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The Ethics of Inclusion: Digital Approaches to Literacy among Struggling Readers in Two Jamaican High Schools

Ethics, Equity, and Inclusive Education

ISBN: 978-1-78714-153-7, eISBN: 978-1-78714-152-0

ISSN: 1479-3636

Publication date: 9 May 2017

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to explore the intersection of literacy, technology, and pedagogy and how it can address ethical challenges in schools related to providing inclusive educational experience for all students. It examines a reading intervention program that combines technology (retrofitted routers and laptops), teacher training, and high-quality educational resources (levelled digital books) to support 40 high school students who are reading 4–5 years below their grade level in two rural Jamaican schools. Drawing on an ethical framework of rights-based education which focuses on inclusive education as a dimension of education quality, the study explores how technology, teacher training, and high-quality educational resources can scaffold the development of inclusive learning environments for struggling readers in Jamaican high schools. Findings reveal that digital tools and technology, along with high-quality resources, improved students reading abilities and confidence as readers; however, it was the relationship and rapport that students developed with the reading teacher that had the greatest impact on students’ engagement and motivation to read. These findings suggest that the ability to work with students who have special needs is an essential skill for all classroom teachers to begin addressing some of the ethical challenges of inclusive education among struggling readers in high school in Jamaica. It also highlights the need to embrace diverse models of inclusive education when working in the global South.

Keywords

Citation

Kovinthan, T. and McPherson, K. (2017), "The Ethics of Inclusion: Digital Approaches to Literacy among Struggling Readers in Two Jamaican High Schools", Ethics, Equity, and Inclusive Education (International Perspectives on Inclusive Education, Vol. 9), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 145-164. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-363620170000009006

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017 Emerald Publishing Limited