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Question 3: Take five important principles of inclusive education found in your readings

and discuss how each of these is addressed by your state or territorys current policy.

This paper will provide five important principles of inclusive education and discuss how each
principle is evident within and throughout pertinent South Australian policies and
frameworks. In doing so it will demonstrate how inclusion in education is an aspect of
inclusion in society (Department of Education and Childrens Services (DECS), 2007a: 77).

It is important first to understand what a principle of inclusive education is. The Macquarie
Dictionary (2011) defines a principle as a fundamental, primary, or general truth. Foreman
(2011: 16) explains that inclusive education is where schools should, without question,
provide for the needs of all the children in the community, whatever their background.
Therefore, the following five principles of inclusive education, as cited in Foreman (2011: 815), are fundamental truths pertaining to a childs right to education regardless of
Social Justice and Human Rights
Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UNHR, 1948) establishes education
as a universal human right for all people. Articles 28 and 29 of the Convention on the Rights
of the Child (CRC) (1990) compliments article 26 of the UNHR, breaking down the rights of
the child to education. Additionally, article 2 of the CRC highlights this right irrespective of
the childs and or parents/guardians background. Through such social justice movements,
declarations and/or recognised rights diversity in classrooms is expected and hopefully

South Australian policies and frameworks are founded upon this principle. The South
Australian Curriculum Standards and Accountability (SACSA) framework highlights that it
enables programs to be devised which do not privilege or exclude particular groups equity
is a key curriculum consideration (SACSA, 2001a: 7). The DECS Learner Wellbeing
Framework also demonstrates this commitment to the equitable education of all learners,

viewing the child holistically, through its five dimensions of the wellbeing: cognitive,
spiritual, emotional, social and physical (DECS, 2007). Furthermore, the Students with
Disabilities Policy and Cultural Inclusion Framework addresses South Australia (SA)s
commitment to protecting the child from discrimination.

All children can learn

Foreman (2011: 10) highlights the well-known acceptance that all children can learn as
being prominent since the 70s. Jones and Jones (2001: 79) also recognise this principle as
one of their four core teacher values.

Curriculum Frameworks in South Australia provide the curriculum entitlement for all
learners (DECS, 2006). SA has taken necessary steps to ensure this right is both upheld and
taken advantage of. For example, South Australian legislation requires that all children
under the age of 17 to attend school and/or a school based program, such as Innovative
Community Action Networks (ICAN) (DECS, 2011).

Elkins (2009: 38) defines normalisation as the inclusion of students with a disability to enjoy
the same rights, privileges, opportunities, and access to services and facilities as those who
do not have a disability. Later Wolfensberg (1988, in Elkins, 2009: 38) re-formulated
normalisation as social role valorisation (SRV), which is relevant to two classes of people in
society: those who are already societally devalued, and those who are at heightened risk of
becoming devalued (Osburn, 2006: 4). It is the responsibility of those in positions of power,
especially educators, to enhance the perceived social role each student plays in classroom
expanding into the community.

Each of the policies previously discussed provides evidence of the presence of SRV, and the
reduction of the devaluation of people or groups. This is evident through the valuing of
cultural competence, respecting and embracing diversity, partnerships and collaboration,
positive student-teacher relationships, and the dimensions of wellbeing to name a few
(Axelby & Rigney, 2006; DECS, 2006; DECS, 2007; SACSA, 2001). This is also particularly
emphasised through the South Australian governments commitment to reduce the gap for
Indigenous Australians (Axelby & Rigney, 2006).

Least Restrictive environment

This is the entitlement of a student to attend the environment most suited to his or her
needs. Whereby, if it is possible to adjust the physical setting/layout of the room, or provide
aides or equipment to allow a student with a disability to attend a regular class, however
this may not always be the least restrictive option (Foreman, 2011: 11-12), this should be
done to ensure the student is able to attend an environment that is least restrictive.

The Students with Disabilities Policy strongly emphasises the importance of this principle
under two of the five outlined areas of the Disability Standards for Education (2005; cited in
DECS, 2006: 2): enrolment and participation. The policy states The degree to which a
disability affects the students learning depends on the learning environment and the
students ability to interact with that environment (DECS, 2006: 3).

Additionally, it is important to uphold an environment where the teachers approach to

classroom management, and therefore underpinning theory, is least restrictive. This is
supported by Lyons, Ford and Arthur-Kelly (2011). In SA, the SACSA framework explicitly
identifies constructivism as its underlying theory; where the learner is an active participant
in the construction of their own learning, (SACSA, 2001a: 10).

Complimentary to the principles of normalisation and least restrictive environment, Forster
(2010: 129) defines the principle of age-appropriateness to mean activities and approaches
commensurate with an individuals chronological age. Consistent with principles of
normalisation/SRV, Foreman (2011: 15) emphasises the value placed by peers to support
age appropriate activities.

The SACSA frameworks Curriculum Bands separates students into one of four age brackets:
early years, primary, middle and senior years. The curriculum bands sub-categorise age
appropriate Learning Areas and Essential Learnings (SACSA, 2001b). As above, this is framed
within a constructivist approach and understandings of human/child development.

This paper set out to demonstrate that the five important principles of inclusive education
outlined above are evident throughout the examined South Australian policies and
frameworks. The above affirms their presence throughout the explored South Australian
educational policies. Additionally, the requirement of collaboration intertwined throughout
the policies and frameworks, consistent with the five principles, brings to light Foremans
(2011: 14) assertion that inclusive education is for everybody and is everybodys business.


Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). (1990). Retrieved from, viewed October 13th, 2011.
Department of Education and Childrens Services (DECS). (2006). Students with Disabilities
Policy. Adelaide, SA: DECS.
Department of Education and Childrens Services (DECS). (2007). DECS Learner Wellbeing
Framework for Birth to Year 12. Adelaide, SA: DECS.

Department of Education and Childrens Services (DECS). (2011). Innovative Community

Networks. Adelaide, SA: DECS. Retrieved from, viewed on September 15th,
Department of the Premier and Cabinet. Cheryl Axleby & Dennis C. Rigney (2006). A
Inclusive Framework for South Australia: Document one Guide to the Framework.
Adelaide, SA: Department of the Premier and Cabinet.
Elkins, J. (2009). Legislation, policies, and principles. In A. Ashman & J. Elkins (Ed.), Education
inclusion and diversity (3rd ed., pp. 35-56). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Education
Foreman, P. (2011).Introducing inclusion in education. In P. Foreman (Ed.), Inclusion in
(3rd ed.,pp. 2-41). South Melbourne, VIC: Cengage Learning.
Forster, S. (2010). Age-appropriateness: enabler or barrier to a good life for people with
profound intellectual and multiple disabilities. Journal of Intellectual &
Developmental Disability, 35 (2), pp. 129-131.
Jones, V. F., & Jones, L. S. (2001).Establishing positive teacher-student relationships.In V. F.
Jones and L.S. Jones (Ed.), Comprehensive classroom management: creating
communities of support and solving problems (6th ed., pp. 77-120). Needham Hights,
Mass.: Allyn & Bacon.
Lyons, G., Ford, M., & Arthur-Kelly, M. (2011).Classroom management: creating positive
Learning environments (3rd ed.). South Melbourne, VIC: Cengage Learning.
Osburn, J. (2006). An overview of Social Role Valorization theory.The SRV Journal, Vol. 1(1),
South Australian Curriculum Standards and Accountability (SACSA). (2001a). General
Information: Birth to Year 12. Adelaide, SA: DECS.
South Australian Curriculum Standards and Accountability (SACSA). (2001b). Curriculum
Bands. Adelaide, SA: DECS.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UNHR). (1948). Article 26. Retrieved from
42/50 Distinction
This is a well planned and written essay. You have demonstrated that you understand the meaning
of principles per se, the five principles of inclusion and the South Australian State policy that drive
educational practice. It really is well constructed, April and you should use this as a template for
future assignments. Thank you for the effort you have made, and I shall adjust your mark on grade
centre accordingly.