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Lisa Fernandes

Abstract

This discussion will argue that Initial Teacher Education (ITE) for students planning to teach in Further Education (FE), which includes schools, colleges and training providers for learners aged 14+, should be revised to encourage ITE students to view their own approach to inclusion through the framework of American philosopher Nussbaum’s Capability Approach (CA). Autistic people are more likely than their peers with more profound physical and cognitive disabilities to go to mainstream school. These learners are often misunderstood and excluded from school due to a lack of understanding amongst professional teaching staff and as a result are at an increased risk of exclusion from school. Exclusion from education leads to exclusion from society, impacting life chances, dignity, self-esteem and mental health.   Grounded in human dignity, the CA will provide a framework for exploring inclusion of autistic learners within initial teacher education (ITE) and will be a preferable future for moving towards a more inclusive society.

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