‘Who will fit in with whom?’ Inclusive education struggles for students with dis/abilities

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12 Scopus citations


Inclusive education (IE), as a global movement, has been part of many nations’ policy agendas. As the global ideas travel across borders, the meaning of this term has taken various forms in local and national discourses. Thus, this study examines teachers’ conceptualizations and experiences of IE for students with dis/abilities (SwDs) in Turkey. SwDs are one of the largest groups who are marginalised and excluded from accessing education and participating in meaningful learning experiences. Cultural historical activity theory was used to understand the teachers’ meaning-making of IE in relation to their context. This qualitative study was conducted in four schools in a southwestern city in Turkey. Applying a photo elicitation approach, a classroom photo with a hypothetical vignette was used as a stimulus to generate focus group discussions and individual interviews. Classroom observations and document collections guided the exploration of SwDs’ experiences and the context of their schooling. Using constant-comparative data analysis, two themes were identified: ‘Who is in? Who is out? Challenges to access,’ and ‘What happens after placement?’ The findings revealed that SwDs had justice struggles in regard to misdistribution of access, misrecognition of their abilities and backgrounds, misrepresentation of their voices, and participation in learning activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1296-1314
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Inclusive Education
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Inclusive education
  • Turkey
  • cultural historical activity theory
  • disability
  • inclusion
  • social justice
  • student with disabilities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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