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Gordon's D-Zone Arcive (2006-2014)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

IS EXCLUSION THE SOLUTION TO INCLUSION?



This afternoon I had the opportunity to meet Professor Roger Slee, who is the research chair at the Institute of Education at the University of London. No, I am not blogging from the UK as he is currently on a visit to Malta and I was given the opportunity to participate in an informal meeting with him at the University of Malta. It was quite an interesting discussion we had as a small group coming from different backgrounds. Well, the main topic for discussion was what we understood by inclusion.

We all seemed to agree that inclusion encompassed more than disabled people, but that it comprised gender, race, and other categories. However, I argued that it was dangerous to combine the issues faced by each group in society as if they could be solved in a similar fashion. Indeed, the problem of disability can only be addressed if both structural and social factors are targeted as they both conspire to exclude us. For other social groups, it may be more a question of attitude and prejudice - but to an extent (for instance, women also need concrete changes in structure to be better included in the job market).

To be honest, I couldn't stay for the duration of the discussion which was getting rather interesting. And it brought back memories of the time I was at university some years ago ... sigh! However, Roger Slee seemed to be a very insightful person and the question he asked before I left is still in my mind... He asked whether instead of trying to define 'inclusion', we should perhaps focus more on the causes that create 'exclusion' in the first place ... It's really an aspect I haven't really considered...

To read an online article co-authored by Prof Slee on
Educational Support and Social Exclusion click here.

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