Mapping the development of inclusive practices within education systems

Year: 2001

Author: Ainscow, Mel

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Currently many countries are seeking to encourage the development of more inclusive schools. This trend reflects the U.N. agenda of ’Education for All’. This paper will be based on research being carried out in Portugal, Romania and England that attempts to throw light on ways of addressing barriers to participation and learning. It will explain how evidence of various types can be used to analyse school practices, policies and cultures in order to formulate development strategies. Particular emphasis will be placed on the importance of analysing classroom interactions and listening to the voices of students. Examples will be used to illustrate how engaging with different perspectives can stimulate critical reflection in ways that help focus attention on new possibilities for moving schools forward. Attention will also be given to the social processes involved in such development activities. Implications will be drawn for the work of researchers involved in supporting the development of inclusive practices.