‘Please Explain!’–public perception of students with diversity in mainstream education as voiced in Australian online news media

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Cain, Melissa
Gibbs, Kathryn
McRae, Benjamin
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Inclusive education (IE) in Australia has gained momentum over the past 40 years (Berlach & Chambers, 2011), with the restructuring of pedagogy in mainstream classrooms to include more students with diverse learning needs and abilities. Inclusion considers all students as learners with equal rights and as such, affording the opportunity to attend their local school of choice regardless of perceived social, emotional cultural, linguistic, intellectual, or learning differences (Florian, Young & Rouse, 2010). Currently, a profusion of literature has been forwarded echoing the progress of inclusion, available through a multitude of online and published sources. However, there is a decided gap in the literature identifying community opinions of IE using online news media as a voice. This study investigates the perception of IE in Australia through the lens of online social and news media users to answer the question: How is IE in Australia perceived through the lens of users of online news media? To provide context to the research, a review of relevant literature will cover the following pertinent topics: IE in the Australian context, affordances, and constraints to the practice of IE, and online news media as an alternate voice.

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International Journal of Educational Research Open

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© 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license. (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, providing that the work is properly cited.

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This publication has been entered in Griffith Research Online as an advanced online version.

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Communication and Media Studies

Specialist Studies in Education

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Cain, M; Gibbs, K; McRae, B, ‘Please Explain!’–public perception of students with diversity in mainstream education as voiced in Australian online news media, International Journal of Educational Research Open, 2020