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Educating All

Developing Inclusive School Cultures From Within


Christopher McMaster

This book contributes significantly to the conversation about inclusion as a critical component of school culture. Educating All recounts Christopher McMaster’s experience as a critical ethnographer in a school community, given the task of not only studying the institution’s culture, but of creating change as well. The school used a whole-school framework known as the Index for Inclusion, which addressed students identified as having «special» or learning needs. The outcome of this process was the realization that the faculty and the system were not adequately providing optimum services to «special needs» students. By incorporating the special needs unit into a larger department and by utilizing it as a teaching center rather than a classroom, the staff and school leadership were able to produce a better alignment of value and practice and to provide a re-interpretation of just what is meant by «mainstream».
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Chapter 4. Neoliberalism in New Zealand Education

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In the previous chapter we looked outward, past the horizon, to new “lands.” The movement for inclusive change was placed within this striving—for a tomorrow that is not a watered-down version of the present, but better than today. That change is possible is evident through the imagination, hope, method, and agency of which Freire, Dewey, and Gramsci spoke. Each advocated for a critical element in education, a critical pedagogy. Building on the work of Freire, Giroux (2011a) saw critical pedagogy as the ability to discern and be attentive to “those places and practices in which social agency has been denied and produced” (p. 3). Critique, to Giroux, is a “mode of analysis that interrogates texts, institutions, social relationships, and ideologies as part of the script of official power” (p. 4). This understanding of critique has guided the methodology, methods, data collection, and analysis in this book. However, before we proceed with the sailing towards distant islands we must critically examine from whence we are sailing. To develop more socially just and inclusive education centres, and equally more just and inclusive communities, we must understand the current situation in New Zealand. This chapter will turn a critical gaze on the dominant ideology guiding much of governmental economic, social, and educational policy. Through this critical ← 43 | 44 → examination, attention will also be directed at where change is most possible, and why inclusive change is not only a desirable destination to strive to reach, but also reflects intrinsic values within New Zealand...

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