9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN10 Sociology of Education

2009-09-04 09:00:00 2009-09-04 10:30:00 Friday, 4 September 09:00 - 10:30 Social Inequalities in Education I Building I, 2E6

Overcoming educational inequalities: Differences among mixture, streaming and inclusion

As part of the Sixth Framework Programme of the European Union, the Includ-ed Project: Strategies for inclusion and social cohesion in Europe from education is an integrated project (2006-2011) is the only integrated project focused on schooling education. INCLUD-ED is aimed at analyzing educational strategies that contribute to overcome inequalities and promote social cohesion, and educational strategies that generate social exclusion, particularly focusing on vulnerable and marginalized groups. Based on the findings obtained during the first year, an exhaustive review of European educational systems, three different ways to organize students and the available human resources in schools have been identified: mixture, streaming and inclusion. In the meantime, diversity is a predominant reality in European educational systems; schools need to find different strategies to cope with the new reality and the prospects ahead. The diversity found in the student body creates new challenges for teachers as they must respond to the students' diverse needs. Nevertheless, the organizational models of students and human resources that have been developed to address this situation are not always inclusive educational strategies. This paper clarifies the different responses and their effects on the school.
Mixture refers to traditional classrooms based on mixed ability classrooms, all the students with only one teacher per class. Mixture has been proven not to be able to respond appropriately to the students' diverse needs. A teacher alone cannot attend all the students? diverse needs. As a result, in many educational systems streaming measures were introduced. Streaming usually involves an increase of human resources (additional teachers) in order to separate those students who experience major learning difficulties. Thus, it entails organization of students according to ability levels, producing negative effects on instrumental areas learning for all students. Inclusionary measures are presented as an alternative model to mixture and streaming. Inclusion is defined as the organization of students in heterogeneous groups with additional resources drawing from the human resources available in the schools. Different practical examples of this model will be provided.