Developing Inclusive School Cultures From Within
Chapter 8. “All It Needs is a Plan”: The Index in Use
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The utilisation of the Index for Inclusion in the school permitted the staff an opportunity to reassess how school values such as “caring and sharing” were exhibited through practice. Over the course of the year this practice was examined as part of the self-review process. The presence of a framework facilitated the exploration of deeper values and assumptions, and encouraged staff to collectively and individually explore the tension between values and beliefs, their reflection in artefact and practice, and how the understanding of inclusion was enacted and negotiated. As the Index for Inclusion played a key role in the change process at the subject school, the implementation of the Index will be examined in this chapter.
The Index process involves five phases in its planning cycle: getting started, finding out together, producing a plan, taking actions, and reviewing those actions. “Getting Started” first required explaining the Index process to the school leader, pointing out the collaborative nature of the approach, features that build ← 99 | 100 → on existing strengths and contribute to sustainability. As “inclusion” was a word William had heard previously but never fully sought to define, these meetings also involved discussion about the nature of the term. We explored diagrams, such as a large circle in the centre of the paper that represented the “norm” or “the mainstream.” A smaller circle outside of the larger one represented students with “special needs,” who can frequently find themselves on the “outside” or excluded. Additional small circles were added to...
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