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Table of contents

Good teaching means approaches with documented general high effect Hattie Then there is no need for distinctive impairment-oriented strategies or other pedagogical specializations for most students Thomas and Loxley This means that general teaching strategies in widespread use in mainstream education can well be adapted to support students with special needs, and with good results.

Meta-studies show that such general teaching strategies give the best results for most students Florian ; Kavale ; Mitchell ; Norwich and Lewis One meta-study concludes that: The pedagogic approaches which have been shown to be effective are accessible for all practitioners. They build on traditional teaching skills and do not require extensive training or deep knowledge of individual impairment characteristics. Rix and Sheehy , When it is the case that ordinary teaching methods are the best way to teach the majority of students, also many of those with disabilities and other special educational needs, then inclusive schools most of all must demand highly qualified ordinary teachers Florian Difference is an essential aspect of human life and development in every aspect of learning, which teachers must be aware of and accustomed to meet.

Therefore, teachers must trust in the fact that they are capable of teaching all children, as well as continually developing creative new ways of teaching Florian To be able to improve general teacher competence, there is also a need to further develop the approaches to teaching in inclusive schools. This article has discussed the understanding and practices of inclusive education, and the main challenges in developing inclusive education. It has only dealt with issues of broader relevance revealed in the research literature. The content has included elements associated with definitions of inclusive education related both to a horizontal and a vertical dimension, practices of inclusive education, the benefits of inclusive education and teacher competence for inclusive education.

There is consensus between international organizations about how to define inclusive education. Many nations support these definitions, which emphasize inclusive education as an important premise in order to secure equal educational rights for all students. The basic ideas behind inclusive education relate to dominating and common democratic values and social justice. Ideally, inclusion appears as a multi-dimensional issue, where the different elements can support or weaken each other.

From a value perspective, inclusive education should concern all students with special educational needs and not only students with disabilities, which is the dominating perspective at present. In this respect, one single element appears as the most frequent criterion of inclusion; that is student placement: where the teaching goes on and together with whom. The close connection between inclusive education and special education has made placement, being taught together with all other students, an important element in inclusion, a parallel to what happened earlier in the case of integration.

Placement to avoid excluding or segregating any students from their peers seems in practice often to be the most common and single-dominant criterion of inclusion.

Understanding inclusive education: ideals and reality

In some countries, even access to education for all students has been associated with inclusion. The challenge in practical inclusive education, however, is the implementation difficulties. There are differences between nations, but none of them has actually succeeded in constructing a school system that lives up to the ideals and intentions of inclusion. Far from it. The realization difficulties also come from disagreements about how to operationalize definitions of inclusive education, about what groups of students should be in focus, about access to education and about lack of coherence in educational policy.

Teacher competencies in the field of inclusive pedagogy have been poor. The documentation of the effects of inclusive education and pedagogy is confusing.

What Really Works in Special and Inclusive Education: Using evidence-based teaching strategies

The difficulties also relate to dominating and different national historical, social and political traditions. There are few simple answers about how to proceed towards successfully implementing inclusive education.

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Nations differ, challenges differ and schools differ. All institutions must introduce their own processes from where they stand. The idea that we now know what inclusion is, and that implementation now comes next, does not therefore correspond with the realities of the situation. One issue seems to be of importance for all involved, independent of the definition and practice of inclusive education.

That is the struggle to develop educational quality in classrooms so that all students benefit from inclusive education, regardless of which definition of inclusion one supports. The importance of access and placement in inclusive education has received too much attention, at the expense of developing pedagogical quality.

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This has to be done systematically, and must be empirically documented. It will be crucial to reveal the challenges involved in inclusive education and to develop ways in which teachers can meet them. To do so will take time and effort. His main areas of research interests are educational reforms and classroom activities especially connected to special education and inclusion.

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He is the author of many articles and books dealing with early childhood education and care, compulsory education, special education and teacher education. Ainscow, M. Booth, and A.

Improving Schools, Developing Inclusion. Allan, J. Anastasiou, D. Kauffman, and S. Di Nuovo. Arduin, S. Armstrong, A. Armstrong, and I. Booth, T. Blyth and J. Milner, 21— Index for Inclusion. Developing Learning and Participation in Schools. Brownell, M.

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Florian, L. Fulcher, G. Disabling Policies? Graham, L. Hansen, O. Hanushek, E. Finn and R. Sousa, 23— Hardy, I. Hattie, J. Visible Learning. Haug, P. Nes, M.