What Is Inclusive Education and How Will This Shape Your Teaching Practice? Essay

Words: 3541
Pages: 15

What is inclusive education and how will this shape your teaching practice?

3142/7278EBL – Assignment 1


Introduction An inclusive education upholds the ideals of an equitable society where access to and successful participation in education are considered to be the right of every person in that society. This paper will argue that whilst some steps have been taken to ensure equity in education for all, there is still a long way to go before Australia can provide a truly inclusive educational experience for all participants. It will be shown that there are deficit based and systemic approaches to exclusion and that rather than promote inclusiveness; these approaches place the blame upon either individuals or institutions for
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These barriers include such things as the hidden curriculum, poverty, location, sexism, a ‘one size fits all approach’, and lower expectations of student outcomes (Considine, et al, 2005 p. 11; Teese, 2000).

These structural barriers also encompass economic and social agendas. Similar to Preece’s (2001), approach, Considine et al’s (2005) idea of economic outcomes focus on labour markets and economic benefits. The social outcomes agenda focuses more on ‘broader social goals’ which may encompass economic objectives but also take personal and community


objectives into account. Considine (2005, p. 12) believes that the current VET system only pays ‘lip service’ to social agendas and that by concentrating purely on economic goals, adds to exclusion for disadvantaged groups. Whilst economic goals may always be seen as more important to government policy makers, striking a balance between economic and social goals is the key to inclusive practices.

The ‘systemic’ explanation of exclusivity is more acceptable than deficit based explanations in terms of placing the responsibility for student outcomes with the institutions in which learning is supposed to take place.

In order for education providers to meet the needs of all learners, strategies must be developed that encompass curriculum, examination of teaching practices, embracing and promoting of genuine