04 SES 13 A, Inclusion at Risk: The Linchpin of Relational Interdisciplinarity
Teacher education would do well to recognise the restrictions evoked in citing universal human rights as a means to developing inclusive cultures. Participation in the services of public institutions in Australia for people with disabilities, for example, is legislated as a right to equality, which is put into practice through provisions of surplus support, and resourced through facilities that have objectives of promoting equal parity. Though well-intentioned, these facilities perpetuate particular risks to inclusivity through an individualised response based on technical and rational understandings of equality, autonomy and agency over equitable participation and access. Drawing on what Zembylas and Bozalek (2014) call an agonistic approach to human rights informed by the affective turn and posthumanism, this presentation contributes to the symposium an explanation of theoretical labour in a teacher education program of inclusive education. The work demands critical exploration of how rights are framed in international instruments underpinning worldwide commitments to inclusive schooling, at the same time that particular types of students are put at risk of exclusion on the basis that individualised reasonable adjustments to support their participation can be easily discounted. Emphasising a relational positioning of these aspects of legislated inclusion (individual learning plans, assistive technologies, behavioural support plans) and the political significance of their use, the presentation demonstrates how this work seeks to prepare preservice teachers to reject essentialist claims to universal rights to equal education in favour of collective redefinition.
Zembylas, M., & Bozalek, V. (2014). A critical engagement with the social and political consequences of human rights: The contribution of the affective turn and posthumanism. Acta Academica, 46(4), 29-47.
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