Inclusion: The Dynamic of School Development

Inclusion: The Dynamic of School Development

Inclusion: The Dynamic of School Development

Inclusion: The Dynamic of School Development

Synopsis

Inclusion has been adopted as a policy goal in many countries. It is one of the buzzwords in education and a topic of much theoretical debate, often without allowing for real life in today's schools.

Bridging the gap between theoretical discussions and the real attitudes and experiences of teachers, this book:

  • Features case studies of inclusion initiatives in English secondary schools
  • Illustrates the complex nature of the school development process
  • Describes teachers' attitudes towards inclusion
  • Challenges the idea that there needs to be consensus among school staff for inclusion to work.
Inclusion: The Dynamic of School Development also examines the dominant influence of the discourse of deviance on the history of education policy in the West during the twentieth century. The book concludes by articulating an alternative vision of the relationship between education and society for education policy, pedagogy and the curriculum.

Excerpt

'Inclusion' has become something of an international buzz-word. It's difficult to trace its provenance or the growth in its use over the last two decades, but what is certain is that it is now de rigeur for mission statements, political speeches and policy documents of all kinds. It has become a cliché – obligatory in the discourse of all right-thinking people.

The making of 'inclusion' into a cliché, inevitable as it perhaps is, is nevertheless disappointing, since it means that the word is often merely a filler in the conversation. It means that people can talk about 'inclusion' without really thinking about what they mean, merely to add a progressive gloss to what they are saying. Politicians who talk casually about the need for a more inclusive society know that they will be seen as open-minded and enlightened, and will be confident in the knowledge that all sorts of difficult practical questions can be circumvented. If this happens, and if there is insufficient thought about the nitty gritty mechanics (what the Fabians called 'gas and water' matters), those who do work hard for inclusion can easily be dismissed as peddling empty promises.

This series is dedicated to examining in detail some of the ideas which lie behind inclusive education. Inclusion, much more than 'integration' or 'mainstreaming', is embedded in a range of contexts – political and social as well as psychological and educational – and our aim in this series is to make some examination of these contexts. In providing a forum for discussion and critique we hope to provide the basis for a wider intellectual and practical foundation for more inclusive practice in schools and elsewhere.

In noting that inclusive education is indeed about more than simply 'integration', it is important to stress that inclusive education is really about extending the comprehensive ideal in education. Those who talk about it are therefore less concerned with children's supposed 'special educational needs' (and it is becoming increasingly difficult meaningfully to define what such needs are) and more concerned with developing an education system in which tolerance, diversity and equity are striven for. To aim for such developments is . . .

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