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Week 2: Learner-centred teaching

2. Why is policy important?

Setting out policies is how governments make things happen. The policies they develop will be based on an ideology, but also on international agreements such as the Sustainable Development goals, or the Paris Climate agreement.

In 1994 the Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action on Special Needs Education (UNESCO, 1994) set out a vision for inclusive education. The purpose of the statement was ‘to further the objective of Education for All by considering the fundamental policy shifts required to promote the approach of inclusive education, namely enabling schools to serve all children, particularly those with special educational needs’. piii

By setting out a vision in this way, policymakers are challenged to find a way of realising the vision in their country. Policies are important because they demonstrate a commitment from politicians to create circumstances in which the policies can be implemented. Inclusive teaching is enacted in classrooms, but teachers need support, resources and training, all requiring policies to be in place.

The policy response to the Salamanca Statement in many countries was a call for learner-centred education (LCE) and teaching which is more inclusive and supports the development of skills and values alongside knowledge.

Activity 2.1 Education policy

Allow approximately 20 mins for this activity.

In your context, what are the government’s priorities for Education? What does your government do to ensure that the system is inclusive? What is the impact of these policies and what else do you think they could do?

Write a few sentences on the Week 2 forum (about 150 words), about your national context. Read and comment on at least two others.