Developing inclusive classroom communities: what matters to children?

Kristine Black Hawkins, Ruth Kershner, Linda Cooper

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


    This paper reports on a study that examined how more inclusive classroom communities might be achieved. Its particular concerns were to explore the contribution children’s perspective might make to this work and to generate findings that would be meaningful for practitioners. The study was underpinned conceptually by the Framework of Participation, an established research tool in the field of inclusion. Data were collected through group discussions, involving 56 children (aged 4–11), across seven primary schools in England. The discussions focused on two related areas, belonging and learner diversity, and how these might matter to the children’s learning. Four key themes were identified: feeling comfortable and being safe; learning as the main activity; being friends and getting on together; sharing values and behaviours. The paper argues that listening to children’s views is valuable not only for research purposes but also as an integral aspect of strengthening their sense of community.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEducation 3-13
    Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2021


    • Inclusive classroom communities
    • Belonging
    • Diversity
    • Children's perspectives
    • Participation

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