Engaging, Affirming, Nurturing Inclusive Environment: A Grounded Theory Study in the Philippine Context

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Authors:
Princess Zarla J. Raguindin, Far Eastern University, Philippines
Zhanina U. Custodio, Philippine Normal University, Philippines
Ferdinand Bulusan, Batanes State College, Philippines
Email: [email protected]
https://doi.org/10.22492/ije.9.1.07

Citation: Raguindin, P. Z. J., Custodio, Z. U., & Bulusan, F. (2021). Engaging, Affirming, Nurturing Inclusive Environment: A Grounded Theory Study in the Philippine Context, IAFOR Journal of Education: Inclusive Education, 9(1). https://doi.org/10.22492/ije.9.1.07


Abstract

Implementing the tenets of inclusive education in different countries may be diverse because of varying interpretations, contexts, and ways of application. In the Philippines, studies that delve into the kind of environment involving Filipino children with special needs are scarce. Thus, through a grounded theory approach, this qualitative paper aims at developing a framework as a means of understanding inclusive environments thriving in an inclusive Philippine setting. Thirty-two special education teachers from three private schools were interviewed, the data being triangulated through class observations. The emerging theory encapsulated three major dimensions to understand concepts of inclusive environment: engaging environment, affirming environment, and nurturing environment. An engaging environment points to having high-standard learning outcomes, promoting collaboration and communication among learners, teachers, and parents, and involving them in decision-making. An affirming environment, on the other hand, denotes practicing expressive and receptive languages, imbibing the sacred worth of class members, and celebrating diversity. Finally, a nurturing environment can be achieved through interdependence and care for the needs of everyone. These dimensions are inter-related and are not standalone. This paper advances that success in the diversified Philippine inclusive classroom context can be achieved through the interdependence of school community members. The question of the significance of the inclusive practices and principles should not be the primary concern of a particular context. Rather, involvement and interdependence to achieve an engaging, affirming, and nurturing environment matter. Ramifications to micro and macro integration of inclusion that support inclusive environments are also discussed.

Keywords

inclusion in the Philippines, inclusive education, inclusive environment, inclusive pedagogy