ERG SES F 05, Parallel Session F 05
The paper addresses the question: what factors are necessary that encourage processes of school development in such ways as to facilitate changes towards more inclusive cultures. It draws on the conclusions and data from the author's doctoral study (2010) which explored the effects of a Local Authority self evaluation tool (Inclusion Standard, Moore, Jackson, Fox and Ainscow, 2004) over a year on two primary schools. The tool was developed in partnership between University and Local Authority drawing on the work of the Index for Inclusion (Booth et al, 2002) which understands inclusive change as being about consciously putting into action values based on equity, entitlement and participation (Booth, Smith, 2002). Following the Index, the Inclusion Standard was designed to provoke a process of social learning that facilitates members of a school community to explore their own values and beliefs in order to challenge and reconstruct practices in ways that impact upon a school's culture, policies and practices (Ainscow,2002). Research by Ainscow et al (2006) has drawn attention to ways of engaging with evidence through such processes and in the same way, the Inclusion Standard uses data to challenge thinking and to create ‘interruptions’ that lead to collaborative discourse around how to put inclusive values into action (Ainscow et al, 2006).
This paper draws on findings from the doctoral study that indicate such processes of self evaluation may not be conducive to bringing about deep cultural change in ways that lead to promoting greater pupil participation. The findings suggest that such processes at work in the schools did not affect the ‘shared commitment of staff’ to inclusive values (Kugelmass, 2003). It discusses the importance of the Head’s commitment to inclusive values as necessary for promoting and supporting collaboration in ways that are evidenced by the ‘teacher’s interaction with children and other adults…(where) these kind of caring relationships reflect a capacity for compassion (and where) compassionate caring provides the foundation for inclusive cultures’ (Kugelmass, 2003).
The trend in Europe is towards inclusive education (UNESCO 2008). The Index for Inclusion has been translated now in to 20 European languages. However, each country has a different starting point. Norway has had an inclusive education system for several decades. Germany (and Austria and Switzerland} on the other hand are described as “extremely segregated education system (Williams,2009).The author welcomes perspectives from other European contexts that can further our understanding as to how schools may be encouraged to develop more inclusive cultures.
Ainscow, M. Booth, T. and Dyson, A. (2006) Improving Schools: Developing Inclusion. TLRP Learning Series Routledge Black-Hawkins, K. Florian, L. Rouse, M. (2007) Achievement and Inclusion in schools Routledge Howes, A. Davies, S and Fox, S. (2009) Improving the context for Inclusion: Personalising teacher development through collaborative action research Routledge Howes, A. Booth, T. Dyson, A and Frankham, J. (2005) Teacher Learning and the development of inclusive practices and policies: framing and context. Research papers in education, Vol. 20, No. 2 June 2005, pp. 133-148 Kugelmass, J.W and Ainscow, M. (2003) Leadership for inclusion: a comparison of international practices. Paper presented at the meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, April 2003 Kugelmass, J.W. (2004) The Inclusive School: Sustaining equity and standards. Teachers College Press Schein, E, (1992) Organisational Culture and Leadership (2nd.Edition) San Francisco Slee, R. (2008) Beyond special and regular schooling? An inclusive education reform agenda. International Studies in sociology of education, Vol. 18, No. 2, pp.99-116 UNESCO (2009) Conclusions And Recommendations Of The 48th Session of The International Conference On Education (ICE)
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