Inclusive Education

What is inclusive education?

Navjivan is working for disabled in education by Inclusive education. Until recently, most conceptual literature on inclusive education was Northern (European and North American) in origin, taking a whole-schoolapproach to institutional change (Peters, 2004), and influenced by the social model of disability. Children in special schools were seen as geographically andsocially segregated from their peers, and the initial movement to vocationally integrate thesestudents in mainstream schools (integration)

shifted to one where the whole school was encouraged to become more adaptable and inclusive in its day-to-day educational practices for all students (inclusive education).Pedagogy in particular was highlighted as the key to meeting all studentseducational needs by making the curriculum flexible, and so more accessible. By recognizing that teaching methods which can make curriculum accessible to children with disabilities can also make learning accessible to all students (Ainscow, 2005; Ainscow, 1991), a teacher or school principal is well on the way to improving the overall quality of their school. In this way, inclusive education is not a disability-only issue, but an educational quality issue (ibid)

There is a growing, although not comprehensive, literature in the south, which focuses more on external factors with its community approach(Peters, 2004). In developing contexts with large numbers of out-of-schoolchildren, inclusive education tends to be more broadly concerned with school access and education deprivations for marginalised groups such as girls, ethnic minorities,

poor families and disabled children in CREATE zones one and two, who have never attended or dropped out of school (Subrahmanian, 2003). It seems that there is currently an expanding discourse on inclusive education developing amongst some academics and teaching professionals in India, many of whom, like Mike Oliver (1996), see inclusive education as exclusively concerned with children with Inclusive Education in India: Interpretation,

Implementation and Issues5disabilities (Singal, 2005a). This discourse is attempting to shift perceptions of disability from the medical model to the social model. However, there are many conceptual difficulties with the terms of integration and inclusion in India, which are often used interchangeably (ibid). Further, varying definitions of disability and subjective interpretations of what typeof child a teacher is willing to include in their classroom add to the confusion.

Even if a previously excluded child is given access to a mainstream classroom, what happens within that space can be anything but inclusive if the school quality is poor, they cannot access an inflexible curriculum,or they are ignored or bullied by the teacher or their peers? These children would be found in CREATE zone three. Tomasevski (2003: 15) highlights how “…education is widely – albeit wrongly – perceived as inherently good. Getting all children to school is thus mistaken for their right to education. It is worth noting that the concept of inclusive education in the mainstream as opposed to specialist segregated provision is a matter of heated, inconclusive debate in the north, and yet it is seemingly being transferred unquestioningly as the panacea to the exclusion of children with disabilities in the south.