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Unit information: How Educational Systems Can Respond to Diversity and Inclusion in 2021/22

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name How Educational Systems Can Respond to Diversity and Inclusion
Unit code EDUCM0082
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Kikabhai
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Education
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


The key challenge facing schools, colleges and universities in the field of inclusive education is how to respond to diversity and the multiplicity of learning interests.

The unit explores classrooms – factors (attitudinal, social, cultural, economic, political) – that promote inclusive education. It questions and challenges notions of ‘vulnerability’, and the positioning of individuals within the schooling sector with labels of ‘special educational needs’. Further, it examines the emerging literature associated with inclusive education and school, college, university improvement frameworks, widening participation, socially-just curriculums and pedagogy, and the commitment to an ethically and socially-just responsible learning organisation. Varying frameworks have been designed to provide schools, colleges and universities with feedback on aspects of inclusive practice, teaching and research excellence.

Teamwork between teaching and support (multi-agency) staff is becoming an increasingly important topic – this unit will critically review associated practices and identify how such educational systems can respond to diversity and inclusion. It will also explore cross-cultural perspectives drawing upon national and international insights, collaborative and productive knowledge exchange that promotes the progressive realisation of inclusive learning organisations

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of this unit students will be able to:

1. Show critical understanding of the association between inclusive practice and educational institutions (eg schools, colleges, universities) improvement.

2. Critically evaluate which factors underpin effective teamwork and pedagogy for learners within educational institutions.

3. Interrogate in-depth the role of inter- and multi-agency collaboration in relation to the development of inclusive practices in education.

4. Apply their critical understanding of a range of approaches and frameworks to a specific context with which they are familiar (eg school/college/university)

Teaching details

This unit will be taught using a blended approach consisting of a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous activities including seminars, lectures, reading and discussions.

Assessment Details

Formative assessment: feedback on developing ideas will be provided to students through in-class discussion and activities.

Summative assessment: a written assessment of 4,000 words, that provides a critical analysis of an inclusive education framework, initiative, or context. (ILOs 1 - 4)

Reading and References

Fullan, M. (2015). The New Meaning of Educational Change (5th edition), Oxon: Routledge.

Huddleston, P. and Unwin, L. (2015). Teaching and Learning in Further Education: Diversity and change (4th

edition), London: Routledge.

Kikabhai, N. (2018). The Rhetoric of Widening Participation in higher Education and its Impact: ending the

barriers against disabled people. Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan

Parsons, C. (2019). Quality Improvement in Education: Case Studies in Schools, Colleges and Universities,

London Routledge.

Schuelka, M.J., Johnstone, C.J., Thomas, G. and Artiles, A.J. (2019). The SAGE Handbook of Inclusion and

Diversity in Education, London: Sage.