Teachers' Understandings and Beliefs about Inclusion

This paper presents research into Canadian elementary and secondary teachers’ understandings of inclusion. The research investigates how a sample of 120 teachers in the southern part of Ontario defined inclusion, and the extent to which they believed an inclusive classroom is an effective way to teach all students. The study employs Nancy Fraser’s conception of justice as requiring redistribution, recognition, and representation. The findings reveal teachers’ relative lack of attention to issues of resourcing, but considerable emphasis upon issues of representation. While issues of recognition are largely valued, there is a tendency to reify categories of student identity, rather than challenging concerns about the lack of social status attending such foci. The research reveals a push ‘beyond the binary’ of considering teachers’ practices as either inclusive or exclusive, and how teachers’ engagement with resource provision, recognition of learners, and representation of student needs exists along contingent and intersecting spectra.

Inclusion In-service Teachers

Learner Diversity and Identities

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

  • Dr. Stuart Woodcock
    • Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Human Sciences, Macquarie University
    • Stuart is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Human Sciences at Macquarie University and teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students in the areas of inclusive education, educational psychology, and classroom behaviour management. His current research interests are on educators' attitudes, understanding, and expectations about students with learning disabilities, attribution theory; self-efficacy; and, classroom and behaviour management. Stuart initially trained as a teacher in the UK. Since then he has taught in England, Canada and Australia in primary and secondary schools, teaching in a variety of settings including mainstream, special education and behaviour units.