Lifelong Learning

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Lifelong Learning

Lifelong Learning



The word 'inclusion' obviously comes from 'include', and signifies the act of including. Its significance arises from questions of treatment according to the value of equality. Lifelong learning is the growth of skills of any person by a constant encouraging procedure that allows and excites persons to obtain values, knowledge, skills, and knowing everything needed during life and to relate it with creativity confidence, and pleasure in all kinds of circumstances, roles, and settings. Definitions of the term 'inclusive education' are contested. However, at its broadest, inclusive education refers to the values, practices and attitudes around the creation of communities of learning which involve and 'belong to' all members of that community: pupils, parents, staff and others connected with the setting in some way.


Many Adults schools are still 'exclusive', especially selective schools, which do not admit those pupils who are unlikely to reach high standards. Specialist schools are able to select at least a proportion of their intake on the basis of aptitude for their particular specialism. 'Faith' schools admit pupils mainly on the basis of their parents' religious allegiance. (Levitas 1998, 85-90)

In the 21st century UK, there is mounting demand for fairness of opportunity and inclusive practices and admission to learning condition. But this has not always been the case and the origins of inclusive education lie in a history of exclusion, segregation and inequality.

Clough (2000) traces the roots of inclusion through the last half of the twentieth century (Figure A) from the psycho-medical legacy of the 1950s through the sociological response of the 1960s, curricular approaches which dominated the 1970s, the school improvement strategies and programmes of the 1980s to the disability studies critique and the challenge of the disability movement to the state education system of the 1990s. While acknowledging that this perspective is not the only way of viewing historical developments, Clough suggests that it is these different 'eras' and developments which have led to the current 'era' of inclusion.

(Figure A)

It is perhaps because of such roots that inclusive education is sometimes viewed as the latest term to describe the education of Adult students with requirements related to special education in mainstream education settings. However, this is not how advocates of inclusive education (or of a broader social inclusion) necessarily define the term. (Ainscow 2007, 85)

Research Issues

The development of inclusive education raises many research issues including:

conflicting understandings and definitions of what is meant by 'inclusion'

parents' views and responses to the inclusion and/or exclusion of their Adult students

the impact of inclusion and exclusion on the lives of Adult students

the practicalities of fully inclusive education.

Some argue that adult students with particular needs are difficult to include in mainstream settings and attempts to include adult students who experience, for example, emotional and behavioural difficulties can be detrimental to some adult students unless managed with the utmost knowledge and skill. Others take the view that there is no justification for the segregation of adult students in 'Special Schools' because they have ...
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