Catering for Diversity: Including Learners with Different Abilities and Needs in Regular Classrooms

  • Chris ForlinEmail author
  • Dianne Chambers
Part of the Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Concerns and Prospects book series (EDAP, volume 38)


The inclusion of learners with a wide range of special needs has become a major change in regular classrooms over the past 40 years. In the early part of the twentieth century, there were few opportunities for children to attend formal schooling. For those with disabilities, schooling was almost non-existent. Except for a few students who were deaf or blind and who were able to attend the limited specialised schools established to cater for them, it was not until mid-century that schools began to be established to support children with other specialised needs. By the end of the last century, the plethora of specialised schools for students with similar disabilities began to dissipate in favour of the move towards an inclusive education system. This chapter explores this process of changing classrooms from homogenous to heterogeneous within an inclusive paradigm. Consideration is given to what this means for schools, teachers, parents and the students and what is needed if this philosophy is to be further embraced in the future.


Inclusion Inclusive education Equity Special education Exclusion Teachers Diversity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Inclusive Education ConsultantPerthAustralia
  2. 2.The University of Notre DameFremantleAustralia

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