An award-winning book has challenged the perception that children with learning difficulties have a negative effect on the achievement of other pupils.
Achievement and Inclusion in
Schools, published by Routledge, argues that inclusion and academic achievement
are not necessarily incompatible and looks at strategies to make both happen.
Co-authored by University of
Aberdeen Professors Lani Florian and Martyn Rouse with Kristine Black-Hawkins
from the University of Cambridge, the book recently won the nasen/TES Special
Educational Needs Academic Award at a ceremony in London.
Professor Martyn Rouse,
Director of the University's Inclusive Practice Project, said: "There is a
widespread belief amongst policy makers and practitioners that the presence of
children with additional support needs has a detrimental effect on the
achievement of other children.
"Our research challenges this
assumption and we would argue that in some schools high levels of inclusion are
entirely compatible with high levels of achievement and that combining the two
is not only possible but essential if all children are to have the opportunity
to participate fully in education."
The book examines national
data on achievement and features vivid case studies that explore the benefits
and tensions of inclusion for children and schools. Areas explored include:
- The nature of the
relationship between the inclusion of some children and the achievement of all
- Strategies which can raise
the achievement of all children, whilst safeguarding the inclusion of others
who are more vulnerable
- The changes a school can make
to ensure high levels of inclusion as well as high levels of achievement for
all its children
At the book awards ceremony
in London the
judges praised the book for its robust research base and its clear guidance on
how to improve practice in schools for the benefit of all children.
nasen (National Association
for Special Educational Needs) aims to promote the education, training,
advancement and development of all those with special and additional support needs.
Now in its sixteenth year, the nasen/TES Awards represent excellence and best
practice in books and resources for special educational needs.
This is the second time that
Professor Lani Florian, Chair in Social and Educational Inclusion at the University of Aberdeen, has won this prestigious
award. In 1999 she was a winner for her
co-edited book 'Promoting Inclusive Practice', also published by Routledge.
Professor Florian added: "We
were all delighted to be recognised by nasen. We believe the book offers an
up-to-date analysis of current issues, provides practical guidance for
practitioners and policy-makers, and we hope it will be of interest to anyone
passionate about inclusive education and children's learning and participation."