04 SES 01 B, Looking at Inclusive Education within Countries
This paper shows the results obtained from Doctoral Thesis titled: “Relationship between the inclusive center profile and academic performance of primary schools in Catalonia”, which was developed within of a Framework Contract among the Education Department of the Generalitat de Catalunya (Government of Catalonia) and the Universitat de Barcelona, with whom we have done a shared work in design phase and application of the instrument to collect data.
The main objectives of the study are:
- Identify the Inclusive Center Profile, using a series of indicators about organization and inclusive practices on sample schools.
- Determine the relation between the inclusive center profile and academic achievement of primary schools in Catalonia
We also controlled the center complexity variable
The research is framed in the Inclusive Education line, defined by UNESCO (2005) as: a process that attempts to answer the diversity of students increasing their participation and reducing their exclusion from the regular educational system. It is related to attendance, participation and achievement of all students, especially those who, for various reasons, are excluded or at risk of being marginalized.
The main function of the inclusive model is to serve as an instrument of transformation wich aims at social cohesion by ensuring an education based on principles of equity and quality for all students without exception. The inclusion aims to reduce the exclusion of a large students population who, for different reasons, have remained segregated by years from regular education, thereby also reducing rates of school failure.
The term exclusion does not only refer to profiles of students that are outside of the traditional education system, but also refers to the profile of students that interrupt their educational path or finish school prematurely without acquiring a basic set of skills due to poor education levels.
For this reason, the movement for inclusive education aims to ensure not only educational coverage but also achieving high standards of quality in education systems. For UNESCO (2007) A quality education is when it provide the resources and support necessary for all students to achieve the highest levels of development and learning, according to their abilities. This way, individuals can equally achieve access to proper education and training.
In this sense, the emphasis of our research is on the academic performance of all students from inclusive schools, which this, we are addressing two aspects closely related to educational quality. This are: equity and excellence. We are interested in how the schools whose practices stand out as being highly inclusive, achieve the excellence in learning outcomes for all students also.
Previous research have studied the impact of inclusive education in the academic achievement of all students, indicate that there is a direct relationship between these two variables, the findings showed neutral effects in most cases (Farrell, Dyson, Polat, Hutcheson and Gallannaugh, 2007; Ruijs, Van der Veen, & Peetsma, 2010 and Sermier & Bless, 2013;) while some studies showed positive effects (Hestenes, Cassidy, Shim and Hegde, 2008; Kalambouka, Farrell, Dyson, & Kaplan, 2007, ; Ruijs & Peetsma, 2009), and a lower percentage negative effects also was found (Dyson, Farrell, Polat, Hutcheson, Gallanaugh, 2004).
 Centers Classification by the Catalonia Department of Education depending on their level of complexity, is understood as a set of combined variables (socio-economic conditions of families from schools, student diversity, teachers and students mobility and absences and matriculation demand), which provide a greater or lesser difficulty to manage the center and to achieve good results.
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