IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


IOE alumni publish book on how they respond to the challenges of inclusive education

22 July 2019

UCL Institute of Education (IOE) alumni have brought together their professional experiences of responding to the challenges of inclusive education in a newly-published book.

Primary school teacher and class

The book ‘Action Research for Inclusive Education: Participation and Democracy in Teaching and Learning’ is edited by IOE academic Professor Felicity Armstrong and Dr Diana Tsokova and highlights the critical relationship between educational theory, research and practice in bringing about change. It presents a range of original and innovative approaches in which teachers develop small research projects in their own professional contexts in support of inclusive teaching and learning and the development of collaborative and democratic cultures in education. 

The contributors, who are all graduates of the IOE’s Special and Inclusive Education MA, write from their insider-perspective on their own cultural and professional settings, representing a range of international contexts including England, Ireland, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Singapore, Grenada and Saudi Arabia.

‘Action Research for Inclusive Education: Participation and Democracy in Teaching and Learning’ explores diverse and collaborative research practices which draw on the strengths and contributions of teachers and support staff, pupils, and families to foster inclusive practices across the school community and strengthen students’ participation and self-realisation.

Topics covered include collaboration in Participatory Action Research, friendships and the development of students’ social skills, creativity in responding to student diversity, student voice, the development of democratic relationships through teaching and learning, and the role of pupils as co-researchers and peer mentors.

Writing in the introduction to the book, co-editors Professor Armstrong and Dr Tsokova state:

“Recent developments in educational practices – nationally and internationally – relating to increased accountability, selection, larger classes, reduced resources for supporting students who experience difficulties in learning and, in the UK context in particular, a declining emphasis on inclusive education in policy documents, all increase the importance of enhancing practice-based critical understanding of approaches to inclusion for those working in education.

“This book provides positive approaches to Action Research in which teachers develop creative responses to the challenges of inclusive education in their own professional contexts. The individual contributions represent a ‘grassroots’ challenge to the conflicting demands facing school communities, and their efforts to provide a rich and meaningful education for all learners, regardless of difference.

“Together all the chapters in this book reflect the commitment and collaborative work of a group of practitioners who strive – individually and collectively – to uncover and remove barriers to participation in teaching and learning, and to effect positive changes in their educational communities.”