ERG SES C 08, Secondary Education
Inclusive education has become prominent in both national and international discourses of educational theory and research. However, there are various meanings and understandings of the terminology (Graham & Slee 2008, p. 277). In this paper, inclusive education is defined as overcoming discrimination, marginalisation, and impediment of participation of any student (Ainscow 2008). From this perspective, the acknowledgement of diversity among all learners and meeting their individual needs are considered to be the main premises to create an inclusive school environment (ibid).
In a global context, the establishment of inclusive education systems has been fostered by international organisations (e.g. UNESCO 1994; UN 2006). Efforts to implement inclusive education policies on a national level have been made by many European countries so far (EASNIE 2014, p. 8). At the same time, however, there has been a European and worldwide trend of implementing standards-based reforms. The result is conflict between the duelling reforms of inclusive policy and standards-based curriculum (Ainscow 2005). These conflicts become particularly relevant in secondary schools because of the schools’ highly structured practices focusing on subject-teaching and academic achievement (Köbberling & Schley 2000; Pearce & Forlin 2005). In contrast, there is a lack of research on inclusive practices in secondary schools in general as well as on inclusive subject-teaching at the same school level in particular (EASNIE 2004; Preuss-Lausitz 2014, p. 12).
The paper examines classroom practices producing and dealing with achievement-related differences among students in inclusive secondary schools. Furthermore, classroom practices are differentiated by subject. From a practice-theoretical perspective, academic-related differences are not considered to be simply given but are being (re-)produced in everyday practices by teachers and students (Rabenstein et al. 2013). However, following the praxeological sociology of knowledge (Bohnsack, Pfaff, & Weller 2010), two different ways of producing differences in everyday interactions must be distinguished: explicit or formal ways of producing differences on the one hand (e.g. explicitly labelling someone as an SEN student) and implicit or habitualised practices of producing differences on the other (Bohnsack & Nohl 2001). A methodology that reconstructs both explicit and implicit forms of producing and dealing with achievement-related differences among students in classroom interactions has been chosen. First results show the complexity and ambivalence of classroom interaction in inclusive secondary schools. They give the opportunity to reflect on on-going inclusive policies and practices in the context of conflicting education reforms in Europe and throughout the world.
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