‘Inclusief’ is a feature-length documentary, directed by the renowned Belgian filmmaker, Ellen Vermeulen. It is a movie which captures the experiences of the Flemish school system of children and young people with identified Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND), and their families. In doing this, it raises questions about inclusive practices in education.
In this short clip from the film, we meet Rosie, a four-year-old girl who attends a nursery school. We see Rosie engage in a number of play-based learning activities, and her interactions with other children and nursery staff.
According to Florian and Beaton (2018), inclusive classroom practice occurs when teachers ‘position themselves as learners themselves’ (p. 876). For Florian and Beaton, this involves high quality formative assessment. Unlike summative assessment, which captures students attainment at the end of a unit of learning, formative assessment is continuous, informal, and occurs on a day-to-day basis as part of teaching. It is through high quality formative assessment, Florian and Beaton argue, that teachers learn about their learners and gain insight into their misconceptions, barriers to learning, and perceptions on what is being taught. This informs inclusive practice by enabling teachers to plan for the real children and/or young people within their classrooms, rather than on fictional or hypothetical ‘types’ of learners, based on categories of perceived ability or need. By being open to learning about their pupils, teachers are also challenging any assumptions or stereotypes they may hold about pupils, that may otherwise be undermining the capacity for them to make progress.
One tool which can possibly equip teachers to ‘position themselves as learners themselves’ (p. 876) is the ‘Engagement Profile and Scale’ (Carpenter et al. 2011, 2015). This is a formative assessment framework that has been designed around a recognition that maximising ‘engagement’ tends to be the overall purpose of education with those not yet working at a subject specific level, such as younger learners and/or those with complex barriers to participation.
The Engagement Profile and Scale requires a teacher to observe a learner in relation to the following engagement indicators:
Using materials created by the research team behind the Engagement Profile and Scale, teachers can make notes around each of the above engagement indicators, award scores and identify steps to take to further maximise engagement in subsequent teaching sessions. Materials on the Engagement Profile and Scale can be accessed here.
Rewatch the clip with Rosie.
FLORIAN, L. and BEATON, M., (2018). Inclusive pedagogy in action: getting it right for every child. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 22 (8), pp. 870-894 [Available from: DOI 10.1080/13603116.2017.1412513].
CARPENTER, B., BROOKS, T., COCKBILL, B., FOTHERINGHAM, J., and RAWSON, H., (2011). Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities Research Project: Final Report. Place: London 2011: Available: http://complexneeds.org.uk/modules/Module-3.2-Engaging-in- learning---key-approaches/All/downloads/m10p010d/the_complex_learning_difficulties.pdf . (Date Accessed: 29th November 2022 ).
CARPENTER, B., EGERTON, J., COCKBILL, B., BLOOM, T., FOTHERINGHAM, J., RAWSON, H., and THISTLETHWAITE, J., (2015). Engaging Learners with Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities. Engaging Learners with Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities. London: Routledge.