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Inclusion at School

How is it defined?

Educational inclusion advocates equal access to opportunities for all students and requires the cooperation and commitment of schools and teachers (Sharma, Forlin, Loreman, & Earle, 2006). Inclusion is a school’s duty and a student’s fundamental right (Katz, Porath, Bendu, & Epp, 2012).

The Learning Bar’s Parent Survey is based on a framework developed by Joyce Epstein designed to foster positive relations between school and community (Epstein et al., 2002). The survey covers parents’ perceptions of their children’s experiences at home and school, as well as the extent to which parents feel the school supports learning and positive behaviour and promotes a safe and inclusive environment.

Why is it important?  

  • Favorable academic and social outcomes are obtained by students attending schools with inclusive practices (Loreman, 2014).  
  • Teachers and students learn to value individual differences when the school creates a culture of tolerance and understanding (Boyle, Scriven, Durning, & Downes, 2011).
  • Inclusive education challenges teachers to incorporate a variety of strategies to meet diverse learning needs which, in turn, benefits all students (Boyle, Scriven, Durning, & Downes, 2011).

How do we measure it?

In Tell Them From Me, parents respond on a five-point scale which is scored as follows: 0 (Strongly Disagree), 1 (Disagree), 2 (Neither Agree nor Disagree), 3 (Agree), and 4 (Strongly Agree). The data are scaled on a 10-point scale and the results are reported as ‘the average score for inclusive school’.

 

References

Boyle, C., Scriven, B., Durning, S., & Downes, C. (2011). Facilitating the learning of all students: The ‘professional positive’ of inclusive practice in Australian primary schools. Support for Learning, 26(2), 72-78.

Epstein, J. L., Sanders, M. G., Simon, B. S., Salinas, K. C., Jansorn, N. R., & Van Voorhis, F. L. (2002). School, family, and community partnerships: Your handbook for action (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Katz, J., Porath, M., Bendu, C., & Epp, B. (2012). Diverse voices: Middle years students’ insights into life in inclusive classrooms. Exceptionality Education International, 22(1), 2-16.

Loreman, T. (2014). Measuring inclusive education outcomes in Alberta, Canada. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 18(5), 459-483.

Sharma, U., Forlin, C., Loreman, T., & Earle, C. (2006). Pre-service teachers' attitudes, concerns and sentiments about inclusive education: An international comparison of novice pre-service teachers. International Journal of Special Education, 21(2), 80-93.