Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
RN10_09b_IC: Inclusive Education
Friday, 01/Sep/2017:
11:00am - 12:30pm

Session Chair: Mieke Van Houtte, Ghent University
Location: Intercontinental - Athenaeum CC II
Athenaeum Intercontinental Hotel Syngrou Avenue 89-93 Athens, Greece Floor: Lobby Level

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Managing Inclusivity in UK Universities - The Rise of New Higher Education Professionals

Roxana Diana Baltaru

University of Essex, United Kingdom

Over the last couple of decades a growing number of studies have documented the expansion of non-academic professionals in universities all over Europe, a long established trend in the US. Conventional arguments conceptualize this trend as a functional response to the structural challenges associated with universities becoming more inclusive in line with new societal demands and expectations. In contrast, departing from a neo-instituionalist perspective, this paper pursues the cultural dimension of universities’ response to structural diversity, drawing attention to the broader environmental forces that shape universities as formal organizations. More specifically, the paper explores the relationship between universities’ commitment to pursue inclusivity among students and staff (in terms of gender, ethnicity, nationality and disability) and the proliferation of non-academic professionals. I use panel data in order to model this relationship based on yearly observations obtained from 124 UK universities from 2003 to 2011. I provide a unique systematic investigation into the factors underlining the growth into the proportion of non-academic professionals in the UK. My findings indicate that it is not the diversification of students and staff per se that stimulates the increase in non-academic professionals but the highly standardized approaches, such as provision of support oriented academic services and facilities, that universities employ in order to articulate their rational actorhood in catering for individual differences. The results are robust controlling for institutional size, customer orientation, research activity and performance.

The potential of Dialogic Leadership in Education to promote the inclusion of all voices and increase academic performance.

Adriana Aubert1, Carmen Elboj2, Tinka Schubert3

1University of Barcelona; 2University of Zaragoza; 3University Rovira i Virgili

In the present paper, we present the potential of Dialogic Leadership when implemented in schools as learning communities. Over the last decades, scientific literature has investigated the role of leadership in educational institutions and diverse contributions have addressed specific aspects, such as the distributed leadership looking to improve school outcomes or the transformational leadership which adds the importance of school improvement for socially just schools. Further research focuses on the role of the teacher in educational leadership and their role as agents of change.

The concept of dialogic leadership adds to this knowledge with particular attention to the role of dialogue. The theoretical foundations build on the dialogic turn in education and in society in general. Departing from contributions by Habermas and Freire, Padros and Flecha (2014, p.217) define dialogic leadership as “the process through which leadership practices of all the members of the educational community are created, developed and consolidated including teachers, students, families, non-teaching staff, volunteers and any other members of the community”. The present paper presents evidences from case studies implemented in Spain and focuses on the implications that dialogic leadership can have on the diverse collectives participating and assuming this leadership role in their educational community. The transformational potential of this practice reaches beyond the performance of school outcomes and improves the academic performance of children, while at the same time contributing to the empowerment of the participating family and community members, especially those from vulnerable collectives.

The practices of developing relationships between the inclusive education process participants: evidence from a Russian university

Sofia Vladimirovna Korzhuk1,2

1Institute of Economics and Industrial Engineering SB RAS; 2Novosibirsk State University, Russian Federation

Inclusive education for people with disabilities is a relatively new experience for Russian universities. Therefore, there is a need for research of effective ways to introduce inclusive education to higher education system. The purpose of this research is to identify restrictions and perspectives of inclusive education in universities in order to develop ways to improve higher education accessibility for people with disabilities in Novosibirsk.

The research has been conducted in Novosibirsk State University, which has been implementing a project for the inclusion of students with disabilities for more than 10 years. We have performed interviews with students without disabilities, students and graduates with disabilities as well as in-depth interviews with students with disabilities, professionals and professors who work with students with disabilities in Novosibirsk State University. The results include different opinions on inclusive education, description of the impact that inclusive education has on various participants of the educational process and an overview of topical issues in inclusive education.

Experience of Novosibirsk State University shows that inclusive education of people with disabilities has advantages for all participants of the educational process. However, given a relatively small number of students with disabilities studying in the university, informal approach to the problems of such students tends to prevail. For further improvement of inclusive components there is a need to work out a formal mechanism of interactions of all participants of educational process.

(Re)purposing Life: Education and Social Inclusion of Underqualified Adults

Luísa Maria Delgado

Instituto Politécnico de Santarém | Escola Superior de Santarém, Portugal

This paper aims to reflect on the limits and opportunities of adult-targeted courses, as a relevant measure to promote the social and professional integration of underqualified adults ─ particularly of long-term unemployed individuals ─ in the context of modern societies.

It results from intensive subsequent research efforts, in which several in-depth interviews were conducted to underqualified individuals, whom at the time were partaking in courses which would later grant them professionalized academic certification.

Such research efforts have allowed us to conclude that these courses gave the adults the possibility to escape the reality of unemployment, as well as to resume an academic journey that had been prematurely put to an end. To the vast majority of these individuals, this return to the school benches represented a moment of (re)purposing and (re)shaping their life projects, acquiring the skills to pursue a qualified job. It also represented a moment to rethink their broad perspectives on school, which consequently had impacting positive effects regarding the way they helped their children who were simultaneously in school. Finally, it is relevant to highlight the impact of these courses on the individuals’ self-esteem (observable in the quote ‘I can do it!), as well as the healthy learning environment, which allowed for more long-lasting and satisfactory social bonds.

In addition to the invaluable professional opportunities created by these courses, it is also important to reflect on their limits within contemporary societies, in which phenomena such as overqualification push to employment the more underqualified tiers of our societies.

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