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FINNUT-Forskning og innovasjon i utdanningssektoren

New perspectives on inclusion as a process in diverse school environments

Alternative title: Nye perspektiver på inkludering som en prosess i en mangfoldig skole

Awarded: NOK 10.0 mill.

The INCLUSCHOOL project’s main objective is to gain new knowledge about inclusion and inclusive practices in school. Adopting a user-centered, collaborative approach, it explores inclusion in a super-diverse school. Inclusive education is high on the global agenda. The UNESCO Salamanca statement (1994) declares that inclusion entails that regular schools are responsible for meeting the needs of all students and that inclusive education should be an issue of concern for countries all over the world. The UN Sustainable Development Goal on Quality Education (goal no. 4) emphasises that “Access to inclusive, high-quality education is one of the most important conditions for welfare, health and equality in all societies”. Despite the declarations, political intentions and legislations, development towards inclusive education appears to be slow both internationally and in Norway. Especially some groups of students are at risk of exclusion and marginalisation, such as students with special needs, students with disabilities, minority language students and students with challenging psychosocial home conditions. This has severe consequences both for students’ present well-being and learning, and for their future education and participation in work and society. Particularly there is a need for student- and context-sensitive knowledge. Considering this, the INCLUSCHOOL-project intends to explore how inclusion is experienced, perceived and practiced by students, school staff, and other professionals in school. Through three sub-studies, the project will gain knowledge about students' perspectives on inclusion and their participation in the school's inclusion work, about inclusion as interactional practice in linguistically and culturally complex school environments, and about students' participation in interprofessional collaboration, and the process leading to special education and professionals’ perspectives of this.

The INCLUSCHOOL project will gain new research-based knowledge about inclusion in diverse school-environments. The project is carried out together with the super-diverse Huseby school, the Change Factory, and the teacher education program at NTNU. Adopting a user-centered, collaborative approach, it explores how inclusion is perceived, experienced, and practiced by students, school staff and other professionals. In order to develop a joint understanding of what inclusion is and how inclusive practices can improve, the project facilitates and explores student's voices and agency. Trough three work packages the overarching research questions are investigated:How is inclusion co–created in heterogenous school environments (WP1)? How is inclusion done interactionally in adult-child-conversations(WP2)? How is inclusion perceived and practiced in interprofessional collaboration (WP3)? All questions address the need for knowledge, new perspectives, and improved practice with regards to inclusion in school. WP1 has an exploratory design, focusing on inclusion as a co-created process between teachers and students; investigating how inclusion can be based in students’ experiences and understandings. WP2 has an interactional approach, with analysis of adult-child-conversations, exploring how children are given opportunities to express themselves and draw on their lifeworld experiences. Through a case-study design, WP3 focuses on how 3-4 children can express themselves in the process leading up to an expert assessment of the right to (inclusive) special education. WP3 also uses an experimental vignette design, exploring how to achieve joint child-centered attitudes and understandings of actions in interprofessional collaboration towards inclusion. The projects ambition is to gain cutting-edge, actionable, ‘bottom-up’ knowledge that can inform and improve inclusion practices in school, as well as contribute to strengthening approaches to school inclusion in teacher education.

Funding scheme:

FINNUT-Forskning og innovasjon i utdanningssektoren