A conceptual analysis of inclusive education in terms of participation and agency

Suvi Lakkala, Mhairi C. Beaton, Kirsi Kokko

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Despite ongoing development of the international understanding of the values andgoals of inclusive education, attempts to implement it remain incomplete. Thisstudy's aim was to clarify how participation and agency are defined in research oninclusive education and how participation and agency might be more effectivelypromoted to enhance inclusive education. The research was conducted as aconceptual analysis with the concepts of student participation and agency as themain focus of the analysis. The conceptual analysis process surfaced five emergentthemes: recognition of societal barriers at school; appreciation of student diversityand cultural competence; community and collaboration with various stakeholders;promoting students' engagement; and enabling learning for all students. Thesethemes include academic, social, and emotional and collective dimensions.Inclusive education appears as an institution whose everyday modes of interaction,pedagogical solutions and power dynamics can be difficult to recognise, let alonechange towards a participative direction. Promoting student participation andagency requires professionals in schools to have the ability to primarily renew theirown agency so that they can enable students to foster future orientation and active adulthood.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalSupport for Learning
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 May 2024
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • agency
  • conceptual analysis
  • inclusive education
  • participation

Field of science

  • Teacher Education

Citation for this output