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Relational and Responsive Inclusion

Contexts for Becoming and Belonging


Edited By Mere Berryman, Ann Nevin, Suzanne SooHoo and Therese Ford

Socially unjust circumstances continue to perpetuate inadequate classroom, school and system-level responses to longstanding social justice imperatives, shutting out power-sharing solutions to educational disparities and marginalizing populations of Indigenous and minoritized peoples. To address these educational disparities, this book proposes a relational and culturally responsive framework, from within a critical and indigenous paradigm that is designed to foster one’s sense of becoming and belonging in the world with all people, and thus promotes inclusion. Praxis such as this challenges traditional paradigms that marginalize or dehumanize those with whom we seek to work. Social justice in education must be concerned with recognizing, respecting and being inclusive of the diversity of all students. Social justice is about valuing and including all children for the potential they arrive with and for the families that stand beside them, rather than on what we might aspire to change and mold them into being.


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Chapter One: Cultural and Relational Responses to Inclusion and Belonging: A Dream to Dream Together (Mere Berryman, Ann Nevin, Suzanne SooHoo, and Therese Ford)


c h a p t e r o n e Cultural and Relational Responses to Inclusion and Belonging A Dream to Dream Together mere berryman, ann nevin, suzanne soohoo and therese ford Mehemea ka moemoea- ahau, ko ahau anake. Mehemea ka moemoea- a ta-tou, ka taea e ta-tou. If I dream a dream, I dream alone. If we all dream together, we can succeed together. Te Puea He-rangi, 1883–1952 (as cited in the Ministry of Education, 2011) If, in reality, I am not in the world simply to adapt to it, but rather to transform it, and if it is not possible to change the world without a certain dream or vision for it, I must make use of every pos- sibility there is not only to speak about my utopia, but also to engage in practices consistent with it. Paulo Freire, 2005a, Pedagogy of Indignation, p. 7. i n t r o d u c t i o n A pressing challenge in education, that has been driven by and in turn contin- ues to drive the ongoing and seemingly immutable educational disparities, can be associated with the power imbalances in classrooms and schools as a result of increasing ethnic, cultural and language diversity shifting the composition of the dominant mainstream society. As our education systems become more culturally, ethnically and linguistically diverse, rather than benefiting and learning from each other, we continue to expect our students to be represented within the same curric- ulum, pedagogy and testing...

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