Week 1: Thinking about inclusive education


3. What does it mean to be excluded?

3.1. Who might be excluded?

Activity 1.1 Feeling excluded

Allow approximately 30 minutes for this activity

  • Think about any times when you have felt excluded (this could be as a child or as an adult).
  • By whom were you excluded? Why were you excluded? Where were you excluded?
  • Write the different examples on a mind map, including the situation and why you felt excluded. 
  • Reflect on how this made you feel.

Share an example on the Week 1 forum and read at least two other posts.

Times when I felt excluded → When I started a new school because I did not have any friends, and no-one talked to me.

  • Read the examples provided by a group of educators from Kenya and Uganda. For each one note down in your notebook what could have been done to help that person, and who could have helped them. Add any new examples to your mind map.

Now think about the children in your class:

  • Why might they feel excluded?
  • Add these ideas to your mind map

Now compare what you have found –are there any common reasons for children and adults to feel excluded?

Finally, on your mind map group the different reasons for feeling excluded into categories such as a physical, academic or social.

Examples from practitioners

  • I felt excluded in French because the teacher spoke only French, so I could not understand what I was being asked to do.
  • I felt excluded by my younger classmates when I first joined university because I was a mature student.
  • In primary school [I felt excluded] when I was chased way from mathematics class for not being able to grasp the concepts fast enough.
  • I felt excluded from education when I lost my sight and was not allowed to sit my exams – the school would not let a younger student read the questions to me.
  • I felt excluded during learning because the teacher was so fast in delivering the content, while I was so slow in grasping the facts.
  • [I felt excluded] when Daddy got another wife and abandoned some of us.
  • I felt excluded from learning at a time when my colleagues in primary seven went for a field trip but I could not go because my parents did not have enough money to pay for the trip.
  • I felt excluded and fearful when there was a lot of data explained fast and we had to comment. This happened a few weeks ago in training: same experience as an adult as when I was a child.
  • I felt excluded when I fell sick and was absent for some time and the teacher introduced a new topic. When I returned the teacher had already moved on to next topic and I was unable to catch up with the rest of the class. I was very down.
  • I found the work very easy and the class very boring – I felt excluded because I did not feel I was learning anything.

Children may be excluded if they have disabilities, but also because of features of their everyday lives. This course will help you to think about how to overcome these reasons for exclusion in the classroom in order to include everyone, by considering practice and how to improve it, and attitudes and how to challenge them.