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ERIC Number: EJ1021875
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1360-3116
Inclusion in a South African High School? Reporting and Reflecting on What Learners Say
Walton, Elizabeth
International Journal of Inclusive Education, v17 n11 p1171-1185 2013
A concern with formal and epistemological access to schools can neglect the importance of access to the informal school and the friendships and sense of belonging that this implies. Despite the challenges of "voice" research, listening to what young people have to say about their experiences of, and attitudes towards social inclusion and exclusion at school may help to identify and address exclusionary pressures. This article reports on a study conducted at an inclusive high school in South Africa where learners have only known a diverse peer group. Despite this, questionnaire and focus group interview responses show that learners have ambivalent attitudes about Others. They position themselves and their school as "normal" and show a mixture of empathy, prejudice and patronisation as they consider how they might respond to peers or a fictional character who is different from them. These Grade 10 learners have strong feelings about who should be admitted to their school, and they identify some exclusionary practices that operate in their social world. Their attitudes cannot be considered apart from a schooling system which normalises educational separation and exclusion and a pedagogy of compassion is suggested as a way to enable young people to address their prejudices towards Others.
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Publication Type: Reports - Research; Journal Articles
Education Level: High Schools; Grade 10
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A