Innovative Approaches to Enhance Inclusive Education

A special issue of Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102). This special issue belongs to the section "Special and Inclusive Education".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 January 2024) | Viewed by 2054

Special Issue Editors

Faculty of Education, University of Lapland, 96101 Rovaniemi, Finland
Interests: inclusive education; inter-professional teamwork; support for learning and schooling; student welfare work; educational transitions; teachers' professional development
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Carnegie School of Education, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds LS6 3QS, UK
Interests: social and educational inclusion; teacher education; student voice; digital education; minority heritage language education

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Salamanca Statement (1994) marked a distinctive shift in understanding of how inclusive education provision might be facilitated across the globe as it moved the focus from only those young people with SEND to the wide range of young people who might require additional support to be successful in learning.  Since the seminal Salamanca Statement (1994), the diversity of the young people within many classrooms globally has continued to increase. This situation can pose ongoing challenges for policymakers who must provide legislation that supports inclusive education systems, for teacher educators preparing the future workforce in schools and for teachers who must provide relevant learning opportunities for all.

Whilst at one time an aspiration towards ‘inclusion’ was viewed as the panacea for the challenge of increasing diversity within classrooms, in recent years the definition – and indeed the usefulness of the term ‘inclusion’ has been challenged (Slee, 2011; 2018). In response to the challenge posed by Slee (2011; 2018), researchers have continued to undertake research to develop a more nuanced understanding of the complexity of classrooms, the intersectional identities that young people bring to their learning and the competences required by teachers for their future careers.

The recent global pandemic has highlighted ongoing societal inequalities which continue to impact young people’s experiences in education. The pandemic has resulted in new perspectives on what it means to be human, what it means to be part of a learning community and the importance for all individuals to be welcomed into the community no matter what age you are from the youngest to the oldest member of society.  Understanding the importance of inclusion within a welcoming community has resulted in new research approaches that explore how to value and embrace the diversity of our education populations and the need for education at all levels to support the inclusion of all more effectively.

In this Special Issue, original research articles and reviews are welcome. Research areas may include (but not limited to) the following:

  • Innovative approaches to enhancing the inclusive practices in educational provision
  • Professional collaboration, how to manage:
  • the complexity of a classroom
  • multi-professional dilemmas (language, power relations, roles)
  • identifying one’s own role in a team
  • the creation of knowledge when dealing with open, complex problems

-(Professional) Teacher agency, how to manage:

  • novel approaches in teacher education
  • ability to critical and reflective thinking
  • intentional agency/teacher leadership

-Sense of belonging:

  • Student perspective: how a student feels their position in their community, multiple voices
  • Teacher perspective: how are teachers able to create the feeling of being a welcomed and valuable member of your community; students’ intersectional identities - not to identify only one identity
  • School staff members: how to be able to value all colleagues, balancing power relations (e.g. between teachers and teaching assistants)

With this call for abstracts, the editors would like to invite responses that explore innovative research on inclusive education including school culture, leadership, inclusive practice across all sectors of education, development of new teacher education initiatives at all stages of teacher career; inter- and intra-professional initiatives that enhance inclusion and new philosophical understandings of inclusion. The editors particularly welcome responses where the research has been undertaken in a co-participatory manner with key stakeholders within the process.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Submission Deadlines:
1. Expression of interest with an abstract (200 words) for articles: 15 February 2023
2. Submission of full article: 31 August 2023

Dr. Suvi Lakkala
Prof. Dr. Mhairi C. Beaton
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Education Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • inclusive education
  • inclusive school culture and practices
  • professional collaboration and teacher agency
  • school leadership
  • sense of belonging
  • student perspective

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

18 pages, 268 KiB  
Article
Teachers’ Continuing Professional Development: Action Research for Inclusion and Special Educational Needs and Disability
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(2), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14020140 - 30 Jan 2024
Viewed by 632
Abstract
In 2022, the authors of this paper were awarded with three years’ government funding to support seventy-five English schools and Further Education colleges with the running of their own Action Research for inclusion and special educational needs projects (ISEND). Based on the funder’s [...] Read more.
In 2022, the authors of this paper were awarded with three years’ government funding to support seventy-five English schools and Further Education colleges with the running of their own Action Research for inclusion and special educational needs projects (ISEND). Based on the funder’s interest in the identification and scaling-up of the evidence-base for SEND practice, this reflective account analyzes the evidence-base drawn upon and created by the Action Researchers for ISEND and the efficacy of the approach. Adopting an interpretivist, qualitative approach to content analysis, this paper analyzes data from the first seven completed Action Research for ISEND projects. Aligned with Dewey’s scientific model of reflection, analysis shows the Action Researchers for ISEND draw upon a complex synthesis of contextualized understanding, broadened horizons (including collaborative working and study), deepened and/or reshaped understandings, and data analysis to form their theorizations of praxis. Bearing no relation to evidence-based practice, the Action Researchers for ISEND adopt a constructivist ontology towards the inclusion of children with SEND, which challenges positivistic paradigms of “what works” in SEND and embeds a praxis of democracy which frequently includes the voices of learners with disabilities in decision making processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Approaches to Enhance Inclusive Education)
16 pages, 273 KiB  
Article
How Can Interprofessional Skills Be Taught during University Studies? Student Teachers, and Social Work and Law Students Solving Complex Student Welfare Cases
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(8), 806; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13080806 - 05 Aug 2023
Viewed by 724
Abstract
This study focused on the learning of interprofessional skills through an interdisciplinary university course provided to student teachers, and social work and law students. This study explored the development of the course, the aim of which was to raise the student’s understanding of [...] Read more.
This study focused on the learning of interprofessional skills through an interdisciplinary university course provided to student teachers, and social work and law students. This study explored the development of the course, the aim of which was to raise the student’s understanding of interprofessional work to a more conscious level. The key research question was as follows: what kind of assignments and arrangements can be used to promote the interprofessional skills of students and their ability to solve complex student welfare cases? In this practice-oriented case study, we analyzed our own development process for the course, as well as the student’s reflective essays. Through our analysis, we identified four central themes of an interdisciplinary course that can enhance interprofessional skills in students: (1) identifying discipline-specific expertise as a part of a multi-professional network; (2) gaining an understanding of interprofessional working processes; (3) realizing the complexity of student welfare cases; and (4) orienting towards working life. Our research demonstrates that building an interdisciplinary university course based on flipped learning principles, which incorporates collaborative and reflective assignments supported by various course materials and literature, can promote the learning of interprofessional skills and processes by students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Approaches to Enhance Inclusive Education)
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