Social inclusion in school is defined as a phenomenon where all students feel valued, their differences are recognized and respected, and their basic needs are met so they can live in harmony with one another and in dignity. A socially inclusive school is one in which all the students are recognized and accepted and have a sense of belonging among themselves. Social inclusion is often seen to be defined with respect to social exclusion and not as a stand-alone entity. Some analysts have argued that both social inclusion, as well as social exclusion, are like inseparable sides of the same coin.
Social exclusion is the process of being shut out of the social, political, cultural, and economic systems that contribute to the integration of a person into their respective community. Social inclusion, social connectedness, normalization, community inclusion, social integration, and social citizenship can all be seen as terms that are related to the importance of the links between the individual students and the role of each of them as a member of this group.
Social inclusion, often seen not as an individual goal but as the converse of social exclusion, is affirmative action as a means of changing the circumstances and habits that lead to (or have led to) social exclusion. It is the process of improving the opportunity, dignity, and ability of students who have been disadvantaged on the basis of their identity to take part in the activities of the school on equal footing.
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