NW 04: Fostering the value of diversity through research on inclusive education

NW 04 Inclusive Education

Fostering the value of diversity through research on inclusive education

Following a global trend, the European educational landscape is becoming more and more diverse regarding students’ age, gender, sexual orientation, ability, class, ethnicity and language. Accordingly, educational institutions are increasingly faced with the challenge of managing differences from an inclusive perspective. However, schools too often see diversity as a problem to be solved by categorising students, rather than as an opportunity to thrive by valuing differences.

The special call welcomes submissions 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.

The Call
Over the past decades, research on inclusive education has expanded from an approach prevalently focused on students with disabilities to a wider perspective that investigates the role diversity plays in educational settings. Accordingly, the field now encompasses as well studies that delve into a range of topics (e.g. social status, migration, culture, language, gender and sexuality) related to the educational experience of disadvantaged and marginalised groups. This new perspective has been further developed through the contribution of research on intersectionality, which examines the way multiple forms of inequality and discrimination interrelate over time and in different contexts.

However, the diversity turn in inclusive education has also prompted new critical questions. Firstly, the growing interest in understanding human diversity as a resource has not been complemented by comparable attention to safeguarding biodiversity and preventing the loss of non-human species on our planet. Moreover, the process of diversification has become increasingly articulated and complex, producing a phenomenon known as ‘superdiversity’, which challenges traditional categories and definitions of “normal” and “special” groups. Finally, a superficial attitude to tolerate individual differences may undermine a real understanding of discriminations and barriers that diverse students meet in school and, at large, in society.

These issues, along with many others, require educational researchers from across Europe and beyond to jointly cooperate to develop a more inclusive perspective on diversity.

With reference to the general ECER 2023 theme, Network 4 invites participants to submit proposals for a special call on “Fostering the value of diversity through research on inclusive education”. 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:

  •           Disability
  •           Ethnicity
  •           Gender
  •           Social Class
  •           Migration
  •           Sexuality
  •           Home-school issues

Please indicate in your proposal that you are submitting to this network-specific call. 

Contact Person(s)
Michelle Proyer, michelle.proyer(at)univie.ac.at 
Fabio Dovigo, fado(at)edu.au.dk  

Annamma, S. A., Ferri, B. A., & Connor, D. J. (Eds.). (2022). DisCrit Expanded: Reverberations, Ruptures, and Inquiries. Teachers College Press.

Bird Claiborne, L., & Balakrishnan, V. (Eds.) (2020). Moving towards Inclusive Education: Diverse National Engagements with Paradoxes of Policy and Practice. Brill.

Schuelka, M. J., Johnstone, C. J., Thomas, G., & Artiles, A. J. (Eds.). (2019). The SAGE handbook of inclusion and diversity in education. Sage.

UNESCO (2019). Cali Commitment to Equity and Inclusion in Education. UNESCO Publications.

NW 04 runs a mailing list and invites researchers to join. To join the mailing list, send a blank message to nw04-subscribe(at)lists.eera-ecer.de

Interview with Link Convenor 2019