Journal of Educational Change

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 1–17 | Cite as

Engaging with the views of students to promote inclusion in education

  • Mel Ainscow
  • Kyriaki Messiou


The argument developed in this paper is set within the context of an increasing global concern to promote inclusion in education. Drawing on the authors’ research over many years, it argues that an engagement with the views of students can lead to changes in understandings and practices that help to facilitate the development of more inclusive approaches in schools. At the same time, these experiences show how such processes can lead to ‘interruptions’ in the work of those in schools in ways that may challenge the status quo and sometimes lead to negative reactions. It is argued, however, that, under appropriate organisational conditions, such approaches can lead to dialogue between students and teachers that stimulates actions to promote inclusion in education. The paper concludes by outlining how such conditions can be promoted, focusing in particular on issues related to cultures and leadership.


Change Cultures Dialogue Inclusive education Leadership Students’ voices Schools 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ManchesterManchesterUK
  2. 2.University of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK

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