Meeting Some Challenges of Inclusive Education in an Age of Exclusion


Roger Slee

The Victoria Institute for Education, Diversity & Lifelong Learning, Victoria University,
Melbourne, Australia

(Received 24 March 2013, Final revised version received 14 June 2013)

Exclusion is ingrained into the global social fabric in general and education in particular. This paper takes up the challenge of international agreements and conventions affirming Education For All. Increasingly education jurisdictions are submitting to lean testing regimes and publishing results to drive local, national and international competition to drive up standards. While there are grave concerns about the poverty of such policy imperatives and the narrow definition of assessment therein, evidence is mounting to demonstrate the perverse and deleterious impacts on disadvantaged communities and vulnerable individuals. The rhetoric of inclusion is strong but conceptions and practices of inclusive education are inconsistent and disconnected from other aspects of social and education policy that drive exclusion in stark and subtle manifestations.

Key words: Inclusive education, challenge, exclusion

Changing Paradigms and Future Directions for Implementing Inclusive Education in Developing Countries


Chris Forlin

Department of Learning Science, Hiroshima University/ Hong Kong Institute of Education

(Received 04 October 2012, Final revised version received 13 December 2012)

This paper reviews how the international trend to adopting an inclusive approach to education is impacting upon developing countries. Like all regions, developing countries are unique in their requirements. They thus require policy and practices that not only adopt the international Conventions but that also reflect their uniqueness and provide a methodology for implementing inclusion that is regionally and locally effective. Conflicting issues of providing equity while maintaining greater accountability are especially challenging for developing countries with their enormous diversity of students, support, access, and options. The impact on teachers, the role of the principal, competing educational systems, and a reluctance to move away from firmly entrenched pedagogies and curricula also influence the development of inclusion. An examination of future directions for inclusive education considers how developing countries might respond to these challenges to advance an inclusive educational approach that ensures better equity and opportunity for all learners.

Keywords: developing countries, inclusion, policy, equity, accountability, disability, teacher

Children with ASD as Part of the Learning Community in Three International Schools in Hong Kong: Practical Implications for Class Practice


Brenda Peters

Department of Special Education and Counseling, Hong Kong Institute of Education

Chris Forlin

Department of Learning Science, Hiroshima University/ Hong Kong Institute of Education

(Received 29 April 2013, Final revised version received 13 July 2013)

Since the Salamanca Statement (UNESCO, 1994), there has been a global rise in the numbers of children and young people with special educational needs, including those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), attending regular schools. The inclusion of children with ASD into regular classrooms has been mooted the most challenging for teachers. A wealth of research has investigated inclusive practices in the West. Little is known, however, about inclusive practices in Hong Kong schools for learners with ASD. This article, therefore, reports the results of a mixed methods study that focuses on enhancing social communication and interaction for learners with ASD. Extant inclusive class practices and opportunities for social interaction and communication for children with ASD in regular schools in Hong Kong, are identified and practical implications for class practice are discussed.

Key words: Autism, regular school, inclusive practices.

Reforming Teacher Education for Inclusion in Developing Countries in the Asia Pacific Region


Umesh Sharma
Faculty of Education, Monash University, Victoria, Australia

Chris Forlin
Faculty of Education and Human Development, Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong, China

Joanne Deppeler
Faculty of Education, Monash University, Victoria, Australia

Yang Guang-xue
Faculty of Preschool & Special Education, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China

(Received 11 September 2012, Final revised version received 05 November 2012)

A number of Asian Pacific countries have ratified the UN Conventions on the Rights of People with Disabilities and have identified an urgent need to include children with special educational needs in regular school programs. Successful implementation of such a policy reform requires significant changes in the way education is provided to all students, but most importantly depends upon how adequately the teachers and related professionals are prepared to implement the reform. This paper reviews research from 13 Asian Pacific countries, undertaken in the last five years, to address two questions. First it reports on the issues, challenges, and proposals related to inclusive education in these countries. Second the review reports on how each region has progressed towards implementing the Millennium Development Goals with particular emphasis on how teacher education has or has not responded to this. The review concludes that a lack of well thought out policy, few resources, and limited understanding of inclusion seems widespread in the Asia-Pacific region. As yet special education and related service expertise and teacher education for inclusion, is not in place to support teachers to work inclusively.

Keywords: Developing countries, inclusion, inclusive education, disability, teachers, teacher education, legislation

Perspectives of students and parents about mainstreaming education for children with special needs in Bangladesh






Utpal Mallick
Research and Evaluation Division, BRAC, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Kazi Sameeo Sheesh
Institute of Educational Development, BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh & Doctoral Student, University of Sussex, UK

(Received 01 October 2012, Final revised version received 27 January 2013)

This paper deals with the issue of mainstreaming children with special needs (CSN) into regular classrooms and discusses the problems from the viewpoint of the students and their parents‟ experiences. Following a qualitative method, this paper investigates the phenomenon of mainstream education for CSN. The context of this study was two regular primary schools in Dhaka, Bangladesh and participants were selected purposively from these schools. Semi-structured and open-ended questions were used for the interviews. The results of the study showed that there is a lack of awareness among mainstream teachers, general students and their parents about CSN. The parents reported that teachers lack the skills and experience for teaching CSN together with the regular students in the same class. They also stated that there is limited teacher training and that the resources in the schools are inadequate to meet the needs of their children. Inaccessible infrastructures and facilities in schools were mentioned as other important barriers for the education of CSN in mainstream schools. Students and parents, however, seemed to support the idea of mainstreaming.

Keywords: Mainstream Education; Bangladesh; Children with Special Needs; Teachers; Parents

Development of the Distributed Leadership Practice for Inclusive Education (DLPIE) Scale





Jahirul Mullicka

Faculty of Education, Monash University, Victoria, Australia

(Received 03 November 2012, Final revised version received 30 January 2013)

Inclusive education reform is a continuous process and it requires all the members of a school community to accept that not all children are ready to learn the same thing in the same manner at the same time. Members of a school community also need to act jointly to enhance the schooling system to ensure the educational rights of all the children. This paper reports on a study that aims to develop a scale named Distributed Leadership Practice for Inclusive Education (DLPIE). The purpose of DLPIE scale is to measure the distributed leadership practices at regular schools for inclusive education. A two-stage cluster sampling method was applied to identify a sample of 673 primary school teachers including head teachers to participate in this study. The study indicates that the DLPIE scale successfully meets the standards for reliability. Factor analysis was also conducted to identify the possible factors in the scale. The results of the present study provide the final scale that consists of 20 items. It also provides preliminary evidence to further use of this instrument for the purpose of measuring leadership practice for inclusion in regular schools.

Key words: Distributed leadership practices, inclusive education, teachers‟ perception, scale development, factor analysis