Richard Rose on inclusive learning in India

Richard Rose is Professor of Inclusive Education at the University of Northampton. In this interview he talks about inclusive education in India and the Bangalore based Masters programme that he has helped to developed on the topic. He talks about the importance of not imposing a western view of inclusion and western teaching approaches on an Indian population. Working with partners from India has been key to the success of the programme so far. He goes on to explain the contextual issues specific to India and how the course works to support teachers in developing inclusive schools. Many of the schools in India are very different from those in a western context. Many classes have 60 or more children in them and very few resources. Using Western approaches to inclusive education may be very demanding or in some cases not realistic. Much of Richard’s recent work has been based on collecting evidence on what works already with regards to inclusive learning in low and middle income contexts.

Topic Guide

HEART recently published a Topic Guide which brings together evidence on what works in inclusive learning for children with disabilities and/or difficulties in learning in low and middle income countries, and explores the role of these approaches in contributing to inclusive societies and ultimately inclusive growth. The full Topic Guide can be downloaded here.

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.

In a related HEART Talks video, Dr Susie Miles, a Senior Lecturer in Inclusive Education from the University of Manchester, gives an overview of the Topic Guide.


Richard Rose is Professor of Inclusive Education and Director of the Centre for Education and Research. Richard’s Research interests are in the areas of special and inclusive education, the relationship between exclusion, communities and poverty, and the development of research as a means of supporting effective teaching. He has worked collaboratively with colleagues in several parts of the world and has conducted research and consultancy in Ireland, India, Malaysia, Singapore, China, Estonia, Georgia, Armenia, Finland and Hong Kong where he was Marden Fellow and Visiting Professor at the Institute of Education. Richard has been a member of a number of government advisory groups including an enquiry into looked after children and an advisory group examining teacher development in relation to learners with complex needs. He has served on the editorial board of a number of academic journals. Richard is director of Project IRIS a longitudinal study of special needs provision in Ireland and the largest study of its kind conducted in a European country.


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