Inclusive Education in Australia

1096 Words5 Pages
The implementation of policy and legislation related to inclusive education, thus being a focus on the diversity and difference in our society (Ashman & Elkins, 2009), would have vast implications on the way society views that which is different to the accepted “norm”. The education system and the peer group within the school system are important socialisation agents in an individual’s life. Children from an early age absorb the values, attitudes and beliefs of the society in which they participate (Ashman & Elkins, 2009). Slee (2001) argues that inclusive schooling demands schools to recognise all types of difference from disabilities, ethnicity, gender, class and sexuality. Furthermore, he challenges schools to accept difference, to encourage and promote flexibility thus benefiting not only the curriculum and pedagogy, but the community and students themselves (Slee, 2001). Through the development of Inclusive Education it is possible that children grow up to be more accepting of differences, where once the notion of something “different” and “separate” could cause caution, fear and ridicule. There are multiple policies and processes present within our society supporting inclusivity and the right every child regardless of their special needs or difficult circumstances has to an education. The Salamanca Statement developed world wide in 1994 states every child’s right to an education. In support of this policy the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act (1992) sets disability standards in our education system and the Melbourne Declaration (2008) further attempts to promote equity and excellence within our schools. In addition to these policies, processes are in place to drive our national curriculum, includ... ... middle of paper ... ... Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (2008). Melbourne Declaration on Education Goals for Young Australians. Retrieved 12 March 2010, from Decleration_on_the_Edcational_Goals_for_Young_Australians.pdf Mungai, A., & Kogan, E., (2005). Pathway to inclusion. Voices from the field. United States of America: University Press of America. Slee, R. (2001). Driven to the margins: disabled students, inclusive schooling and the politics of possibility [Electronic Version]. Cambridge Journal of Education, 31, 385-397. Retrieved March 8, 2010, from Learning at Griffith. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (1994). Salamanca Statement on principals, policy and practice in special needs education. Retrieved 12 March 2010, from
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