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Can counseling support the vision of inclusive education?: Experiences from the project: “Learning for democracy: Partner-driven North/ South collaboration on Inclusive Education”
Dalarna University, School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Education.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3228-9430
2014 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Inclusive education models have been in focus in a collaborative project between the Ministries of Education in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia, Stockholm university, MIET Africa as well as universities in Southern Africa in 2011-2013. The intention was to contribute to a comparative knowledge of educational democracy as well as to strengthen the South African expertise in the area of inclusive education. This was done by co-constructing a mutual communicative knowledge model in which practice and theory met. The project focused on dialogues in six workshops with people with local experiences (e.g. local governments, member of organizations, parent groups) as well as other socially active professionals ( school principals, school psychologists, teachers and social workers). It has been important to establish contacts with numerous professions  that  use communicative democratic processes within an educational context. (Habermas, 1995/1981; Sahlin, 2005; Ahlefeld Nisser, 2009). The project emphasized the need for democratic communication in which all participants would have the opportunity to interpret situations, discuss problems, propose  justifications, express thoughts and criticisms.

The main focus of one of the six workshops was counseling as a way to improve inclusion.

The aim of the paper is to share my experiences from this project with a special focus on counseling as a way to promote inclusive education for sustainable development.

  1. How can counseling be understood in relation to inclusive education?

  2. What was experienced from the counseling task in relation to inclusion?

Findings:

  • Means have been identified to make counseling a democratic and inclusive process.

 

  • An awareness of how to develop participants ethical values and attitudes.

     

  • Strategies for democratic communication functioned in the same way in Southern African countries as in Sweden

     

    Conclusion

  • Though an understanding of how counseling can improve inclusion was expressed, it was observed more on a rhetoric level than in practice.

  • Conflicting strategies between rhetoric and practice was observed throughout some of the discussions.

 

References

 

Ahlefeld Nisser, Désirée, von. (2009). Vad kommunikation vill saga – en iscensättande studie om specialpedagogers yrkesroll och kunskapande samtal. Doktorsavhandling i specialpedagogik. Universitetsservice US-AB. Stockholm: Specialpedagogiska institutionen. Stockholms Universitet.

Habermas, Jürgen. (1995/1981). Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag.

Sahlin, Birgitta. (2004). Utmaning och omtanke. En analys av handledning som en utvidgad specialpedagogisk funktion i skolan med utgångspunkt i tio pionjärers berättelser. Stockholm: HLS Förlag.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Utbildning och lärande
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-16767OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-16767DiVA: diva2:784115
Conference
NFPF/NERA 42nd Congress, Education for sustainable development, Lillehammer, Norway, March 5th to 7th 2014
Available from: 2015-01-28 Created: 2015-01-28 Last updated: 2015-01-28Bibliographically approved

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http://nera2014.org/

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