Inclusion: a process of building upon existing structures rather than demolishing and starting again

Research output: Contribution to ConferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

The promotion of a more inclusive education system that aims to provide effective learning opportunities for previously marginalised learners has been high on the agendas of most countries. The influence of the Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action on Special Needs Education (UNESCO 1994), and an international commitment to deliver the Education for All Goals (UNESCO 2000), has prompted policy development and initiatives in an attempt to secure more equitable educational provision and equal opportunities for all children. In India the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE) (Ministry of Human Resource Development 2009) has been established as the vehicle through which change may be implemented, and is currently providing a focus for much debate within the country. In this paper I suggest that whilst the promotion of successful inclusive education requires rigorous policy intervention, it is important to recognise and respect the many initiatives and innovations that already exist within Indian classrooms. Much of the momentum that has driven inclusive education came from the socio-economically advantaged areas of the United States of America and Western Europe. These countries have a long established tradition of providing good quality special educational needs provision and access to education for all children. The inclusion movement in these wealthy nations has built upon this experience with some success. I contend that conditions in India differ greatly from those in these advantaged countries and that it should not be assumed that models adopted there can necessarily be applied within India. Furthermore, I argue that the successful development of inclusive practice in India should build upon the expertise and experience that is already evident in addressing the needs of children with special educational needs and disabilities in Indian schools. In order for this to be achieved a clearer understanding of these practices, their application, and the influences upon them needs to be gained.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2016
Event2nd International Conference on Education for Sustainable Development: Empowering Individuals with Multiple Disability - Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi
Duration: 28 Feb 2016 → …
http://www.niepmd.tn.nic.in/documents/delhiconf-122015.pdf

Conference

Conference2nd International Conference on Education for Sustainable Development: Empowering Individuals with Multiple Disability
Period28/02/16 → …
Internet address

Keywords

  • Inclusion
  • India
  • Right To Education Act
  • disability
  • professional development
  • special educational needs

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