Rhonda Faragher is an Associate Professor of Inclusive Education at the University of Queensland. She is also the Director of the Down Syndrome Research Program within the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. As a secondary mathematics teacher by background, Rhonda has always had an interest in assisting all to learn to love mathematics and to appreciate its power for their lives. She has a particular focus on advancing opportunities for those with learning difficulties in mathematics, from whatever cause, but specifically due to intellectual disability. She is a trustee of Down Syndrome International, a Fellow of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disability and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In 2020 she was the recipient of the UQ Award for Excellence in Community, Diversity and Inclusion.

Inclusive Education Across the Lifespan: The leader’s role in aligning philosophy, policy and practice

Inclusive education, the philosophy, policy and practice of welcoming and meeting the needs of all learners in general classrooms, is well researched and its benefits for education for all are without question. The challenge remains, though, of aligning philosophy, policy and practice at a school level to ensure inclusive practice in classrooms. In this presentation, some fundamental principles will be covered that have implications for teaching practice, including: using Educational Quality of Life to inform curriculum decisions; planning for individuals while planning for all; and making adjustments to year level curriculum for learners with intellectual disabilities. Examples will be used to illustrate these principles with a focus on the leader’s role in supporting the implementation of inclusive practice in any education setting.