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The Participation and Inclusion of Marginalised Learning Communities: Lessons from a Refugee Training Programme

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This article focuses on the development of a training programme for a traditionally excluded learning community - refugees, and examines notions of inclusion, participation and citizenship. It suggests that to achieve meaningful participation for those currently outside mainstream educational provision, such as refugees1, the will of providers to adopt a more inclusive approach must be influenced by the recognition that society is constantly evolving. As society changes, a flexible approach is needed to reflect the diverse nature of modern life, but at present it is those currently excluded who are required to adapt, and not those belonging to the dominant groups. This article argues that the situation needs to change and considers the importance that ‘identity’ has on the process of change: it further argues that definitions of citizenship have to be expanded to reflect these changes. The needs of marginalised learning communities, including refugees, can then be acknowledged and the teacher training and professional development of providers revised. Then, and only then, can we begin to talk about inclusion and participation in a meaningful way.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2000

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  • The journal is based on the belief that there are neglected links between research and theory, and policy and practice in the promotion of widening participation in post-compulsory education and lifelong learning. It aims to provide a forum for the development of theory, the addressing of policy questions and the dissemination of innovative practice in the field of widening participation and lifelong learning.
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