“Inclusion!” is the catch cry heard across both educational and community contexts and yet the reality is often less than ideal. The diversity and complexity of student needs within regular classrooms are both an asset and a challenge for schools and classroom teachers. We believe, with Nelson Mandela, that “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” and in order for such a dream to be achieved, it is essential that the pedagogical practices that support the needs of diverse learners are clearly understood and supported by both teachers and school leaders. Most existing research emphasises the need to improve the skill sets of both teacher graduates and practising teachers as a means of enhancing student support. We suggest that it cannot stop at the individual classroom practice level. To maximise student outcomes, inclusive pedagogical practices must be school wide, and well understood, thus resulting in a culture of inclusion becoming embedded in school wide practices and maintained over the long term. Inclusive schoolwide pedagogical (SWP) frameworks and shared practices lie at the heart of the two case study examples used to illustrate the key messages from our research.
Part of the book: New Pedagogical Challenges in the 21st Century