Kinds of participation: Teacher and special education perceptions and practices of 'inclusion' in early childhood and primary school settings
This paper shares and interprets family narratives involving the exclusion of two disabled children within their early childhood and primary school settings. Interpretations of particular ‘kinds of participation’ that appear to be accepted as inclusive are explored. We argue that these interpretations have disabling effects on the children’s learning and participation. We critique participation’ as: ‘presence’, ‘fitting in’ and ‘irrelevant or unimportant’. A ‘Pedagogy of Listening’, based on a critical, ethical and political approach to learning and teaching is presented as an alternative to deficit approaches to learning and participation (Dahlberg & Moss, 2005; Rinaldi, 2006). New Zealand curriculum documents (MOE, 1996; MOE, 2007) are briefly considered in regards to their socio-cultural views of learning, teaching and participation and their positioning of disabled learners. A ‘Pedagogy of Listening’ and narrative approaches to assessment are considered in relation to their implications for inclusive New Zealand pedagogy.