Inclusive education is a fundamental human right that enables all other rights.
It involves the provision of equitable learning opportunities to all students across all levels of education through the removal of barriers to access and participation, whether those barriers are physical, logistical, pedagogical, social or cultural.
Upon ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD; United Nations, 2008), inclusive education became a human right that the Australian government is legally bound to uphold through Article 24: Education.
Realisation of the right to inclusive education is dependent on the knowledge and skills of all stakeholders involved: students, educators, parents, academics, allied health professionals, policy officers, public servants and politicians.
Ensuring the requisite knowledge and skills across these groups to achieve the systemic reform needed to implement genuine inclusive education, as outlined in General Comment No. 4 to the CRPD (United Nations, 2016), requires a sustained and concentrated program of work across multiple fronts.
The Centre for Inclusive Education (C4IE) at QUT contributes to this important goal by conducting high-quality research across four interlocking programs:
- Engagement and Learning
- Inclusion and Exclusion
- Safety and Wellbeing
- Australian Indigenous Knowledges and Perspectives
The purpose of the Centre is to develop and nurture a critical mass of talented researchers who share a common passion:
- reducing exclusion and increasing inclusion to provide all children and young people with equitable opportunities to learn and develop as independent and valued human beings.
The principal objective of the Centre is to produce high-quality impactful research on matters that affect students in school education, both in Australia and around the world, with the aim of improving the educational experiences and outcomes of all, particularly those experiencing marginalisation.
This objective will be achieved by actioning four goals:
- Identify high-value real-world problems that affect students’ educational experiences and outcomes
- Develop well-designed innovative projects capable of producing the evidence needed to understand and address those problems
- Partner with industry and peak organisations in collaborative research and problem-solving
- Address knowledge gaps and positively influence attitudes by disseminating research evidence, engaging in public debate, and providing quality professional learning opportunities