Is Inclusive Education Possible in an Unequal Society?

Conference: The Paris Conference on Education (PCE2022)
Title: Is Inclusive Education Possible in an Unequal Society?
Stream: Education, Sustainability & Society: Social Justice, Development & Political Movements
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Sigamoney Naicker, University of Western Cape, South Africa


Education departments across the world are placed under enormous pressure to deliver results in a performance culture which has emerged through a range of tests that are being administered internationally such as the PISA and TIMMS. There is enormous political pressure to perform and compete internationally. In this process many working class children are marginalized and perform poorly since the focus is on well performing schools that are often from privileged communities. Education departments utilize bureaucrats to respond to this challenge. There is a resounding silence on the pedagogic challenges as the bureaucracy continuously reinvents itself amidst much political and social pressure. It is against this background that there is little, or no change as poor communities and poor children are reproduced. Bowls and Gintis (1976) emphasized in the book Schooling in Capitalist America that schools reproduce the status quo. That poor children in poor communities are reproduced. The contention of this proposal is that education departments reproduce the status quo rather than schools in an unequal society. The world particularly, the United States and the United Kingdom experience high level of working class participation in their schools. However, there are glowing reports of inclusion from these countries that attempt to provide intellectual leadership about social justice. The world today has become a very unequal space and more children are impacted upon by global economics. We need to produce narratives that calls into question this false leadership. We need a social justice model in education.

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