Category Archives: Inclusive Education SIG

Posts from members of the BERA Inclusive Education special interest group.

Extending opportunities to participate in learning

Jenny Sprattpost by JENNIFER SPRATT
School of Education, University of Aberdeen

The legacy left by the IQ test is an assumption that human intelligence is an innate and immutable personal attribute, that is normally distributed throughout the population (on a bell-shaped curve). This can be seen to have far reaching effects on the organisation of education as children are categorised according to whether they are thought  to be ‘high ability’, ‘low ability’ or perhaps deemed to have ‘special educational needs’. The presumption that we can make judgements about future ‘potential’ on the evidence of current performance continues to legitimate practices of providing different educational experiences for children according to their perceived ability. Continue reading Extending opportunities to participate in learning

Nowhere that fits: the realities of schooling for families of children with SEN

Meanu Bajwa-Patelpost by MEANU BAJWA-PATEL
School of Education, University of Northampton

One of the key aspects of an alternative policy manifesto must be a more practical and comprehensive approach to inclusion in our schools and, ultimately, our society. The Children and Families Act, which recently gained Royal Assent, outlines some changes to the special educational needs and disability (SEND) systems and evaluations of the pilot projects show some positive progress. However, the Act does not impact on the power differentials between parents and professionals within the education system and does nothing to address the lack of knowledge and understanding of SEND present within many schools and local authorities. Continue reading Nowhere that fits: the realities of schooling for families of children with SEN

Students’ voices, democratic schooling and inclusion

Hugh Busherpost by HUGH BUSHER
School of Education, Leicester University

Engaging with students’ voices by listening to the multiplicity of their views on learning and teaching helps teachers to construct learning communities and to tune teaching and learning activities to the social and cognitive needs of students. In giving students some ownership of the educational processes by engaging in dialogues about the limits of choice in constructing teaching and learning to achieve curriculum objectives, in particular socio-economic and policy contexts, teachers encourage students to develop positive and pro-active identities as learners. These discourses demonstrate teachers’ respect for students and help students understand educational decision-making processes, as well as allowing them the opportunity to raise critical questions about those processes, developing and enhancing their skills as citizens and preparing them for adult life. Continue reading Students’ voices, democratic schooling and inclusion

Government policy and where pupils with SEN / disabilities go to school

Brahm Norwichpost by BRAHM NORWICH
Professor of Educational Psychology and Special Educational Needs, University of Exeter

This short piece summaries two trends, the first a longer term trend and the second a short term trend. It is suggested that they may be related:

1. The 30 year trend to reduced national placements in special schools has been reversed:
From 1983, when the 1981 legislation established the general principle to establish the ordinary school placement of children with special educational needs (SEN) was implemented, there was a year on year decrease in the percentage of pupils in English special schools till the early 2000s. Continue reading Government policy and where pupils with SEN / disabilities go to school