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Relational and Responsive Inclusion

Contexts for Becoming and Belonging

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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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“In Relational and Responsive Inclusion: Contexts for Becoming and Belonging, readers will be treated to fresh, if not joyously transgressive, theorizations and practical applications of an alternative conceptualization of inclusion that disrupts the power dynamics that is embedded in the very idea of including someone or including a group. Berryman, Nevin, SooHoo, and Ford challenge readers to dream a context where the social justice issue of inclusion is relational and extends beyond mere increase in the presence of the Other to actually creating a sense of belonging that is reciprocal, relational, and even daringly challenges exclusionary practices. Chapters in this book offer unique perspectives on what an alternative framework for inclusion might look like in contexts where it is enacted within relational reciprocity. This book is a must-read for graduate students and professionals interested in the social justice issue of inclusion and exploring alternative models not only of theorizing inclusion but learning practical strategies for enacting inclusion across various identity markers that frequently marginalize certain individuals and/or groups.”

Kagendo Mutua, Ph.D, Associate Professor & Director, CrossingPoints Transition Program, Department of Special Education & Multiple Abilities, The University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL

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