Meeting Some Challenges of Inclusive Education in an Age of Exclusion

Roger Slee

The Victoria Institute for Education, Diversity & Lifelong Learning, Victoria University,
Melbourne, Australia

(Received 24 March 2013, Final revised version received 14 June 2013)

Exclusion is ingrained into the global social fabric in general and education in particular. This paper takes up the challenge of international agreements and conventions affirming Education For All. Increasingly education jurisdictions are submitting to lean testing regimes and publishing results to drive local, national and international competition to drive up standards. While there are grave concerns about the poverty of such policy imperatives and the narrow definition of assessment therein, evidence is mounting to demonstrate the perverse and deleterious impacts on disadvantaged communities and vulnerable individuals. The rhetoric of inclusion is strong but conceptions and practices of inclusive education are inconsistent and disconnected from other aspects of social and education policy that drive exclusion in stark and subtle manifestations.

Key words: Inclusive education, challenge, exclusion