A Plural Self: (Re)connecting Communities Through Research on Inclusive Education
Today, many students feel disconnected from the school community because of barriers related to factors such as disability, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. Research on inclusive education focuses particularly on reducing exclusionary pressures that impede students’ participation in school life and, as such, the building of a richer and more democratic community. The special call provides an opportunity to foster study and debate concerning the role inclusive education can play in developing educational communities that welcome diversity as an essential element of their practices and of the policies that frame them.
Inclusive education is deeply committed to supporting learners’ diversity in terms of backgrounds, interests, experience, knowledge and skills. Nevertheless, support for diversity must not be separated from the goal of building school communities that encourage participation and collaboration as vital components in the development of a sense of responsibility and global citizenship. Even though it is crucial that schools celebrate diversity, an overemphasis on the uniqueness of the individual risks reinforcing a sense of isolation and fragmentation among students, forgetting that learning to live in relationships with others is an essential element of education. However, the idea of school community might also reinforce fragmentation and conflict if conceived as a predefined structure connected to a fixed notion of identity and belonging detached from change and transformation. According to Agamben (1999) and Anderson (2006), a true community is not presupposed. Developing a true community requires an exercise in imagination; it requires a concept of diversity as interrelatedness and of community as a plural self. The question is: How can research on inclusion contribute to and support this process by developing theories and practices that sustain the (re)building of communities that value diversity?
With reference to the general ECER 2020 Call, Network 4 invites participants to submit proposals related to the topic of ’Educational Research (Re)connecting Communities’. The call is especially (but not exclusively) intended to promote the organisation of collaborative sessions on this topic, in the form of symposia, research workshops, and round tables involving contributions from researchers from several countries.
Research submissions can include, but are not limited to, themes such as:
- Social Class
- Home-school issues
Please indicate in your proposal that you are submitting to this network-specific call.
Fabio Dovigo (fado(at)edu.au.dk)
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