Developing Inclusive Learning Environments – When collaboration is (not) the answer.

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This chapter focuses on how collaboration within special education needs (SEN) and inclusionary practices in broader early years education takes place in—and across—early education and early care (ECEC). Recently, there has been a focus on how collaboration between professionals can have an impact on the development of pedagogical inclusionary practice. The purpose of this chapter is to argue that collaboration in and of itself does not solve the challenges of developing inclusive environments but that it requires more focus on how to collaborate to develop inclusionary practices. Our research shows that the traditional understanding of SEN is dominate in collaborative processes, that the general understanding of professional work related to SEN is mainly directed at strategies targeting and compensating for the needs of the individual child and that these strategies seldom involve changes in the actual professional practice of educators and social workers, including their collaborative methods. Unintended collaborative processes may result in an exclusion process rather than inclusive one if collaboration is understand as a harmonic and resourceful place for consensus and not a place for negotiations and conflicting perspectives that can develop practice. Based on the findings from the research project ‘Approaching Inclusion’ (2016–2020) (Hansen et al., Samarbejdsprocesser om inklusion og eksklusion [Collaboration processes on inclusion and exclusion]. NUBU (National Research Center for Children and Youth at High Risk), 2020b), we propose an understanding of collaboration that succeeds in creating new spaces and places for all children.
Translated title of the contributionUdvikling af inkluderende læringsmiljøer - Når samarbejde (ikke) er svaret
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development : Perspectives on Policy and Practice in the Nordic Countries
EditorsHeidi Harju-Luukkainen, Natallia Bahdanovich Hanssen, Christel Sundqvist
Number of pages15
Publication date2022
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-91296-3
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-91297-0
Publication statusPublished - 2022
SeriesInternational Perspectives On Early Childhood Education And Development


  • children and youth
  • learning, educational science and teaching
  • social work and social conditions


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