AbstractThis thesis is based on a study into the tensions and struggles between written government policy on inclusion and the reality of living and lived policy in Kenya, taking the experiences of a primary school’s attempt to become inclusive as its primary focus. The methodology builds on the metaphorical concepts of a ‘rhizome’, ‘tree’, ‘lines of flight’ and ‘becoming’ as they are espoused by Deleuze and Guattari (1987) in their philosophical writings in the book, A thousand plateaus. The contrast between the rhizome and the tree provides the basis for the critique of 'methodolatory' (Chamberlain, 2000: 287) and creates spaces for creative imagination in conducting inclusive research.
The thesis advances a view of IE as a becoming, and draws upon the ‘philosophies of difference’ to offer new lenses for thinking and acting inclusively within schools (Allan, 2008). Through a rhizoanalytic approach, the relations and connections between written and lived policy are explored in order to consider what sort of educational spaces might be worthy of the inclusion of children and adults. The thesis also examines the wider contexts within which exclusive tendencies are harboured.
Besides the surface view of inclusive education, participant accounts and conceptualisations imply that there is an invisible view of IE which is informed by a much more complex set of understandings. Therefore, teachers in their attempts to teach inclusively are often caught up in these complexities and disciplinary power networks which can be understood if they work closely with policy officials.
The central recommendation of this study is that, there is need for policy officials to engage more deeply with teachers in order to understand their actual experiences. In this way, policy changes can begin to reflect school practices and capture the issues that teachers regard as priorities for promoting inclusive initiatives. This view suggests a change to a bottom-up and rhizomatic approach in the way policy is made and implemented because teachers had a feeling of being left out in making decisions that affect their work. To address issues of inequality, ethnicity should form part of future research in order to create different ways of tackling institutional exclusions and build foundations for citizenship and social cohesion.
|Date of Award||8 Dec 2011|
|Supervisor||Wayne Veck (Supervisor) & Charly Ryan (Supervisor)|