Ignition Talk: Inclusive Education: "From west to the Rest" - about the need of getting aware of Knowledge (In-)Equality & Open Science

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Ignition Talk: Inclusive Education: "From west to the Rest" - about the need of getting aware of Knowledge (In-)Equality & Open Science
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2021
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English

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Abstract
Thinking about the concept of Inclusive Education on an inter- & transnational level one might get the impression that Inclusive Education is a global agenda shaped by guidelines like the UN-Convention on the Rights of Person with Disabilities or Agenda 2030. No matter what: Inclusive Education is important and relevant for several reasons. However, what is even more important is to look behind this seemingly global agenda by asking ourselves Goffman’s questions: What the hell is going on here? What we are about to recognize is the following: Inclusive Education is a (de-)colonization project (Muthukrishna & Engelbrecht 2018), Inclusive Education is a globalization product (Artiles & Dyson 2005) & Inclusive Education can be seen as a form of (‘western’) cultural imperialism (Haskell 1998). Inclusion is a ‘slippery concept’ (Booth 1995), as well as education is a super-normative concept. What is combining both of these concepts, however, is its contextualization in power dynamics, what is inevitably leading to the point of Knowledge (In-)Equality: Who is why and how navigating through the Inclusive Education discourse? How are dynamics and structures being perpetuated? It’s on scientific research to take up those questions by open up ones research designs, data, privileges, and so on. Only if Science is getting & working ‘open’ we are able to discuss this topic on behalf of social justice & knowledge equality. By referring to my own research project on Inclusive Education in rural communities in Ghana we will see what it means to think Open Science together with Knowledge (In-)Equality: no more and no less than the questions of our time.
okay so thank you for the introduction and welcome to my presentation for my first bar camp ever with the title inclusive education from west to the rest about the need of getting aware of knowledge inequity and open science and i really hope to have switched the ignition on by the end of this presentation so have fun
so this is me felicitas i studied french education and special education have quite a lot of experience on the so-called global self and did different small research projects on person with or especially children with disabilities in the democratic republic of congo haiti and ghana so about four months ago i started into my fellowship program under wikimedia and have been confirmed the following open science thought together with knowledge equity is important it matters and it's even more than that because the journey on this very special topic has just started since then it was a productive and interesting journey that was accompanied by questions and subjects i would like to introduce and if interested to discuss with you in a session afterwards so for the fellowship program i was accepted with my phd project that focuses on persons with disabilities and their in or exclusion in educational offers in rural ghana you may think now well kind of boring what on the surface may be understandable a project focusing on a small group in a small area somewhere in ghana what could be exciting about this hashtag not boring
so the concepts of inclusion and inclusive education are popular ones on the international and global level shaped by guidelines like the un convention on the rights of persons with disabilities or agenda 2030 we get the impression that questions of inclusion and inclusive education as a global movement transforming our world by building peaceful just and inclusive society agenda 2030 is saying and furthermore aiming to adjust equitable tolerant open and socially inclusive world which the needs and the most value are met living independently and being included in the community that's where the uncrpd is heading too everyone is in this together whether it is the question on a sustainable global development or the human rights-based approach we have with the uncrpd we are in this together and need to get it done that is what we used to think hearing the voices of those guidelines so hearing greater tune bursts words our houses on fire by looking at agenda 2030's vision we may think hey what a nice idea let's better do it or our future will look like on the picture thousands of different and important challenges whether it is the climate change social inequality conflicts hunger or the resulting migration flows want to be solved for a just equitable tolerant open and socially inclusive world in which the needs of the most vulnerable are met so how do we manage to do it all the answer is short through inclusive education the concept of inclusive education is not only important in this human rights-based approach aiming to full and effective participation for persons with disability it is a major factor of success when we look at all the global challenges we have to face we only can do it by having an inclusive attitude towards our fellow citizens on this planet so that is the important point we have to keep in mind inclusive education can only be achieved through inclusive education that's why sdg 4 of agenda 2030 and article 24 of the uncrpd are seen as essential criteria on our way to a future for all we definitely need inclusive education or we don't even need to start so inclusive
education is important for a bunch of reasons but what we forget or what we are not able to see is that this concept arose from experiences being made by the educational system of the global north we or the global north i really don't like those stigmatizing black and white complementaries but it's in this case describing those outdated somehow old-fashioned dynamics the best have made lots of different experiences with and in an educational system that was and is embedded in our socioeconomic political and historical life and what we are thinking about education itself or inclusive education is strongly associated with our experiences reforms and the ship decisions which have been made in this very special context in our socioeconomic political and historic unique context a context that we often describe as industrialized developed rich and so on well considering this point now ask yourself are we really to are we really able to take this concept of inclusive education and take it for granted for everybody else in this world i admit that thinking about this question is tough because we are experiencing ourselves within a data-based society in which we attain many different achievements and results showing us that inclusive education inclusive education is worth it the concept is doing good so why not give it to others that seemingly need help it's not about inclusive education itself as a problematizing aspect it's about the power dynamics in which we claim power for ourselves by saying here we go take our concept of inclusive education we might quite good experiences with it and we want to help you to achieve the same i as the developed rich and industrialized part claim the sovereignty of interpretation and tell you as the developing poor third world part what you have to to do to achieve my standard this is very it's this is expressed very simplified and overdrawn and you hopefully hear the postcolonial perspective we need out of it what we are
approaching now is the following by looking underneath the sparkling inclusive education movement surface we begin to recognize that this global agenda implies many aspects and dynamics we better problematize when we're aiming towards the equitable inclusive and sustainable future with and for all what we are going to recognize is that the concept of inclusive education can be seen under different perspectives for example inclusive education as a decolonization project inclusive education as a globalization product inclusive education can be seen as a form of western cultural imperialism or inclusive education in a nutshell from west to the rest which means that we are dominating the power dynamics in which we are all living so we definitely have a problem with our global understanding of inclusive education because there is no such global understanding inclusion is handled as a slippery concept varying from context to context and disability is also seen as a construct that is varying from context to context each and every single context is shaped by socio-economic political and historical experiences and dynamics thus carrying its own understanding of disability in or exclusion and the content and structures of education we only have to perceive them
so what we are currently seeing is that the seemingly global movement is bringing up the question of knowledge inequity by contextualizing our western concept of inclusive education and power dynamics we can easily see where this journey will end in knowledge as well as as been a social inequity so by systematically ignoring the fact that other concepts and experiences regarding to inclusive education exist we are widening this inequity as well as we are perpetuating on our dominating power in these dynamics and let's be honest who want to give up their power voluntarily so besides we can imagine that this knowledge inequity is also reproduced by scientific research by not thinking about one's own privileges and its contra contextualization into power dynamics we are thinking in our prefabricated concepts structures and theories that are too often insisting on our approved point of view we simply reproduce knowledge inequity because we are used to think in a certain manner a manner we need to break out of and that's the point where we get back to my phd project and my fellowship
so even if i'm able to argue that my phd project is important for different reasons it is and it still is even though it seems contradictory to do research on inclusive education in ghana where criticizing this western concept uh i felt uneasy about certain aspects when it comes to realization the first point is going into a field collecting data take it back to germany and then publish my insights in german so i'm criticizing inequity under a postcolonial perspective and then take my stuff and say goodbye no way the second point is having my prefabricated plan in my hand including prefabricated focus methods theories and so on so i'm really criticizing mobile knowledge inequity under a postcolonial perspective and taking my plan for granted without hearing to the voices and dynamics on the field not in my project please the third point is state taking my data analyze and discuss it with my german colleagues and then protect them in my home country so i'm criticizing knowledge inequity under a postcolonial perspective not giving anybody else the opportunity to work with my data what is possibly containing stereotypes cliches discrimination or anything that i might have understood wrong nothing nobody of those i possibly understood in the wrong manner is have ever having the possibility to say hey you are wrong or hey i don't want to see me described like this nor do anybody have the chance to continue the ideas i have started with what a loss lucky me i got the opportunity to deepen my thoughts about concerts and my fellowship and got lots of useful and interesting insights on what is going on in this open science community which was a totally new one for me four months ago and even today i feel like i've just started to understand the wide range of potential of the network tools platforms and so on so when it comes to my plan and this fellowship i really like to present my project to others talk about it and open it up to a project what embraces every single idea and offering chasing this very important aspect of knowledge inequity and scientific research because since we want to gain insights and knowledge as scientific researchers helping out helping us to understand better we should not forget to think about potential perpetuated inequity and exclusion while going through your research project you chose to do
so what do we have we have a global movement shaped by different guidelines like agenda 2030 and uncrpd we also have an important movement because we seriously need inclusive education we also see this very important concept of inclusive education is embedded in power dynamics which is dominated by the global north whose concept of inclusive education is shared on a global scale we also have a problem with this global agenda on different levels and this problem is leading to knowledge inequity what we ought to face with the idea of open science
so what we always should keep in mind is that we all live in power dynamics that are influencing our perceptions about what seems to be right and wrong having impact on knowledge equity or knowledge inequity questions like who is how benefiting from my project or my focus and who is not who is leading through theoretical discourses and why whose voices are being heard and whose are staying silent and why can lead you through the jungle of power dynamics and inequities so i think and hope it is getting clear that we really need to get aware of knowledge inequity and how we should try to cope with these important questions we really need to constantly establish the fact of knowledge inequity in our research projects by thinking this aspect together with the idea of open science thinking about the vision of an equitable inclusive and sustainable future proclaimed by agenda 2030 this seems to be the one and only direction in which we are aiming to reduce the gap between that is getting bigger and bigger sorry
so what i would like to end with are questions i can't get out of my head for example this open science automatically leading to knowledge equity how are we deciding what is meant to be equitable especially who is deciding this thinking about the power dynamics why is not everyone actually working with open science criteria and where have i been to not acknowledge this big network and community before how can i use the position in my project to read direct knowledge with open source criteria the best and last but not least what the hell is going on here to always be sure i do not take too much for granted and i'm still able to wonder about every day's awkwardness
and with these words i would like to end up with this presentation and have and i hope i have switched the ignition on so we can now start in our
sessions to discuss our ideas further
it was a pleasure and i thank you for your attention
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