Conceptualizing equality in education and academic success is a fundamental element to enhance inclusivity in the education sector. Also, quality education is closely linked to future prosperity, economic, and social opportunities, which makes it a fundamental right in the world's democratic societies. However, this right has been prone to violations as most of the disabled students face discrimination, especially in matters concerning school completions, educational achievement, and employment opportunities. In many nations, disability has also been identified to be closely linked with high levels of multidimensional poverty.
An example is where learners with disabilities reach educational levels, which are not adequate to help them secure significant employment. One major challenge that many countries are experiencing is ensuring safe, inclusive, and productive learning environments for disabled students in the future. In ensuring education inclusivity for the disabled learners, the concerned organizations should establish and expand learning opportunities to ensure that these individuals feel valued in the community.
Purpose of the Study
The study by Macaulay et al. (2016), aims at identifying the factors that affect educational inclusion for learners with disabilities in Australia. According to this study, economic capital, cultural issues, and education utility are the key hindrances to achieving genuine educational inclusion for learners with disabilities as they result in a lack of continuity in the education field.
On the other hand, the study by Poed et al. (2017) aims at identifying and analyzing the enrollment and attendance of disabled students in Australia, including any setbacks that these learners experience in their attempt to seek education. The study is meant to ways to improve inclusion in schools
The survey by Macaulay et al. (2016) applies Bourdieu's social theory to identify the dynamic and complex nature of the society in the provision of inclusive education. According to this theory, individuals with interest in promoting inclusivity should have a mastery of the dynamic and dominant elements in the education field to apply its rules and define capital exchanges and values to attain success. The study also uses document analysis approaches, which involves identifying and selecting reports followed by examination and evaluation of the associated data.
The study by Poed et al. (2017) is similar to the previous one as it also applies the document analysis approach to scrutinize the "Disability Standards for Education 2005". The research develops questions from the analysis, which are then sent to different educational stakeholders for the purpose of testing the interpretation and accuracy of these standards. Data collected is coded and analyzed using SPSS.
According to Macaulay et al., (2016), "the culture of a school will reinforce itself via influential agents whose habitus and capital are powerful in the structural organization of the school." The strong relationships in social structures can determine either inclusion or exclusion experiences by defining the boundaries between them. The habitus of the local community, class teachers, and school leaders has a strong influence on a school's inclusion culture. Secondly, ownership of economic capital and the family capacity to stand the costs associated with accessing and attaining education may vary significantly, showcasing inequities in promoting inclusivity. High levels of economic capital enhance cultural capital (familiarity of educational structures) and better educational opportunities. Under the third element, education utility; failure to consider the educational outcomes for the disabled learners makes it hard for them to access employment opportunities in the society.
The study by Poed et al. (2017) identifies culture as one of the restrictive element in ensuring inclusion in schools. Some institutions had no developed culture to support inclusion, and some parents had to try several schools to find an environment where their children would feel accepted. Creating a positive culture requires a lot of input and excellent communication from different stakeholders, including the local community, class teachers, school leaders, and students themselves. The study also indicates that disability standards are not enforced in many learning institutions to promote inclusivity. Another critical element identified in this study is developing social connection and understanding between the disabled students and their educators to eliminate rejection.
The two studies complement each other in that they both identify hindrances of educational inclusion in Australia. Both the studies indicate the high levels of inequality, especially concerning the inclusion of disabled students, an element that results in severe and long-lasting problems for the learners themselves, the society, and their families. Additionally, both studies stress the need to build inclusivity in learning institutions as this aspect contributes to better academic performance for disabled students compared to those that are segregated. Finally, both studies highlight the need to enhance education utility, where all students, regardless of their conditions, are given equal opportunities to access employment.
Economic capital, cultural issues, and education utility are some of the critical variables that hinder educational inclusivity and which are yonder the control of the learners and their families (Macaulay et al., 2016). On the other end, the study by Poed et al. (2017) identifies some key variables hindering inclusivity but which can be controlled by the parents, students, and school staff.
The disabled students should be able to enroll and contribute to education on equal measures as their peers. Compliance with disability Principles calls for schools to guarantee that admission processes and education practices do not victimize disabled students. Parents and students should also be consulted and supported (financially) as part of these practices
Macauley, L., Deppeler, J., & Agbenyega, J. (2016). Access to quality education for students with disabilities. Journal of Social Inclusion. 7 (2), 3-17.
Poed, S., Cologon, K., & Jackson, R. (2006). Gatekeeping and restrictive practices with students with disability: Results of an Australian survey. Education, 24, 2b.
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