Balanced and Inclusive Education


Context-centred approach based upon the integration and adaption to the realities, values, and interpretive frameworks of the learners, to develop their sense of co-ownership and co-creation.

On inclusivity, T. Booth and M. Ainscow in ‘The Index for Inclusion’ state:

“Viewing every life and every death as of equal worth. Supporting everyone to feel that they belong. Increasing participation for children and adults in learning and teaching activities, relationships and communities of local schools. Reducing exclusion, discrimination, barriers to learning and participation. Restructuring cultures, policies and practices to respond to diversity in ways that value everyone equally. Linking education to local and global realities. Learning from the reduction of barriers for some children to benefit improving schools for staff and parents/careers as well as children. Acknowledging the right of children to an education of high quality in their locality. Emphasising the development of school communities and values, as well as achievements. Fostering mutually sustaining relationships between schools and surrounding communities. Recognizing that inclusion in education is one aspect of inclusion in society.”

T. Booth and M. Ainscow

Pluri-disciplinarity: Education is conceived by specialists in education, and consists of different subjects taught side-by-side in different classes.

Interdisciplinarity: Education is conceived together by diverse disciplinary specialists. Educational curricula attempt to overcome barriers between subjects.

Transdisciplinarity: Education is conceived both by specialists and non-specialists. Curricula reflect the social needs and aspirations relevant to educational attainment, going beyond the limitations of academic disciplines.

In terms of education, this means that inclusivity can no longer be limited to the achievement of increased or universal access to education. As identified by Ervin F. Sparapani and David M. Callejo Perez in ‘A Perspective on the Standardized Curriculum and Its Effect on Teaching and Learning, published’ (2015):

“The people of the world live in a complex, multi-faceted society, and that societal complexity brings a variety of learners into the classroom (Daniel, 2007; VanSciver, 2005). The challenge to help all students succeed in such a diverse society is present for teachers every day in every classroom at every educational level. Mastering the art of bringing variety to the curriculum according to the needs of any given set of students is the challenge that such diversity can bring.”

Ervin F. Sparapani and David M. Callejo Perez

Education systems must, therefore, be capable of not only providing access to all members of society, but it must simultaneously include them within the very fabric of the educational process. This is where the importance of contextualisation emerges. As the fourth pillar of Balanced and Inclusive Education, contextuality is the most transversal and encompassing of the four pillars.

In its practice, accordingly, this requires education systems to:

1. Ensure that the educational setting is adequately designed to local realities
  1. The importation of ready-made educational settings and their indiscriminate implementation in tangibly different contexts is deeply detrimental to the efficiency of an education system. In the case of nomadic communities, for instance, the focus should be on articulating a mobile educational setting, rather than constructing state-of-the-art buildings, capable of the delivering the same quality of education;
2. Reflect the community realities, culture, and aspirations in the content
  1. Education must enable both individual learners and entire communities to recognise themselves within their education. This can be noticeably observed in postcolonial societies, where the gap between the formal education setting and the context (culture, community etc.) is particularly pronounced. This gap takes various forms: social representations, stereotypes, exclusion from the educational narrative, disconnect between the skills required by a community and the skills acquired through education, amongst others. A relevant instance is the use of mother tongue. A language is not only a means of communication, it is also the vehicle of ideas, values, and a community’s culture. On a social level, an education which does not embed the mother tongue of learners, in effect, severs them from their community and prohibits them from being pro-active agents within a community which they no longer understand. On the level of assessments, the exclusion of mother tongues from education places learners from minority languages into immediate disadvantage as they will simultaneously need to learn new material and a new language. The result is often a process of alienation, disconnecting the learners from their own community or leading them to retreat behind barriers leading to communitarianism;
3. Adapt pedagogical practices to the individuality of the learner

Each learner is, first and foremost, an individual with different experiences and history. Individuals learn in different ways. It is, accordingly, important for pedagogical practices to be tailored to the learner’s individual context and realities. In other words, it is the education system that must adapt to the diversity of the student body, and not the student body to sacrifice its diversity in an attempt to adapt to the education system. This diversity is expressed in countless forms –mental and physical abilities, gender, sexual orientation, language, faith, socio-economic class, and any other relevant aspect of their social and cultural backgrounds.

It is, however, essential to note that, whilst contextuality implies the adaptation of education at all levels (international, regional, national, local, individual), it does not imply the disappearance of international, regional, and national standards and outcomes. It is, rather, precisely in order to better achieve expected common standards and outcomes that an education system’s adaptation to the particularities and variables of context finds its veritable relevance.

Four Pillars of
Balanced and Inclusive Education (BIE)

Approach based upon enhancing the understanding of inter-indebtedness and interdependence of cultures

Integrative multi-perspective approach based upon inter- connecting both academic as well as non-academic know-ledge domains

Interactional and synergetic approach based upon problem-posing dialogue and critical exchange through the proactive participation of learners

Context-centred approach based upon the integration and adaption to the realities, values, and interpretive frameworks of the learners, to develop their sense of co-ownership and co-creation

Strategic Plan 2023 - 2030

2023 - 2024

Universal Declaration of Balanced and Inclusive Education

Global Guide of Ethics, Principles, Polices, and Practices in BIE


Très Prochainement