How to seize the opportunities and help teachers create inclusive excellence in these new forms of digital learning, in various contexts? This requires more than just shifting offline learning activities to online settings. It requires an enhanced understanding of what inclusion means in online (or blended or hybrid) learning environments, for varying groups in varying (local/national) settings.
We depart from the following view on educational inclusion:
Inclusive & enriching for all students with specific attention for students in vulnerable situations:
The aim of ‘inclusive education’ is to enhance the access, belonging, self-efficacy, and study success for all students, and enrich the learning experience for all students respecting and making use of their diversity.
General principles & tailored to the context:
What makes education inclusive is context-dependent. This, for example, depends on online versus offline context, national context, and minority identity but also on the discipline, the teacher, and the specific class. This requires a toolkit that provides guidance and practical inspiration while at the same time leaves room for tailoring solutions.
Exposing the norm instead of fixing the ‘other’:
Making a classroom inclusive does not mean that students from a disadvantaged background are ‘helped’ to fix their presumed deficits and assimilate into the invisible educational norm, it means that the existing norms are made visible, and broadened to include more diversity (in talents, learning styles, background, ethnicity, experiences, etc). This requires awareness of the teacher’s own assumptions and identity, and how they play a role in the classroom dynamics.
The overall approach of the outputs will not consider solely ‘reducing exclusion in digital’ but will also consider ‘use of digital tools to promote inclusion’.