Inclusion from ideology to practice: Developing our understanding from the learner

Dawn Benson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

Realizing the rhetoric of the ideology of including disabled children in education has been a subject of debate in the UK since the nineteenth century (Armstrong 2007), more recent debates have intensified, as Lady Mary Warnock (a principle architect of special and inclusive education) appeared to change her mind about inclusion, intimating that the UK's attempts to include disabled children in mainstream schools have failed (Warnock 2005). Warnock believes that there are a significant number of children who are being included in the education system but who are neglected in terms of the quality of their experience. She champions a view that there is a benefit in maintaining segregated/special schools for some disabled children (ibid). Writers such as Barton (2005) have castigated Warnock by proffering views that inclusion requires educational reform and demands attention to teacher training, resources, curriculum design but above all a social commitment to equality. I, like Moore & Armstrong (2012), argue that inclusive practice can only be achieved through partnerships that include perspectives and experiences of children and young people, parents, siblings, professionals and policy makers with the emphasis upon children and young people. To do so I draw upon a private conversation with Lady Warnock and also my children, both disabled and non-disabled, and include ongoing research, to unpack experiences of inclusion, and identify inclusive practice to provide an agenda for deeply critical thinking about the position of disabled children in schools of the 21st century.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCurriculum Development, Innovation and Reform
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherNova Science Publishers
Pages93-108
ISBN (Print)978-1-62618-428-2
Publication statusPublished - May 2013

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