• The Open University

Understanding Inclusive Education: The Evolving Landscapes

Discover how inclusion in care and education provision has been shaped by historical perspectives.

Father and son playing with play dough
  • Duration

    5 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
  • Included in an ExpertTrack

    Course 1 of 3
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    $39/monthFind out more

Broaden your understanding of inclusion for children with additional needs

On this five-week course, you’ll develop your awareness of the changing perspectives relating to children who need additional support or are perceived as having special educational needs and/or a disability (SEND).

Focusing on those in pre-schools, schools, care, and other educational settings for children under 12 years old, you’ll consider values, attitudes, and beliefs about difference and how they shape inclusivity.

Explore the models of disability to understand different perspectives

You’ll start by expanding your awareness of the changing nature of language and labels relating to SEND. This will help you develop your understanding of different theoretical models, including the social, medical, and disability rights models, and to consider how these have impacted current responses to children categorised as different from most of their peer group. 

Learn from real-life case studies highlighting the inclusive educational needs of children

You’ll build your knowledge on what influences policy decisions by looking at relevant UK legislation and the global drive for change, including the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

Learning will be brought to life by Corley who will share his story about living with severe developmental verbal dyspraxia. His account will help you understand what life is like from the perspective of someone with lived experience.

You’ll focus on the processes of inclusion and exclusion, learn about the continuum of educational need and provision, and the transition from segregation to integration.  

By the end of the course, you’ll have a broader understanding of inclusion in education and the confidence to apply your learnings with those you support.

What topics will you cover?

  • The impact of changing language and labels surrounding additional and special educational needs and disabilities over the course of a century
  • Models of disability including the social, medical and disability rights models
  • Legislation and policy relating to integration and inclusion in the UK and beyond
  • The changing landscape of special education

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Highlight the new, job-relevant skills you’ve gained and supplement existing qualifications with a hard-earned, industry-specific digital certificate – plus one for every course within your ExpertTrack.

  • Learn the latest in your chosen industry or subject.
  • Complete each course and pass assessments.
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Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the influence of historical perspectives on contemporary approaches to inclusivity in schools and other care/educational contexts 
  • Describe the changing terminology and impact of labels on responses to children described as having special educational needs and/or disability 
  • Demonstrate knowledge of relevant legislation and policy contexts in the UK and beyond 
  • Explain the transition from segregated special schooling to integration, and inclusivity in care and education contexts 
  • Reflect on the processes of inclusion and exclusion in care and education contexts 

Who is the course for?

This course is for learners who would like to develop their skills and knowledge of special educational needs and disability. It will enhance the professional development of those working or volunteering in care or educational settings with children aged under 12, including pre-school education and care settings for babies and children aged 0-5 years. It’s also suitable for parents and carers who wish to extend their knowledge in the area.

Learning will be beneficial to anyone seeking a career in teaching or supporting learners in schools or other contexts. It will also be useful for professionals working in agencies across the health and social care sectors, for example social workers or health visitors. 

Who will you learn with?

I am an early years consultant and lecturer. I own a small group of private day nurseries. I am really interested in special educational needs, inclusion. I have two sons and three grandchildren.

Who developed the course?

The Open University

As the UK’s largest university, The Open University (OU) supports thousands of students to achieve their goals and ambitions via supported distance learning, helping to fit learning around professional and personal life commitments.

  • Established

  • Location

    Milton Keynes, UK
  • World ranking

    Top 510Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020

About this ExpertTrack

Gain vital insights and perspectives to help you provide more inclusive support for children with special educational needs.

Start learning today - free 7-day trial

After your free trial you can:

  • Pay $39 per month to keep learning online
  • Have complete control over your subscription; you can cancel any time
  • Work at your own pace and set your own deadlines at every stage
  • Only pay while you’re learning; the subscription will cancel automatically when you finish
  • Complete online assessments to test your knowledge and prove your skills
  • Earn digital course certificates and a final award that you can share online, with potential employers, and your professional network
  • Keep access to the content of courses you complete even after your subscription ends

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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