Exploring the construction of inclusive educational communities in Greece: case studies of secondary schools
This study sought to utilise social constructionism theory and the case study approach to conceptualise the complexity of building inclusive educational communities in the Greek context. Specifically, it explores the ways in which school stakeholders' narratives of professional self are used to explore and understand the construction of inclusive communities. Additional dimensions influencing this kind of narration include those of family, community, and policy narratives. The study is drawing on a qualitative instrumental case study design to examine three urban secondary schools with different legal definitions and approaches to inclusion in the suburbs of a large Greek city. The research design included non-participatory classroom observations of school practice, semi-structured interviews with head teachers, subject teachers and parents, and scrutiny of relevant policy documents. Absent a universal definition and approach to inclusion in secondary education, a framework is developed to identify key elements in the construction of inclusive education in these secondary schools. The findings demonstrate that multiple kinds of inclusion may exist in the Greek context, as each school conceptualizes and responds to these elements differently. The nature of school members' decisions about the implementation of inclusive policy was found to be influenced by the nature of these conceptualisations, as well as the relations developed within and beyond school boundaries. This framework has the potential to be applied to other educational contexts.