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Sunday 19 April
Educational Inclusion, is it possible? The myths, challenges and realities
with Marie Delaney

Inclusion is a popular concept now in education in many countries. Many governments are following policies of educational inclusion for all, particularly for students with special educational needs. This presents challenges and opportunities for language institutions and for teachers. This talk will look at some of these challenges, some of the myths around inclusion and some of the possible ways forward.
Issues covered will include:

• Why does inclusion matter – morally? Professionally? Personally?
• What does inclusion mean in your school and community? Who should be included? Who isn’t included?  Is it a process or a place?Thinking beyond students with special educational needs.
• Access to education vs. engagement in education – what are the real barriers? Poverty? Privilege? Entitlement? Attitude? Resources? Training?
• The gap between policy and practice – is inclusion the ‘cheap’ option? What can teachers, trainers and managers do? How do we avoid only paying lip-service to inclusion?
• The need for self-awareness and self-reflection – recognizing our unconscious biases and limitations.
• The power of language as a tool for inclusion and exclusion: the important role of language teachers and language hierarchies.
• Moving from the teacher as the ‘expert’ to the teacher as a cooperative partner with the student and family.

Marie Delaney  
Marie Delaney is a teacher trainer, educational psychotherapist, author and director of The Learning Harbour, Cork, Ireland. She worked for many years with students of all ages with challenging behaviour and other special educational needs, both in mainstream and special educational settings. She has taught English and trained teachers in many countries across the world. She is one of the writers of the British Council’s online course for teachers in special educational needs and the Language for Resilience report on the language needs of refugees. She is the author of Attachment for Teachers, Teaching the Unteachable and What can I do with the kid who... (Worth Publishing UK) and Into the Classroom: Special Educational Needs (OUP). Her main interests are engaging those students who seem unreachable, supporting teachers in dealing with challenge, and creating truly inclusive classrooms.
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