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Transforming Education

Global Perspectives, Experiences and Implications

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Edited By Robert A. DeVillar, Binbin Jiang and Jim Cummins

This research-based volume presents a substantive, panoramic view of ways in which Australia and countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North and South America engage in educational programs and practices to transform the learning processes and outcomes of their students. It reveals and analyzes national and global trajectories in key areas of educational development, and enhances readers’ understanding of the nature and complexity of educational transformation in a global context. The book’s comprehensive analysis of factors associated with transforming education within globally representative geographical, cultural, and political contexts contributes to critical scholarship; its discussion of individual country findings and cross-country patterns has significant implications for educational practitioners and leaders. The volume has direct practical relevance for educational practitioners and leaders, policymakers, and researchers, as nations remain in dire need of effective ways and means to transform their respective educational systems to (1) more ably realize educational equity, (2) make learning relevant to an increasingly diverse overall student populace, (3) ensure individual and general prosperity, and (4) promote substantive global collaboration in developing the new economy.
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CHAPTER TEN: Accessing Inclusive Education: Family Stories from India: Srikala Naraian & Poonam Natarajan

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Srikala Naraian & Poonam Natarajan

The education of students with disabilities in India has mostly occurred within special schools and institutions (Hegarty & Alur, 2002). Even as the field of special education in India continues to grow rapidly, it is the rhetoric of inclusive education that has captured an important place within national discourse (Alur & Timmons, 2009). It has been argued that the absence of an entrenched special education system renders irrelevant to the Indian context the conceptual shift that has marked the evolution of discourses in the North, that is, from segregation to integration to inclusion (Jangira, 2002). Instead it offers an opportunity to focus more completely on the transformation of existing educational systems Yet even though India became a signatory to the 1994 Salamanca Statement,1 the country has struggled to match the rhetoric of inclusive education injected into major programming and policy with the onerous task of implementation in a context where “inclusive” must encompass children with disabilities, street children, girl children, working children, and children from the dalit “untouchable” caste, all of whom are considered to be populations “at risk” (Kalyanpur, 2008a). Students with disabilities constitute almost 40% of all out-of-school children in India (World Bank, 2007).

While Northern conceptions of inclusive education emphasize a “whole-school” approach (Ainscow & Miles, 2008), that is, the transformation of schooling structures to create classrooms that can be hospitable to a wide range of students, the emergent trend in programming in India reflects a dual-system...

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