Julia McGeown on inclusive education

Julia McGeown is the Inclusive Education Technical Advisor at Handicap International. In this interview, she talks about the recently published HEART Inclusive Learning Topic Guide. Julia’s work involves overseeing education projects in around 20 countries around the world. Working alongside Dr Susie Miles, Julia used her expertise to assist with the drafting of the Topic Guide. In this video, she explains about some of the gaps that currently exist in the evidence base. In particular, cost effectiveness studies are currently lacking, which would explore the effectiveness of interventions at a global scale. She goes on to say how although research on this topic is important, so is implementing pilot schemes and new inclusive education programmes. If we focus just on research, some children may miss out on their enire education, which is unacceptable. To achieve maximum success, the two approaches of research and programme implementation need to be delivered in parallel with each other.

Inclusive learning can be as a result of effective teaching practice, an adapted learning environment and teaching approaches which ensure that all children are included, engaged and supported. The Topic Guide addresses some of the contested and debated issues around terminology, labelling, and segregated, integrated and inclusive schooling; reviews the limited evidence that exists from low and middle income countries around the outcomes of inclusive learning; and identifies future research directions.

Inclusive learning is defined in the Topic Guide as ‘the result of effective teaching practice, an adapted learning environment and teaching approaches which ensure that all children are included, engaged and supported’. The Topic Guide addresses some of the contested and debated issues around terminology, labelling, and segregated, integrated and inclusive schooling; reviews the limited evidence that exists from low and middle income countries and identifies future research directions.

Handicap International is an independent charity working in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster. They work alongside disabled and vulnerable people to help meet their basic needs, improve their living conditions and promote respect for their dignity and fundamental rights. Since it was founded in 1982, Handicap International has gone on to work in around 60 countries worldwide.

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