Inclusive Practice and Transformative Leadership Are Entwined Lessons for Professional Development of School Leaders in Kenya

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Rose Atieno Opiyo

Abstract

Inclusive Education (IE) is arguably a popular discourse in education systems as, not merely a concept that addresses needs of Learners with Special Needs (LSEN), but rather a relatively broad approach, continuous process that looks into how to transform both formal and non-formal education systems and other learning environments to respond to diversity. IE is placed at the core of   human rights movement, Education for All (EFA) and social equity agenda with lots of educational social and economic premiums attached to this movement. While a lot is documented on the factors that slows down the progress towards more inclusive schools   in Kenya, less is known about leadership acumen of school leaders yet, the art and science of transformation of the school into an effective inclusive environment squarely lies in the province of school leaders. This  theoretical review is underpinned in the social model of disability. Based on personal inquiries, consultations with researchers in the area of transformative education  and  an extensive review  of World Wide Web of organizations, databases, references, and on-line publications of  empiric literature on transformative leadership, education management  and inclusive education, this paper provides evidence that  inclusive IE  and transformative leadership are closely knit .It urges that IE initiatives geared towards supporting effective implementation and sustainability of inclusive schooling must interrogate  leadership ability of school leaders and develop them as critical ingredients in  turning round schools into effective inclusive learning environments.

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Rose Atieno Opiyo, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology

Rose Atieno Opiyo is a Lecturer in the Department of Educational Psychology at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Kakamega, Kenya.