Shared pedagogical understandings: schoolwide inclusion practices supporting learner needs

Article


Abawi, Lindy and Oliver, Mark. 2013. "Shared pedagogical understandings: schoolwide inclusion practices supporting learner needs." Improving Schools. 16 (2), pp. 159-174. https://doi.org/10.1177/1365480213493711
Article Title

Shared pedagogical understandings: schoolwide inclusion practices supporting learner needs

ERA Journal ID19950
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsAbawi, Lindy (Author) and Oliver, Mark (Author)
EditorsO'Neill, Shirley and Abawi, Lindy
Journal TitleImproving Schools
Journal Citation16 (2), pp. 159-174
Number of Pages16
Year2013
Place of PublicationLondon, United Kingdom
ISSN1365-4802
1475-7583
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/1365480213493711
Web Address (URL)http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1365480213493711
Abstract

Educational perspectives that recommend inclusion of children with special needs into mainstream classrooms remain a controversial topic. The Melbourne Declaration declares that all young Australians should be supported to become successful learners; confident and creative individuals; and active and informed citizens. So the question remains how is this to be achieved in ways that support all learners to reach their full potential regardless of their individual talents or learning challenges. Funding to support students with special needs is not staying in touch with the increasing numbers of students with special needs, many of whom are entering into mainstream schools and classrooms, thus schools must find effective ways of meeting a wide diversity of need. Creative and blended modes of support and inclusion must be trialled, critiqued and adjusted to meet the needs of each specific context. Practices that may be successful in one context with one cohort of students will not necessarily work within a different context and/or with a different group of students. Nonetheless, research shows that underpinning principles of practice and support structures that provide for all students within a school can and are being established successfully. Much can be learnt from successful practices such as those explored within this school case study. Underpinning the success of this school's approach to inclusion is the school's culture of support and relationships building. This strongly
supportive culture emerged as a result of the envisioning work the school community undertook as part of the school’s involvement in the successful school revitalization project known as IDEAS (Innovative Designs for Enhancing Achievements in Schools). Individualized support programs have created a student-centred culture of inclusion according to need, which provides an approach to guide practices in other contexts.

Keywordsdifferentiation; diversity; inclusion; school culture; special needs
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020520102. Educational psychology
390409. Learning sciences
390411. Special education and disability
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Byline AffiliationsFaculty of Education
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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