00 SES 11 A, The Human Right to Inclusive Education- Discussion of General Comment No. 4 (the Right to an Inclusive Education) in the Context of the Australian Experience
While the right of students with disabilities to receive an inclusive education in regular classrooms alongside and together with their non-disabled peers was recognised by Article 24 of the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), adopted in 2006, Governments have been slow in transitioning to genuinely inclusive education systems. Rather, segregated "special" education settings have remained the norm for many students with disabilities and in many countries there has been a proportionate increase in educational segregation in recent years. Concerns with transformative progress, cultural and systemic barriers and ambiguity in the concept of "inclusive education" led to the administering UN Committee, after a near two year consultative process, issuing in August 2016 General Comment No. 4 (the Right to Inclusive Education).
In this session, we will examine General Comment No. 4 and its clarification of the right to inclusive education and the corresponding obligation of State parties to ensure an inclusive education system. Key matters include recognition of:
(a) the right to receive an inclusive education as a fundamental human right that is evidence-based;
(b) the right to inclusive education as the right of the child, not a parental right; and
(c) the need for States to effect the transfer of resources from their segregated systems to their general education system to achieve genuinely inclusive education.
The session will also examine the relationship between efforts to achieve progressive realisation of an inclusive education system and "parental demand" for segregated settings for students with disabilities, a factor used by many State parties, including Australia, as justification for the need to maintain and invest in segregated education. The political need for Governments to respect "parental choice" has become in large part the most critical pillar of the segregated "special" education system. Deceptively unobjectionable – the mantra is "One size does not fit all" and parents should have the right to choose which education setting is best for their child. And this policy and political position, without an evidence-base and contrary to the primacy of the rights of the child, is effectively shielding segregated education from scrutiny.
This session will discuss the real and pragmatic factors behind "parental demand" for segregated educational settings, the degree to which such "choice" can be said to be real and importantly, informed, and its consistency with the human rights framework.
The causative factors for this "demand" are numerous; informal and formal "gate-keeping" by general education systems resistant to change; low expectations and cultural prejudice (including implicit prejudice in parents); non-inclusive settings being wrongly presented as inclusive; lack of proper information (including as to the research evidence) and systemic funding and resource bias in favour of segregated settings. Accordingly for most parents of children with disabilities, "parental choice" is Hobson's choice – no real choice at all.
Further, the mantra of "one size does not fit all" is entirely consistent with inclusive education – but not at the contended level of institutions and settings so as to justify an alternate 'special' system– but rather at the regular classroom level. Teaching must be adapted and lessons differentiated so as to be accessible to every child in the classroom. The principles of universal design for learning (UDL) should be applied and individualised supports provided so that education, in its classroom delivery, is not on a standardised "one approach suits all".
Catia will bring her experience as the parent of a child with a disability seeking to ensure his access to an inclusive education, as well as her extensive expertise as a leading advocate in the area of inclusive education. She will also present the 2018 video campaign "Lea Goes to School" www.includeusfromthestart.com and the 2017 video campaign "Not Special Needs" www.notspecialneeds.com in which she was closely involved.
The international education research community can play a critical forensic role in arresting the slide towards segregated education and the timely realisation of the human right to inclusive education.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
The programme is updated regularly (each day in the morning)
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.