Inclusion, Well-being and Community Building

11 Inter-Group Empathy and Inclusive Learning in Secondary Schools

Fatima Mohammadi and Ritu Tripura

Learning Objectives

 The main goals of this chapter are :

  • Emphasizing equal access for physically disabled students to mainstream education and learning environments along with other students. 
  • Identifying strategies that increase inclusive classroom performance for students through empathic and compassionate behavior.
  • Demonstrating the crucial role of school leadership to redesign and plan the inclusive model for schools. 
  • Understanding the need to build an effective relationship among the community, educators, and parents of disabled students.

Infographic of the Chapter


It is crucial to implement inclusive education in secondary schools to keep all students on track for mainstream education and to maintain equality and equity in society. In developing nations, inclusive education simply refers to special education for students who are categorized as having both physical and emotional disabilities.  Children with physical disabilities have the potential to learn in mainstream education, but they are often mistreated and recommended to enroll in special education. To help students with physical disabilities learn alongside other secondary school students, this paper emphasized the necessity of ensuring inclusive education in secondary schools. To foster a positive learning environment for everyone, the chapter recommended developing intergroup empathetic behavior among children through inclusive pedagogical approaches and developing three-dimensional relationships among parents, teachers, and the community. Also, the role of school leadership environment are another key in inclusive education to create empathy between students. This chapter has an interview with a secondary school, “Chattagram Leaders School and College,” as a case study to highlight the significance of the issue and to inform educators and policymakers about how empathy can be a key concept to teach in the classroom and how multiple stakeholders can collaborate to develop an open and friendly learning environment for all students. Readers are also given extra brainstorming opportunities in this chapter to research creative methods for teaching intergroup empathy in an inclusive classroom.


Nafis, an eighth-grader, had dreamed of becoming a doctor. He got severely injured in an accident that caused him to lose one of his legs before the ninth-grade final exam. That accident shattered every dream he had. However, he later completed his studies and did well on his exams with the encouragement of his teachers, classmates, friends, and family. He then passed the medical exam and he is now a doctor because of the encouragement of everyone. He fulfilled his dream by establishing an inclusive education institution for children with disabilities. Being successful in the last step is only a story and a dream of Nafis which was never fulfilled. The harsh truth is that after that accident, he lost the courage to continue his studies, and his dream of becoming a doctor ended. Even though schools are known for providing inclusive education, there are thousands of Nafis whose aspirations get shattered because they are physically disabled and they are considered to be incapable of studying in the mainstream of education.

The definitions of Inclusive education can be found in our genially work. There, Inclusive education means all children are in the same classrooms and the same schools. It allows students from different backgrounds who have traditionally been excluded specifically for their physical disability to learn within diverse groups and to grow side by side. Empathy ensures that in an inclusive learning environment all students are equally prioritized and teachers work individually to eliminate students’ learning challenges and enable them to participate in the mainstream of education. Teaching students (disabled and non-disabled) to be empathetic is essential for ensuring that learning takes place in a positive environment (Genially work).

According to Bui et al., (2021), empathy can be categorized into two types: cognitive empathy and emotional empathy. Emotional empathy means sharing emotions and cognitive empathy refers to the capacity to understand one’s feelings, situations, and experiences from the perspective of another person (2021). To make sure that every student is empowered, teachers in the classrooms must teach students how to create empathic behavior( Words from genially). In the context of education, it is common to signify the importance of teachers showing empathy for their students to foster a collaborative learning environment where students’ efforts are appreciated rather than making them feel inferior. Even though teachers’ empathy encourages students to develop empathy, students must learn how to do so in the classroom, for example, by not bullying one another but rather working together to learn a difficult topic (Words from genially). So, by fostering an understanding relationship among students and between teacher and students, practicing empathy can enhance students’ learning.

Even though building empathy in students has become essential for inclusive learning, our current curricula from developing countries have not yet been modified in this way. If this crucial element is not taken into account while developing the curriculum, a large group of students will be excluded from the mainstream educational system solely based on their disability. To encourage students’ learning in the mainstream educational system without jeopardizing their aspirations, this chapter emphasizes the development of empathy among secondary school students to include physically disabled students in the mainstream of education. It also outlines how to construct three-dimensional relationships between teachers, parents, and students to foster empathy in the classroom and help all students develop leadership qualities in a supportive setting.

Considerable Note

One of the key objectives of SDG4 (Sustainable Development Goal 4) is the adoption of an inclusive learning strategy. According to the UN, all nations should strive toward inclusive learning and offer equitable opportunities for all children to receive an education. Even though governments, the UN, and numerous NGOs are working on inclusive learning approaches all over the world, many developing nations still struggle to adopt inclusive learning approaches and have a long way to go to implement inclusive education. For instance, most of the nations in Africa and South Asia have specific schools for people with disabilities and face numerous challenges when trying to implement inclusive learning. Even the significance of establishing inclusive education in schools is barely understood by them. One of the main obstacles to educating developing countries about the importance of implementing inclusive education is the dearth of research on education in developing countries. Strong empirical evidence is still lacking for low- and middle-income countries, making it difficult to establish precise definitions of inclusive education and determine the extent to which children with disabilities are falling behind. Implementing systemic changes to the educational system that would improve learning outcomes for kids with disabilities and enable them to attend mainstream secondary schools is therefore difficult (Price, 2018). The other challenges in implementing inclusive learning are as follows:

  • Lack of financing and resources: Many educational systems in developing nations lack the necessary funds, supplies, or special education teachers to effectively integrate students with special needs into mainstream school settings.
  • Inadequate long-term data and precise definition of Inclusive Education: Disability is not a simply defined category, and the experience of exclusion varies according to contexts, gender, and the type of disability (Kuper et al., 2018). Despite growing public support for including impaired children in mainstream education, sufficient research is still lacking which makes it difficult to assess how far those disabled children are falling behind academically, for not being able to study in the mainstream education system.
  • Inadequate data and evidence for enhancing learning outcomes: Due to a lack of information and evidence for enhancing learning outcomes for students with impairments, it is challenging to adopt systemic changes to the educational system that would improve learning outcomes for students with disabilities. Exams and tests rarely provide the necessary modifications or support for students with disabilities, which keeps them vulnerable and deprived. For an instance, technically, most international achievement exams frequently exclude students with impairments. This bolsters the idea that children with impairments do not belong in an achievement-oriented culture (Price, 2018).
In light of this, this chapter instead presents an outlook on inclusive learning in secondary schools so that governments and policymakers may take these aspects into account in the future, rather than analyzing the condition of inclusive learning in the context of developing nations today.
Because the feasibility of implementing inclusive education in this setting depends on how well governance structures support effective stakeholder engagement, encourage strategic behaviors, and address monitoring and accountability issues.


  • History and Development

According to Ojha and Alli (2021), inclusive education, where everyone has the right to receive education catered to their needs, is a human right that paves the way for a more equitable society. The goal of inclusive education is to give traditionally marginalized populations who are either frequently confined to special education or excluded access to mainstream education (2021). These groups include those with disabilities or other special needs who are even frequently denied the right to be educated, and people of marginalized linguistic and ethnic minorities for whom access to inclusive education is only a dream (Ojha & Alli, 2021). In 1994, the first inclusive education framework was developed in Salamanca, Spain. Before this event, the issue of barring disabled students from educational systems had been the focus of extensive human rights work. Exclusion from education is a more widespread trend of violation of human rights. The Government of Spain met with delegates from 90 countries, at the “World Conference on Special Needs Education: Access and Quality” in partnership with UNESCO. Inclusionary education was referred to as the overarching guiding principle of education for all in the “Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action on Special Needs”, produced at that conference (Longfellow, 2021). It also acknowledged that everyone has a fundamental, universal right to education as follows:

  • Inclusive educational institutions are more likely to combat prejudice and ensure equal access to education.
  • Prioritizing inclusive education policies will ensure actions toward making everyone’s access to education.
  • Globally speaking, inclusive education has had a tremendous impact on policy, research, and practice.

As time goes on, discussions regarding inclusive education have received a variety of interpretations, meanings, and responses worldwide (Dreyer, 2017). In an inclusive learning environment, everyone feels like they belong, where they are supported by peers and have their educational needs met. The inclusive school should be free of structural, emotional, and social barriers, support equality and encourage individual responsibility to each other. Therefore, the way that families and teachers perceive engaging kids with special needs in mainstream education through an inclusive learning system is crucial.

Empathy and compassion become two of the most crucial traits for a long and happy life and learning those traits can be initiated through an inclusive learning environment in schools. The question of how having empathy and compassion would be feasible in a classroom setting will be answered throughout the chapter’s contents. As little is known about the feasibility of creating empathy in different groups of students and how teaching can help teachers support students’ growing empathetic mindset toward each other. Here, in an inclusive school, the relationships among the students, parents, and teachers must be considered (Bartoon & Garvis, 2019). These relationships must be characterized by empathy and understanding. Empathy should be reinforced in both classroom content and extracurricular activities (Baglieri, 2017). This definition of empathy states that it relates to feeling what others are feeling and expressing compassion for them or having the capacity to put oneself in another’s shoes (Barton & Garvis, 2019). To raise the students to grow empathic humanitarianism in this complex world, teachers and schools have a big job on their hands. Therefore, the first step in developing an empathic attitude toward one another in the classroom is exercising empathetic behavior among students and teachers such as not bullying one another and helping one another complete assignments.

Week 2: Creating an inclusive ethos and culture

As inclusive education is a crucial strategy in countries’ educational systems, many international non-governmental organizations are working to implement inclusive learning. For instance, UNICEF has been conducting numerous projects and research around the globe by developing many new strategies with their partner countries which focuses on the rising capacity building of teachers and administrators, awareness raising, and implementation support of projects to transform schools into inclusive learning environments (UNICEF, 2022). However, the first stage in creating an inclusive education system is prioritizing the development of intergroup empathy. Consideration of empathy terms as purely psychological tools rather than practical tools to use in the classroom inhibits any efforts to bring about this transformation from being fully implemented. As intergroup empathy is a growing concern in the educational system which eventually contributes to making an equitable society, thus it needs to be practiced in inclusive learning institutions. Therefore, the chapter has been written in consideration of the significance of an educational approach to solving this issue.

 Techniques of  Fostering Inter-Group Empathy in the School and Community

  • Inclusive learning environment and empathy

According to Shapira et al.(2020), intergroup interaction can increase empathy, foster positive intergroup feelings, and reduce negative emotions like hate, fear, and anxiety under different circumstances. Linking multicultural education, inclusive teaching, and social justice initiatives altogether works to boost intergroup interaction where teachers act as changemakers (2020). In inclusive education, teachers are better equipped to nurture the required values and attitudes to transfer them to the students of their classrooms through receiving training in social justice and multicultural perspectives (Shapira et al., 2020). A significant change in students’ attitudes toward each other can be observed if students are taught in inclusive education which teaches both social justice and critical pedagogy (Barton and Garvis, 2019). Thus, whereas special education tends to deprive others to study in mainstream education as capable others, inclusive education prioritizes the same education for all with fulfilling each of their needs.

Inclusive education strives toward pedagogical practice that supports every teacher and learner to perceive themselves and others as capable of pursuing a path of learning that enables thoughtful and purposeful participation through a friendly and empathic environment (Words from genially). According to Balieri (2017), the appropriate environment for inclusive education demands some initial approaches that should be considered by policymakers are given as follows: 

(1) Opportunities to Engage in Meaningful Learning through Diverse Experiences in the same environment

The value of allowing students to interact with classmates who have diverse identities and experiences from them is emphasized in inclusive schools. Diverse environments offer a context for the development of connections as well as the decreasing of stereotypes and biased opinions. Communities and schools both can put protocols in place to ensure that diversity is reflected in the classrooms. Besides, communities can play a crucial role to evaluate how well community schools are inclusive regardless of racial, language, physical traits, and socio-economic differences. Furthermore, schools’ annual programs and national programs can be held following diversity, ensuring that all students are attending spontaneously to show their talents.

(2) Value and regard for different ways of knowing 

Inclusive educational methods entail the deliberate and planned formulation of curriculum and instruction to create respecting attitude and foster accepting perspectives and appreciation of each other inside the classroom. The objectives of multicultural and diversity education are instructive in this regard. An inclusive curriculum gives students a broad and in-depth understanding of the subject matter, enabling them to appreciate the contributions of different people to society as well as complementing opposing viewpoints gathered from a variety of experiences.

(3) Embracing Differences in Self and Others

Classroom communities must support children in finding self-identities and value in themselves by fostering disability pride, body-positive messages, heritage and language pride, and positive racial identification which helps students to develop healthy self-concepts and respect for others (Words from genially). Educators must not place a strong emphasis on similarity by supporting biased conceptual frameworks of race, social-economic background, or disability. Instead, schools must strive to inform students about the circumstances that have shaped and contributed to the wide variety of social identities that exist in today’s world. In doing so, schools can perform curriculum and extra-curricular activities to embrace differences to make them better human beings and equitable society. Because, differences must be acknowledged if we are to work toward growing respect, appreciation, and empathy among students.

4) Intellectual Pursuit

To build inclusive classroom communities where all students can participate and be benefitted from academic instruction to achieve both their educational goals and social characteristics, a universal pedagogy approach can be implemented by teachers to practice empathy in the classrooms while respecting each student’s abilities. In these activities, all students must work together in groups to become active learners as part of inclusive learning which help them to acknowledge and accept that each student’s level of competence will vary.


  • Inclusive learning Strategies and Intergroup Empathy

According to Quick (2019), children who have friends from a variety of social groups tend to experience less bias and fear about differences throughout their lives. Their compassionate attitudes enable them to develop their leadership abilities at a young age. Ensuring enrollment in institutions that prioritize diversity fosters positive interactions between parents, teachers, and students (2019).

Teachers showing respect for their fellow teachers and students are one of the most crucial factors in ensuring that schools encourage student interaction across groups. In addition, schools’ administration and management committees need to be sufficiently diversified to effectively initiate intergroup emotional contact. If school administration addresses students’ social-emotional needs and their staff receives cultural sensitivity training, both teachers and students will eventually be able to foster a sense of ownership and acceptance toward the core values of inclusive education (Words from genially; McManis, n.d.). Additionally, schools can create opportunities for students of all socioeconomic backgrounds and abilities to interact with one another through playgroups, clubs, or projects that are deliberately diverse. Schools must make a concerted effort to help the students connect by encouraging everyone to attend an advisory group, such as a 12 to 15-person group with a teacher, which can be similar to group therapy in certain aspects (Genially work; (McManis, n.d.). In this regard, the academic advising session can be crucially significant. Besides, schools can create playing and learning squads that provide children in the playground the chance to connect and recognize each other’s individuality.

Schools must also determine how to include diversity in the pedagogy of having students collaborate in various groups. In the classroom, they can participate in projects in a variety of groups so that students with various backgrounds and ability levels can engage and work together by supporting one another (Quick, 2019). Another crucial principle for understanding the world and developing the attitudes necessary to appreciate is knowing why each individual is unique in society, which can be learned when students can observe different approaches, and thoughts as creative ways of solutions for the same problem while working in groups. Therefore, inclusive education becomes essential to teach students how to navigate the world through what they observe.

Inclusive Learning Leadership and Intergroup empathy

With its diverse curriculum, teaching techniques, learning facilities, evaluation systems, and specialist teachers who are tailored to the needs of the students, the traditional segregated special education model distinguishes children with disabilities from their peers in schools (Boat et al., 2016). Although special education appears to benefit teachers and administrators by facilitating the management of children with specific disabilities through designed pedagogical approaches, the segregation model is not as effective as it might seem from the perspective of the student’s learning and emotional development. Children who receive special education typically have lower high school completion rates and higher rates of depression, which causes those students to fall behind, according to Boat et al. (2016). Additionally, enrolling in special education results in poor mental health functioning that frequently worsens throughout adulthood due to a lack of engagement with other students in the classroom, both disabled and non-disabled (2016).

According to Robiyansah (2020), finding successful pedagogical approaches and meeting the specific needs of each student while implementing those approaches are the two factors that must be taken into account when creating an inclusive education model. Additionally, the inclusive education model comprises three key phases, including 1) planning for each child’s development using an instructional program. 2) Engaging them in student development activities; 3) Measuring and assessing progress to enhance each student’s growth (Robiyansah, 2020).

Figure 1, the inclusive school framework consists of three parts: input (management aspects), process (learning management), and output (developing student quality) (Robiyansah, 2020). The specific details are as follows:

Figure 1. Inclusive Education Model
  1. Management of F2P: Physiological and physical environments are inputs that have a significant impact on how people learn in classrooms. The behavior of both students and teachers will then be influenced by this environment with an accurate analysis of each instructional setting.
  2. The goal of instructional management is to build a dynamic ecosystem that balances the various components of the learning environment, ensuring that it is inclusive and fosters communication among groups. The following are the elements of instructional management in inclusive education to create intergroup empathy:
    • Creating a welcoming environment
    • Setting things up properly
    • Making preventive planning into action
    • Creating an effective schedule
    • Placing students in learning groups
    • Using resources and tools efficiently
    • Delivering the proper instructional directives
    • Making a disciplinary strategy that works
    • Interventions in community, residential, and educational contexts
    • Teaching with joy and enthusiasm
  3. The development of student qualities to make them competent and intelligent learners. Students that have certain particular talents will receive instruction to become experts in that discipline. The student’s development must be properly identified and assessed as part of this process to go forward and be routinely monitored.
  • Parents’ Attitude to Inclusive Education and Intergroup empathy

Parents’ involvement and attitude of accepting intergroup empathy in an inclusive learning environment become another crucial factor as inclusive education develops each student’s personality to become more empathetic to each other through lifting them with social adaptation, and rehabilitation to prepare them to be responsible citizens in the future world (Beveridge, 2013). The family, where students spend the majority of their time and learn from their parents, is important for children’s upbringing, development, and socializing (2013). Therefore, parents’ supportive and positive attitudes are crucial to eliminating stereotypes about individuals with disabilities and enabling them to attend school alongside other children.

According to Elmira & Negmatzhan (2022), raising disabled children to meet their basic needs, including their right to an education, challenges their parents with social and emotional challenges. As a result, the majority of disabled children are denied access to mainstream education. Parents often become too hesitant or afraid of social exclusion, and humiliation to admit that their child needs extra assistance to study with other children. The inclusive educational setting must therefore work with parents who can participate in the creation, coordination, and implementation of a standard inclusive curriculum for their child as well as to help schools to address their child’s issues within the framework of a psychological, medical, and educational council (Kurt et al., 2022). To create a growing empathy toward students in inclusive learning and to support instructors, parents of both disabled and non-disabled children need professional assistance. To n order to increase the emotional and physical health of children, it is crucial to collaborate with parents to overcome the challenges of the child’s growth and communication challenges by helping parents become more pedagogically competent (Toseeb et al., 2020). Since the majority of parents lack the skills and willingness to communicate friendly with children with disabilities, this low level of interaction between parents and disabled children eventually affects students’ knowledge, ability, and performance. Therefore, Toseeb et al. (2020) have highlighted a few parameters to influence parents’ attitudes about disabled students who attend secondary inclusive schools which can also be found in genially:

– The joint activities of the school and the family must be based on actions and activities intended to strengthen and enhance the role of parents;

– Creating parents’ trust in the educational functionality, increasing the level of the parents’ engagement in pedagogical culture and activity in education;

– Creating reliance on the positive traits and talents of the child, as well as the strengths of family education.

Through 1) allowing students to interact harmoniously with everyone without making judgments about their physical or emotional features and capacities, 2) encouraging their children to participate in a variety of group work by assisting, and 3) involving students in cooperative learning and group problem-solving activities like games, joint projects, laboratories, contests, quizzes, and knowledge tests, these strategies aim to develop supportive attitudes in parents (Toseeb et al., 2020). Additionally, efforts must be made to foster cooperation among parents, school administration, and staff as a whole to promote the mental and physical growth of children ( 2020).

Open questions and debates 

Case Study (Inclusive school Interview at ChittagonG)

An interview was conducted at Chattagram Leader’s School and College. Readers can watch the video to view the school at a glance was conducted for both disabled and non-disabled students (8-10 students) and Key Informant Interviews  (KII) was conducted for Teachers and Principal.

Accrding to the findings from the interview, which can be also found in our genially work, even though this school is a role model for other schools in the country of Bangladesh in terms of providing quality education, this institution has still not been able to provide inclusive education. This institution only consider disabled students who have learning disabilities ( which is not a major case, and the challenges can be minimized by the help of the instructor). Those students require a teacher who supports them in every activity. In response to those questions, most of the disabled students shared both positive and negative experiences of being vulnerable and not being able to cope with the non-disabled students inside the classroom and in the playground. They often are neglected and rejected to play with other classmates in the playground. Even though they have close friends (non-disabled) who share their homework, help to learn mathematics, and write the homework, they are given no class activities such as group works, project-based work, or any pedagogical inclusive activities inside the classroom to practice empathy. Surprisingly, teachers’ Key Informant Interviews (KII) revealed that parents do not want to agree with the instructor that their child needs extra support and has learning disabilities due to shyness and fear of being excluded, which creates more challenges to help the children to teach inside the classroom. Furthermore, after examining children’s academic performance, they refer those children to special education “Proyash” which is an Institute of special education –, this excludes a large group of people (particularly who are capable to learn with other children e.g. physically challenged) which hinders the growth of a society through ensuring equality and equity. Furthermore, Key Informant Interviews with the teachers and the principal revealed that due to the lack of physical infrastructure, and lack of innovative and inclusive pedagogical approaches, lack of human resources e.g. efficient and trained teachers as well as sufficient teachers in schools are making difficulties to make the school inclusive for all. Besides, the National Education Policy of Bangladesh does not have an effective policy and implementation to ensure that schools must take physically disabled students who can study along with others. Because schools often reject disabled students to get admission (Words from genially).

The following questions were asked of both the disabled and non-disabled students-

For disabled students:

  • How are you feeling inside the classroom? How do you feel coming into the classroom every day?
  • Who are your most supportive friend and teacher and why?
  • Have you felt embarrassed and low for not being equal to others?
  • Are you involved in any extracurricular activities? Where?
  • Will your parents meet your teacher regularly or the teacher follow up with them?
  • Do you feel a supportive environment is necessary for boosting your confidence in the study
    Focus Group Discussion with Disabled Students

For the non-disabled students:

  • How are you feeling about your friend inside the classroom? How do you feel about studying together inside the classroom every day?
  • Do you work in a group and if you work in group tasks, how do you divide the tasks among yourself?
  • Who is helping you the most when you face academic difficulties and to whom are you supported the most for study and how?


  • What is the performance of the disabled students in your classroom?
  • How can they improve their academic performance better than others? What facilities are required for that, in your opinion ?
  • In your opinion and experiences, how much is the necessity of creating empathy among the students in an inclusive classroom in secondary schools?
  • Are they involved in any extracurricular activities?
  • What constraints are you facing to teach them inside the classroom – e.g. to make them understand the topic ?
  • What are the extra supports they are being given from the school, from the teachers and from their friends( non-disabled)?
    Key Informant Interview with Teachers


  • In your opinion and experiences, how much is the necessity of creating empathy among the students in an inclusive classroom in secondary schools? Here, we are focusing on secondary school students because this stage is the most important for the students to determine their careers in the future.
  • How can we provide an environment which can improve empathy among students in secondary school?
  • How can we redesign the school curriculum focusing on this aspect particularly to grow empathy among the students- disabled and non-disabled?
  • Are there any constraints your school is facing to make the school inclusive and create empathy among students?
  • How the three-dimensional relationship among those three key roles- parents, teacher, and students could work in an inclusive classroom?
  • How growing an empathetic mindset among the students could help them to boost their leadership skills in school?


Inclusive education is a human right that ensures all have the right to educate according to their human features. In an inclusive classroom, all children have access to study in the same classrooms and the same schools regardless of their physical disabilities. To create this learning environment for all students, particularly in secondary schools, empathy plays a crucial role in ensuring that all students are equally prioritized and teachers work individually to eliminate students’ learning challenges and enable them to participate in the mainstream of education. In this chapter, particularly secondary schools are selected as this stage is very crucial to determine children’s future and thus, keeping physically disabled children on the track of mainstream education becomes an urgent priority. Although the UN and many NGOs are relentlessly working around the world on inclusive learning approaches, still, many developing countries have many problems achieving outcomes from special education approaches for disabilities and they have a long way to go to implement inclusive learning approaches in those contexts. The chapter emphasizes the need of keeping physically disabled students in the mainstream of education which is the first step to creating an equal and equity-maintained society by eliminating the disparities between physically disabled and non-disabled students in the education system. Enabling students (both physically disabled, and non-disabled) in thoughtful and purposeful class participation is the first step to awakening children’s hidden talent and boosting their leadership skills. This appropriate environment for inclusive education requires some pedagogical approaches inside the classroom to help the students to interact with each other, know each other, and learn through helping each other. This can allow the learner groups to recognize the contributions of diverse people to society and value both complementary and competing perspectives drawn from a variety of experiences. Besides, to develop positive self-concepts and respect others, classroom communities can help children find identity and value in themselves by promoting disability pride, body-positive messages, heritage and language pride, and positive racial identity (Words from genially). Therefore, intergroup contact among students has been considered the most significant inclusive approach to creating an empathetic environment and behavior among students. Hence, schools have the responsibility to hire sufficient human resources to make that work, addressing students’ social-emotional needs and ensuring that their staff receives cultural sensitivity training (Words from genially). Three crucial stages of the inclusive education model are developed as follows, taking into account that students in inclusive schools have a variety of learning needs that must be met: 1) Planning the educational program to meet each student’s special needs; 2) Engaging them in the student development activities; 3) Measuring and assessing students’ growth (Elmira & Negmatzhan, 2022). Furthermore, parents can collaborate with schools to strengthen and enhance the learning process of students inside the classroom and in the family to improve their ( physically disabled students) self-confidence in the children and to teach them to be empathetic with their classmates.

Review Question

    • What is the current state of inclusive learning in your context?
    • How do governments differ in their provision of inclusive education services?
    • How effective are intra- group empathies interventions for students with various types of disabilities?
    • What challenges do educators face when working with students with disabilities in inclusive classrooms?
    • How effectively can teachers support students with disabilities who struggle academically or behaviorally?
    • What accommodations and modifications are available to improve empathy between students in school?
    • How do teachers involve parents in their child’s education?
    • How can the national education policy play its role to make secondary schools really inclusive and ensure quality education for all?

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Key Terms (Glossary)

  • Inclusive Education: When all students, regardless of the challenges they may experience, are enrolled to study in the national curriculum of any school alongside diverse learner groups and get high-quality instruction, support, and interventions that allow them to succeed in the core curriculum.
  • Empathy: Through using cognitive, affective, and communication skills, participants in this activity can comprehend what others are experiencing and thinking while maintaining self-control. 
  • Equity/Equitable: The proportional distribution or parity of desirable outcomes across groups. An example is individualized educational accommodations for students with disabilities, which treat some students differently in order to ensure their equitable access to education.
  • Diversity: Diversity is a concept that includes acceptance and respect. It entails realizing our distinct differences and accepting the fact that we are all unique. These can be based on traits like color, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic class, age, physical capabilities, and other ideals.
  • Inter-group: Intergroup refers to the relationship between one or more people in the same group or team.

About the authors

Fatima Mohammadi has a MA degree in Persian Literature and is pursuing a second MA in Education at Asian University for Women. She has professional job experience as a planning& policy specialist at the Ministry of Education and TVET in Kabul. She worked in the Policy, Planning, and Research& Evaluation departments of MoE in Kabul. She is passionate to work on curriculum competencies development and inclusive education policy.
She wishes, one day manage the educational reform of national curriculum framework of Afghanistan and achieve significant changes for Afghan students.

Ritu Tripura is currently pursuing her masters degree (MA) in Education at Asian University For Women (AUW). She has already completed her bachelors degree in Environmental Science from the same university in 2021. Her areas of interest include exploring challenges and opportunities to build different innovative pedagogical approaches to ensure equal access to quality education for all through confronting the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic’s disruption and humanitarian emergencies around the world; working on eliminating language barriers of multilingual students worldwide in order to ensure quality education for them.


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Strong Schools Copyright © 2023 by Fatima Mohammadi and Ritu Tripura is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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