Essay about Inclusive Education

Essay about Inclusive Education

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For over 25 years society’s attitudes towards people with disabilities have changed significantly. As a result, education for students with disabilities has made a prominent transformation. Particular social and historical events, both international and national, have played an integral part in influencing the development of inclusive education in Australia (Thomas and Loxley, 2007). Furthermore the history of society’s attitudes towards difference has had a major influence towards the formation of policies and legislation related to inclusivity, as well as impacted the way society accepts difference today. This critical reflection aims to identify the underlying values of inclusive education policies and legislation, and the influence they may have on society’s attitudes towards accepting difference. I will also reflect on my broadened understanding of what it means to be inclusive and how this has impacted my future implications for teaching.
Dating back to the 1800s and earlier, society’s perspectives of people with disabilities were misunderstood. This “lack of understanding” consequently led to ridicule, rejection, labelling and stigmatisation of not only people with disabilities but people who were different to the ‘norm’ of society (Duke, 2009, p. 3). Over the years there has been a significant shift in social attitude, particularly in how students with disabilities should be educated. These social attitudes of the past and the contemporary attitudes of society today have ultimately steered the development of a more inclusive society. According to Konza (2008) ‘nominalisation’ is a significant factor to the changing attitudes of society. Nominalisation encompasses the notion that people with disabilities are entitled to “...


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Australian Human Rights Commission. (2009). Disability Discrimination Act 2005. Retrieved March
8, 2010, from http://www.hreoc.gov.au/disability_rights/standards/standards.html

Duke, J. (2009). Inclusive Education Discussion Paper. Retrieved March 8, 2010, from
http://eprints.qut.edu.au/26314/1/c26314.pdf

Foreman, P. (2008). Inclusion in Action. Victoria: Cengage Learning Australia

Konza, D. (2008). Inclusion of students with disabilities in new times: responding to the challenge.
Retrieved March 8, 2010, from http://ro.uow.edu.au/edupapers/36


Thomas, G. & Loxley, A. (2001). Deconstructing special education and constructing inclusion.
Buckingham: Open University Press.

Queensland Education (2005). Inclusive Education Statement. Retrieved 11 March 2010, from
http://education.qld.gov.au/studentservices/learning/docs/inclusedstatement2005

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