Insights into inclusive education through a small Finnish case study of an inclusive school context
Tarr, J., Tsokova, D. and Takkunen, U. M. (2011) Insights into inclusive education through a small Finnish case study of an inclusive school context. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 16 (7). pp. 691-704. ISSN 1360-3116
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13603116.2010.502947
This study seeks to present data and discussion arising from a case study of a school in Finland renowned for its practice in the inclusion of learners with additional support requirements due to cognitive and physical disabilities. It aims to establish how the school staff understand their practice with inclusion through day-to-day professional experiences. The process of reflexive dialogue has enabled authors to reconceptualise our understanding of inclusive education through gaining deep contextual insight. The case study emerges as an inspiring effort to reduce exclusion and isolation through skilful manipulation of physical, institutional and communicative contexts, from which we may draw valuable lessons. The case study demonstrated high levels of personal motivation in teachers and assistants, used as a force for participation in inclusive education – bottom-up, via dialogue, consultation, voluntary involvement and transformation by exposure. This democratic approach was evident in and supported through leadership and management, teaching and learning, and the involvement of the wider community.