Change has been a constant feature of education in recent times. A major reason for this is the desire to raise achievement to respond to the demands of a global economy. Ball (2008) notes that education is seen as a crucial factor in ensuring economic productivity and there is consensus that continued economic success is dependent on harnessing the skills of a nation in an ever changing labour market. This means educators must not only skill learners but engage them in lifelong learning. So as educational professionals we must address the features of a system which traditionally has seen sections of the population underrepresented in terms of educational success with high rates of young people not in education or employment. It is acknowledged that there needs to be changes to the process, practices and structure of curricular to engage a wider cohort in education and training. Examination of barriers and inclusive practice is fundamentals to ensure members of diverse communities are recognised and represented. Ball, S (2008) The Education Debate, Bristol, Policy Press
Inclusive teaching is active, proactive, reflective and constantly evolving. It is important that we understand our learners but avoid pigeonholing and making assumptions. Inclusive teaching and curriculum design examines assumptions and considers how it reproduces and reinforces existing inequalities. Slide 5 According to Bourdieu the Education systems of industrialised societies function in such a way to legitimise inequality. He believes that success in education is facilitated by the process of cultural capital that lower class students generally don’t possess so inevitably these students fail and higher class students are seen to be deserving of their place in the societal structure. Bourdieu builds this theory of cultural production by looking at these three areas (field, habitus and capital) Bourdieu uses a football field as a way to explain field theory. Each player on a field has a position and a set of rules that generally apply to that position. Each position within the field is determined by the individuals habitus. past performance, skills, family support, upbringing and education. When the habitus of an individual matches the social field everything runs smoothly and the team win the game. However if a player decides they want to change the rules and play differently they may be met by frustration and most likely sent off. This is a simplistic view of Bourdieus work.
Learning as is teaching, a complex activity. We all recognise that all learners process information differently but how does this knowledge impact on our pedagogy?
By reflecting on our own practice we examine the inclusive and diverse assumptions about the curriculum we present to learners. Inclusive practice makes us challenge existing inequalities and place the learners needs at the heart of our practice and curriculum design.
Inclusion and diversity
Inclusion and diversity as
dimension of the curriculum
The language of diversity
and curriculum, impact and
thinking on curriculum
design and practice
What is an inclusive curriculum?
Inclusive teaching means recognising,
accommodating and meeting the learning needs of
all your students.
It means acknowledging that your students have a
range of individual learning needs and are members
of diverse communities: a student with a disabling
medical condition may also have English as an
additional language and be a single parent.
Inclusive teaching avoids pigeonholing students into
specific groups with predictable and fixed
approaches to learning.
takes a coherent approach which is proactive.
has a strategy for ensuring the delivery of equal
Is embraced by the whole school or institution
matches provision to student needs
incorporates regular reflection, review and
refinement of strategies and methods that actively
involve students and in some cases parents
Bourdieu: a theory of practice
and the inclusive/diverse
-a cultural theory of human
field: a space where
different social positions
habitus: ingrained ways
of behaving and acting
capital: what is
prized/at stake in a field
What is the classroom field
existing inequalities e.g.
type of diverse/inclusive
curriculum or lack of it?
do different children exhibit
different kinds of habitus?
how can the curriculum
“Inclusion is a never-ending
process, working towards an ideal
when all exclusionary pressures
within education and society are
removed.” Booth, T (2003:2)
What does inclusion mean in your setting?
Learning is a complex activity. At least 15% of learners
learn in a different way than they are generally
taught. Learners whose cognition involves processing
of information and methods of learning that are
different from the ‘traditional’ teaching and learning
methods are disadvantaged in education if an
inclusive approach to pedagogy is not adopted.
It is widely accepted that learners with different
approaches to learning experience difficulty in most
formal settings. For some of these learners, the
process of education becomes a process of
rejection. As identified by Crabtree, D. and Maguire,
“Inclusion in education is concerned with
breaking down barriers to learning and
increasing participation for all students,
treating all learners on the basis of equality
and non-discrimination.” (CSIE) (Booth and
What barriers could exist in your setting and how
are these exhibited or reinforced?
Inclusive teaching is good
In making your teaching inclusive you reassess
the material you use in your teaching and the
way in which it is delivered and assessed.
Teachers and tutors should place learners in
the best possible learning environment for
their needs, whatever those needs may be.
Varied strategies may be required to ensure
that the specific needs of an individual are
Points to consider when critically
reflecting on practice
First, we learn about learning itself by understanding how
learners who learn differently learn.
Secondly, by including approaches to teaching and learning
which play to the strengths of these learners and enable
learners who ordinarily find learning difficult to become
successful, we become more able to support all learners. By
removing obstacles to learning for those who found learning
most difficult, we open pathways for all learners and, in that
process, develop a broader range of strategies and develop
Thirdly, we make our teaching more engaging
and thereby begin to reduce disaffection. In such
a way, the process of educating becomes more inclusive,
supports widening participation and raises achievement.