School of Education



It's Normal to be Different: Re-conceptualising Inclusive Education at USP

Date: 04.05.2017 00:00 Age: 260 days

Presenter: Associate Professor Ann Cheryl Armstrong, School of Education, Faculty of Arts, Law and Education, The University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji.


We live in a globalised world and our education system needs to reflectthat, while preserving aspects of our cultural traditions that have served us well. Deficit understandings of disability and neoliberal understandings of the purpose of education impact the way education and indeed inclusive education is conceptualized and implemented. USP is a regional university and we must be able to walk the middle ground between looking at our local and regional circumstances (cultural, socio-political, economic and educational) vs the global idealized hype of somethingthat sounds noble but is unattainable. Very often "education policy is 'grown' in the developed world and exported in due course to developing countries. But in each case the local context of policy and practice allows us to examine the particular pressuresfor change within national [and in this case regional] education systems and the tensionsthat they can give rise to nationally and internationally" (Armstrong, Armstrong & Spandagou, 2010). This re-conceptualisation aims to re-interpretthe concept of Special & Inclusive Education. The Pacific is at a critical stage in its educational development: the crossroads of inclusion and inclusive education policy. How can we then redefine inclusion by usingthe best of our cultural traditions while improving our educational understandings and systems? Therein lies the tension...

Date : Monday 8 May, 2017 | Time: 1-2pm

Venue: FALE Meeting Room


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