The educational landscape for children with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities has changed significantly over recent years. Across the globe, educational contexts have been transformed from practices of exclusion and difference to that of inclusion and diversity. In an Irish context, these changes are evident across legislation, policies and practices, where the Irish education system has sought to embrace difference and move towards more inclusive schools and classrooms. On the whole, Ireland has made significant progress over the past two decades, with endless examples of evidence-based, best practice across classrooms, schools and the wider education system. On the other hand, however, a range of challenges to inclusive education still permeate Irish education, where various barriers to inclusion exist across different levels of the system. Based on critical reflection on national and international research, policy and practices, Dr. Griffin will provide an in-depth overview of the current status of inclusive education in Ireland 2022, with reference to strengths, challenges and future opportunities for positive change. Using the bio-ecological model as a framework for analysis, emphasis will be placed on lessons that can be learned from the Irish education system to inform evidence-based, best practices across other international educational settings. Key areas of discussion will include mainstream schooling versus special schools, the role of special classes in mainstream schools, new models of special education provision and teaching, paraprofessional support, student voice, support services for schools, differentiation versus Universal Design for Learning and capacity building of teachers and schools.

Speaker: Claire Griffin

Published in: Canada International Conference on Education, 2022

  • Date of Conference: 21-23 June, 2022
  • DOI: 10.20533/CICE.2022.0005
  • Electronic ISBN: 978-1-913572-49-5
  • Conference Location: Virtual (Mississauga, Canada)