Problematising inclusive education systems: reflections on conference theme

The 2019 UKFIET conference, 17-19 September, will explore issues through six main parallel themes. Each of these is co-convened by two experts from the Conference Committee. Here they provide a short teaser of what you can expect from their theme.

By Amy Parker, Portfolio Lead for the DFID-funded Leave No Girl Behind programme, and Elizabeth Walton, Associate Professor in Special and Inclusive Education, School of Education, University of Nottingham.

What can those wanting to attend the sessions within the problematising inclusive education systems theme expect to find? There is a superb mix of symposia, papers and quick fires that responded to our invitation to explore what inclusive systems might, could or do entail. We have sessions that focus on inclusivity at the global, national and local levels. It will be interesting to see the ways in which the supra-national and national discourses of inclusive education translate into specific contexts. There will be excellent opportunities to learn best practices from these different contexts, as well as to have critical conversations that help to interrogate assumptions about the way things are done. We are delighted to see a range of both empirical and conceptual work being presented and we look forward to sessions where theoretical advances in the field and practical, contextually grounded experiences are brought into dialogue. Some sessions will focus on cultural barriers or enablers of inclusion, whereas others draw attention to ways in which systems and structures can block or promote inclusive education.

We have the full range of education levels represented in this theme: early childhood education, schooling, further, higher, and vocational education and into employment. We also have a range of geographies – from the global South and the global North – and we really hope that the sessions will provide platforms for true exchange and debate. While we hope that delegates come away from this theme enriched and inspired by the work of colleagues from all over the world, the true success of the deliberations in this theme will be enabling the advancement of quality, inclusive, and lifelong education for all.

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