Week 1: Thinking about inclusive education


5. A model for thinking about inclusive education

You may have some worries or reservations about inclusive education. You may expect that it requires specialist teachers, extra equipment or a different school environment. Thinking about inclusive practice at three different theoretical levels (or ‘waves’) offers a way for all teachers to understand what they can do to include all children. We will be using the model introduced in Activity 1.4 to help you to think about inclusive practice throughout this course.

The ‘Wave model of intervention’ (Sarton and Smith 2018) proposes that the first level (‘wave’) toward good inclusive practice is ensuring that all teachers are teaching to as high a standard as possible, using well-founded pedagogical principles, including differentiating work to cater for a variety of needs. Activity 1.4 below will help you familiarise yourself with this theoretical model.

Activity 1.4 Introduction to the Wave model of intervention

Allow approximately 10 minutes for this activity.


This slide cast summarises the ‘Wave model of intervention’ as a way of thinking about inclusive education from Sarton and Smith.

Download presentation

  • Watch the short slide cast now.
  • In your study notebook, note down the key features of each level of intervention.

What are your reactions to the model? Write your reflections in your study notebook. This will help you later on in the course and in the quiz.