Social inclusion in special pedagogy

Research Paper (undergraduate), 2022

8 Pages



INTRODUCTION. The concept of social inclusion has changed over the years, although it is still not clear how society accepts this term. Therefore, it is important to train the population, especially educators who have the first contact with the new generations. METHODS. Moreover, through social pedagogy, this inclusion is promoted through tools and methodologies that help to create a good environment in all spaces. RESULTS. Also, how this change has affected governmental decisions that have helped to improve education and thus bring about the inclusion and social integration of all children regardless of their disabilities and limitations. DISCUSSION. The way in which this social inclusion is realised is through experiences that over the years have improved this educational training.


How can special pedagogy help social inclusion in education? Interventions in the model of educational care for people with special educational needs are linked to social change. Therefore, pedagogical approaches must ensure that people are trained for integration into society, so inclusion of these individuals must start at school and therefore inclusion in society. They have the right to enjoy all the possibilities that a society offers since everyone has his own abilities and skills. If we look at what is said about social inclusion in the book "Inclusión educativa y Educación Especial. Un horizonte singular y diverso para igualar las oportunidades de desarrollo", a book by Santiago Borges Rodríguez y Moraima Orosco Delgado, we see that inclusion as an idea and as a new concept arose from a group of professionals, parents and people with disabilities who promoted ideas about the need not to be segregated in institutions specifically designed for them and which distanced them from social life. Also, we can highlight the following quote “the inclusion is not just about visual disadvantages, but also the inclusion process comes up from the thinking about problems and its solutions” (Lukás Stárek, 2021), where it is reflected that inclusion is carried out through observation and analysis of society´s behaviour over the years, which has brought to light problems that need social solutions.

This is why the training of teachers is very important, as they are the ones who educate future generations first hand. Students must be able to find mechanisms that stimulate motivation for the adjustment of each and every student's educational response in the university training process, particularly those who present barriers in their learning or participation due to special educational needs associated with hearing disabilities. (Ministry of Higher Education, 2016). Concepts such as stimulation, re-education, rehabilitation, intervention, early childhood education, developmental stimulation, and so on are associated with the term educational care.


Regulations concerning social inclusion:

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), “ Over 1 billion people are estimated to experience disability. This corresponds to about 15% of the world's population ”. (World Health Organisation, 2021 ). Therefore, given these figures, it is estimated that disability is more common than we usually think. Likewise, the concept of disability has changed throughout history with different positions in society. Taking this trajectory into account, the current study adopts the current definition of a person with a disability as stated in Article 1 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Personas with Disabilities: “persons with disabilities include those who have long- term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which, in interaction with various barriers, may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others” (United Nations, 2006).

With reference to the following statement, we can say that the last two decades of the twentieth century were decisive in the process of awareness and adoption of measures in favour of the inclusion of people with special educational needs. Nevertheless, not only the disability influences this social marginalisation but also the family status can encompass a social disadvantage for these people. As the author Lukás Stárek rightly says in his article “all children, and their abilities and possibilities are negatively influenced by their family and social status of the family where they are brought up”. Moreover, the cultural status of a family and its own history have a huge impact on the social status of children in school.

Pedagogy recognises the right of everyone to a quality education, regardless of their disability or characteristics that alter their development in any way, and therefore encourages their integration into society as full individuals. Inclusive education seeks to realize for all people the right to a high-quality education, which serves as the foundation for a more just and equal society. In fact, the origin of social pedagogy stems from the social changes that occur in the changes between generations and citizenship, thus, Radl (1984, p.28) points out that "the origin of social pedagogy is truly understood through the essential changes in the traditional absolutist society towards a capitalist industrial society". However, both educators and families have not yet clearly mastered the essential factors for achieving inclusive education. We also lack the tools that allow for individualisation in educational methodology and in the social environment. In many countries, the term "inclusion" or "inclusive education" is used interchangeably with the integration of children with disabilities or others with special educational needs into mainstream schools. In other words, the inclusion movement is being conflated with integration, despite the fact that they are two distinct approaches with distinct visions and goals.

Social inclusion occurs in education as a result of social pedagogy:

In this sense, schools are the first agents responsible for social inclusion of their pupils. It is the children´s first contact with society, where they discover themselves, as well as develop their abilities and skills. In addition, families also play a crucial role in this aspect as they ensure that their children are empowered and given the opportunity to open up socially. Therefore, it is necessary to find the fundamental tools to carry out this function. So, society must support educational institutions as they educate individuals who will live in a society regardless of their characteristics, to feel fulfilled and integrated in all its spheres, as it said in the Draft Global Action on disability, refers to the fact that “good health status of persons with disabilities will also contribute to the achievement of the broader Global Development Goals” (WHO, 2014, P. 1). Thus, there must be a theoretical part in which the right information is learned and supported in order to intervene in this inclusion and that it is possible to be carried out in a comprehensive way and to enable everyone to integrate into a developed society without prejudice. Education is not capable of overcoming inequalities and closing the social gap, so more efforts are required for it to truly become a driver of greater equity, so more needs to be done to make it a true driver of greater social equity. Although there have been changes in many schools as a result of the inclusion of students with special educational needs, the mainstreaming movement has not been able to significantly alter the situation.

On the other hand, we are used to treating a person with a disability in a different way, and that makes society look at them differently. If we treat these people in the same way as everyone else, we will create an equal environment where everyone has the same opportunity, we just have to know how to do it. That is why we need the right tools to educate these children in an inclusive society. Special pedagogy is responsible for providing these educational, psychological, social and media interventions to optimise the potential of these people. This inclusion has a historical background and has gone through a process of integration into society. In the first civilisations, which are considered to be pre- educational, there was no social inclusion, and people who were considered different from the rest were marginalised. The population was afraid of these people and tried to eliminate them completely from society.


Society in the face of social inclusion:

Even so, with the passage of time and the development of new generations, clinical and therapeutic education for people with disabilities or impairments is created. Little by little, new tools and teaching methodologies are being developed in education to include these people in society and give them the opportunity to grow and develop their abilities. Hence the emergence of a movement called “inclusive education” which promoted the need to transform the school and education system to meet the needs of all learners. Thus, it is not the pupils who have to adapt to the education system, but to integrate into it. The problem is that this term (social inclusion) is not correctly understood by society, i.e., there are many interpretations, and therefore there is no correct integration. We only look at school and not from school to society, where we really live together, because school is only a stage where we learn, but society is everything, from going to the supermarket to interacting with others. In general, the special education care model has been transferred to mainstream schools, with a greater emphasis on individualised attention for these students rather than modifying those factors in the educational and teaching context that limit participation and learning not only of integrated children and young people, but of all students.

In other words, it is necessary to understand that inclusive education seeks to address diversity, recognize learning disabilities, and respond on these obstacles, and take the vision of all education participants to be responsible; try to make them realize that it is normal to be different, to overcome tolerance and accepted vision. The fundamental reason for the emergence of inclusiveness is to recognize that education is a right and to regard diversity as the basic educational value of school transformation. Concerning the right to education, it is clear that the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development considers it as a fundamental component of social inclusion and development, specifically as part of the sixth commitment, in point 39: “...emphasis on lifelong learning by striving to improve the quality of education, so that people of all ages are provided with knowledge, reasoning skills, and the ethical and social values necessary for them to develop their full potential in health and dignity to participate fully in the social, economic and political process of development” (United Nations, 1995).


In summary, educational change in special pedagogy is in a process of adaptation and development to foster full integration and inclusion in society. We still need more contributions and innovations to renew this educational system, but little by little with the new generations we are experimenting and achieving this goal. Therefore, thanks to social pedagogy we can learn from different techniques and methodologies to carry out an inclusion in all aspects of these people. In addition, we can continue to grow in the educational field to prosper in a better society by embracing new regulations to achieve this goal.

Inclusive education seeks to provide opportunities for all, based on the assumption that the school and community meet the needs of all children, regardless of their personal characteristics. Teachers, in collaboration with families, have the responsibility to educate in the respect of and for differences, with the understanding that an inclusive school is one that provides quality education with equity. Also, in order to provide the most effective assistance in the socialization process to individuals and human groups, social pedagogy must address a dual front of action. According to Cesar Coll (1990; p. 185), “the true individualisation of teaching consists in adjusting the quantity and quality of pedagogical support to the process of knowledge construction of the learners, i.e. to the needs they experience in carrying out the learning activities”.

The primary mission of social pedagogy is not only to correct but also to prevent marginalization and deprivation. And it is in this context that it takes on its full meaning and becomes more relevant.


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