What Is Inclusive Education and How Will This Shape Your Teaching Practice?

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What is inclusive education and how will this shape your teaching practice?

3142/7278EBL – Assignment 1


Introduction An inclusive education upholds the ideals of an equitable society where access to and successful participation in education are considered to be the right of every person in that society. This paper will argue that whilst some steps have been taken to ensure equity in education for all, there is still a long way to go before Australia can provide a truly inclusive educational experience for all participants. It will be shown that there are deficit based and systemic approaches to exclusion and that rather than promote inclusiveness; these approaches place the blame upon either individuals or institutions for
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‘Needs’ according to Thomas &


Vaughan (2004, p. 19), can be seen as a ‘bottomless pit’ of problems. Roaf and Bines (cited in Thomas & Vaughan, 2004, p. 16), suggest that rights and opportunities are a more effective way of describing the educational needs of all learners, whether ‘special’ or not. Placing the onus on students to make themselves fit the education mould will never lead to successful outcomes for everyone, nor does it encourage a cohesive and inclusive society, therefore deficit based approaches are not acceptable.

The second explanation is the ‘systemic’ approach which places responsibility on the system for poor learning outcomes. The process of trying to include people by ‘normalising’ them is a product of ideologies which aim to contribute to the labour market (Preece, 2001, p. 213). People who are believed to have no perceived economic value are disregarded instead of value being attributed to their own individual identities and experiences (p. 213). McIntyre, Volkoff, Egg, & Solomon (2004, p.18) suggests that equity is a highly variable concept, dependant upon the systems that support the state and in order to achieve equity the ideologies underpinning society need to be examined. These ideologies are reflected in the institutions that provide education and are often not conducive to inclusivity. Considine, et al, (2005) describe
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