Changing Paradigms and Future Directions for Implementing Inclusive Education in Developing Countries

Chris Forlin

Department of Learning Science, Hiroshima University/ Hong Kong Institute of Education

(Received 04 October 2012, Final revised version received 13 December 2012)

This paper reviews how the international trend to adopting an inclusive approach to education is impacting upon developing countries. Like all regions, developing countries are unique in their requirements. They thus require policy and practices that not only adopt the international Conventions but that also reflect their uniqueness and provide a methodology for implementing inclusion that is regionally and locally effective. Conflicting issues of providing equity while maintaining greater accountability are especially challenging for developing countries with their enormous diversity of students, support, access, and options. The impact on teachers, the role of the principal, competing educational systems, and a reluctance to move away from firmly entrenched pedagogies and curricula also influence the development of inclusion. An examination of future directions for inclusive education considers how developing countries might respond to these challenges to advance an inclusive educational approach that ensures better equity and opportunity for all learners.

Keywords: developing countries, inclusion, policy, equity, accountability, disability, teacher