Constructing cultures of inclusion in schools and classrooms: hearing voices, building communities for learning
conference contributionposted on 05.03.2015, 14:50 by Hugh Busher
[From Introduction] To cope with the tensions and the potential social conflicts that occur in school communities leaders need to listen to participants’ voices, those of students, staff, parents and school governors in particular, recognise their interests and needs, and allow them to influence the curriculum and organisational decisions that are made. The importance of students as internal actors in the construction of a school and of schooling (Day et al, 2000; Rudduck and Flutter, 2000), and recent central government policy encouraging the development of school councils, points to a reemerging awareness of the importance of encouraging students to take a responsible part in the government of their schools, an awareness that was largely extinguished in the 1980s and 1990s. School students have considerable impact on the construction of its culture (Marsh, 1997; Busher and Barker, 2003), whether or not they are commonly included in discourses about work-related interactions in schools and whether or not they are conventionally marginalised from discourses about school organisational process. Linstead (1993: 59) describes this as students helping to write the texts of schools, perceiving the construction of organisations as an intertextual process that takes place between the authors and actors of it and in it. It raises questions about how students’ acute awareness of the processes of schooling and the many insights they have of them (Rudduck and Flutter, 2000; Flutter and Rudduck, 2004) can be heard and acknowledged by staff at all levels in order to contribute positively to the development of a school.