Making sense of the development of inclusive practices

Ainscow, M. , Howes, A., Farrell, P. and Frankham, J. (2003) Making sense of the development of inclusive practices. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 18(2), pp. 227-242. (doi: 10.1080/0885625032000079005)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.


Schools in England are currently being asked to pay greater attention to the issue of educational inclusion. This paper reports some of the findings of a collaborative action research Network that was set up to address the implications of this trend. The Network involves teams of university researchers in working with practitioners in order to encourage the development of inclusive practices. As a result of this work, it is argued that the development of such practices is not about adopting ‘recipes’ of the sort described in much of the existing literature. Rather, it involves social learning processes that occur within a given workplace. The paper attempts to provide deeper understandings of what these processes involve. To assist in this analysis use is made of the idea of ‘communities of practice’, as developed by Etienne Wenger, focusing specifically on the way he sees learning as a characteristic of practice. It is argued that the development of inclusive practices involves collaborative working arrangements; that they can be encouraged by engagement with various forms of evidence that interrupt ways of thinking; and that the space that is created through such interruptions can enable those involved to recognize overlooked or, indeed, new possibilities for moving practice forward.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ainscow, Professor Mel
Authors: Ainscow, M., Howes, A., Farrell, P., and Frankham, J.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Journal Name:European Journal of Special Needs Education
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN (Online):1469-591X

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record