Building Inclusive Schools: Can Conformity be Equitable?
Keywords:Equitable, Conformity, Social analysis, Teacher Education
This paper presents an analysis of educational research on the topic of social inclusion and equitable school communities. Although school practices that require students to conform and change their beliefs and behaviours to fit in with a particular group may be seen as exclusionary, I argue conformity can still play a role in building inclusive school environments. Indeed, I argue that the absence of conformity in schools may exacerbate social exclusion and social competition. The problem with conformity is not the word itself, I argue, but rather the way it has been operationalized in schools. This paper presents a new approach that I call “Equitable Conformity,” which promotes inclusivity and tolerance. Moreover, this paper describes the use of restorative practices as an effective method for achieving equitable conformity within schools. This article will be of particular interest to educational practitioners such as teachers and school administrators who are attempting to build inclusive and peaceful school communities.
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