• Conceptions of inclusion and inclusive education: A critical examination of the perspectives and practices of teachers in England

      Devarakonda, Chandrika; Hodkinson, Alan; University of Chester; Liverpool Hope University
      This paper details the development and operation of a system of inclusive education in England during the latter part of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st Century. Through the employment of a literature review and in-depth semi-structured interviews the study sought to determine how teachers defined and operationalised inclusive education in their schools. The studys conclusion details that although many teachers had struggled to understand and operationalise inclusion they had tried very hard to make this initiative work for them, their pupils and their schools. Where inclusion had been most successful was in schools where levels of training were high and ones in which the ethos was positive and supportive of this important educational initiative.
    • For pity’s sake: comparative conceptions of inclusion in England and India.

      Devarakonda, Chandrika; Hodkinson, Alan; University of Chester; Liverpool Hope University
      This paper offers a critique of transnational aspects of ‘inclusion,’ one of those global education buzzwords that as Slee (2009) puts it, say everything but say nothing. It starts off by trying to compare Indian and English usages and attitudes at the level of teacher discourse, and notes the impossibility of any ‘authentic’ translation, given the very different cultural contexts and histories. In response to these divergences, the authors undertake a much more genealogical and ‘forensic’ examination of values associated with ‘inclusion,’ focussing especially on a key notion of ‘pity.’ The Eurocentric tradition is traced from its Platonic origins through what is claimed to be the ‘industrialization of pity’ and its rejection as a virtue in favour of more apparently egalitarian measures of fairness. The Indian tradition relates rather to religious traditions across a number of different belief systems, most of which centre on some version of a karmic notion of pity. The authors both criticise and reject ‘inclusion’ as a colonisation of the global and call for a new understanding of notions like ‘pity’ as affective commitment rather than ‘fair’ dispensation of equality.