is a feature throughout the new standards for initial teacher educa tion that are being developed by the Teacher Training Agency for 2002; the planning for and monitoring of inclusion is a focus in the inspection of schools by the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted); and inclusion has been the subject of a number of publications from Ofsted, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) and the Department for Education and Employment (DfEE) in the last two years. Although these developments are, at least in part, a reaction to the recommendations of the report of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry (the Macpherson Report) in 1999 (see the box opposite) the focus on inclusion in education goes further than looking at the issues related only to minority ethnic groups. This chapter therefore will firstly investigate the different ways in which the term 'inclusion' is defined in the education field, and then examines some of the implications for teaching and learning Geography in (and out of) the classroom.


What is meant by inclusion?

The relatively recent nature of the discussions and concerns about inclusion means that there is not yet a great deal of literature on this subject, and that which exists deals with generic issues rather than those which are subject specific. The Secondary Education Section Committee (SESC) of the Geographical Association is, however, carrying out a substantial project collating research, individual expertise and experience, and case studies on inclusion in Geography. This chapter has been based on much of that work and the author wishes to express her gratitude to Linda Thompson, the Chair of the Section Committee, and to the members of the Committee, for allowing her access to their work. A full account of the work of the SESC can be found on the Geographical Association's website, which is listed at the end of this chapter.

There are a number of different reference points that might be used when trying to unravel exactly what is meant by inclusion in education. This chapter will be examining three of these - firstly, the statutory statements as set out in the National Curriculums of England, Wales and Northern Ireland which provide details of how inclusion can be incorporated across the curriculum so that all pupils have a chance

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