Inclusive subject teaching -

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Inclusive subject teaching - a litterature review

Focus on the subjects Danish/L1 and Mathematics


Bettina Buch, senior associate professor, UC Absalon Helle Eeg, associate professor, UC Absalon

Laura Mørk Emtoft, associate professor, UC Absalon

Stine Engmose Fuglsang, assistant professor, UC Absalon



Social inclusion Academic inclusion

Presence at school Presence during subject teaching

Acceptance of social responsibility Acceptance of academic responsibility

Social contribution Academic contribution

Social "achievement" in the sense of all- round development

Academic achievement in the sense of academic development

Personal wellbeing (positive view of oneself socially)

Academic wellbeing (positive view of oneself academically)

Own model based on Farrell, 2004


Purpose of review and research question

Purpose: To investigate what research based knowledge there is available on academic inclusion

RQ: What does international research tell us about academic inclusion in the subjects Danish L1 and mathematics?



Rapid review

Using customized search strings

Languages: English, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish

Databases: EBSCO (English), ORIA (Norwegian), (Danish), uc-viden (Danish) and Libris /Swedish)



Criterium # Included Excluded


Teaching in Danish/L1 or Math Not teaching in Danish/L1 or Math

2 About academic and social inclusion Not about academic and social inclusion but e.g.

socioeconomic status, ethnicity, gender, ...

3 Danish primary education (grade 1 - 10) Other than primary education

4 Peer reviewed Not peer reviewed

5 Published between 2010 -2021 Published before 2010

6 Studies published in Danish, English, Norwegian or Swedish

Studies not in the aforementioned languages 7 Studies carried out in Europe, USA, Canada, Australia

or New Zealand

Studies from outside of the included countries


PRISMA flow diagram

541 for title/abstract screening 451 Excluded by title/abstract screening

90 for full text screening

33 for thorough reading

57 excluded by full text screening

20 excluded by close reading

8 Included by snowballing 21 studies included



Three themes and one category:

1. The teachers’ perception of inclusion and what it means for the inclusion in the subjects of Danish/L1 and Math (4 studies)

2. Classroom experiments or interventions in one or both subjects (13 studies)

3. Organizational conditions for inclusion (2 studies)

1. Meta studies (2 studies)


Theme 1: Teachers perception

Four studies focusing on the teachers’ perception of inclusion and what it means for the inclusion in the subjects of Danish/L1 and Math

Findings: All studies - the way the teacher perceive his or her subject affects academic inclusion


Theme 1: Teachers perception

Study 1

Emtoft, Nielsen, Gents (2020)

Math - middle school, students in complex learning situations

● Students and teachers cooperate on minimizing exclusion

● Observed in the classroom

○ High presence of activities minimizing social exclusion

Low presence of activities supporting academic inclusion

● Low focus on activities supporting academic inclusion are legitimized with reference to:

○ The subject

○ Problems caused by inclusion


Theme 1: Teachers perception

Study 2

Emtoft, Nielsen, Gents & Eeg (2020)

L1 (danish) and math. 10 teachers. Teaching in classrooms including students in complex learning situations.

How does the teachers perceive their subject, and how is this related to inclusive practices in their teaching?

● Can be the described by three basic perspectives on teaching

○ One-stringed, nuanced, multifaceted

○ Multifaceted seems more successful in academic and social inclusion of students in complex learning situations


Theme 1: Teachers perception

Study 3

Andreassen, Reichenberg (2018)

Sweden/Norway. 471 teachers. Teaching in classrooms including students in literacy difficulties. Mainstream compulsory schooling.

How are the teachers perception of their own mastery and practice with regard to the inclusion of students in literacy difficulties?

● The more experience the higher perception of mastery

● Less experienced teachers should be offered support in their practice

with students in literacy difficulties


Theme 1: Teachers perception

Study 4

Praetorius, Berner, Horst, Scheunpflug & Drese (2013)

German (L1) and Math. 96 teachers. Teaching in mainstream compulsory schooling.

Does the teachers assessment of students abilities affect the possibilities of participation offered to the students?

● Teachers believe that students with different prerequisites needs different assignments and ways to participate in the class activities

● The teachers' assessment may affect the possibilities of participation offered to the students

● Teaches and students do not assess the student's abilities similarly


Theme 2: Classroom experiments

● Six studies focusing on the development or testing of inclusive teaching in Danish/L1

● Seven studies focusing on the development or testing of inclusive teaching in mathematics subject.

Findings: All the studies describe inclusion as containing both a social and academic part which are mutually dependent.


Theme 2: Classroom experiments. Danish/L1

● Genre pedagogy as didactics of inclusion.

Kuyumcu (2011), Martin & Rose (2011), Christensen ( 2017)

○ Explicit teaching in what is important to know in the subjects and how knowledge and skills are constructed within the subject

● IT- tools as an inclusion agent.

Svendsen (2017), Drewry, Cumming-Potvin, Maor, (2019), Emtoft ( 2017)

○ IT-tools as compensation for e.g. reading difficulties

○ Using the IT-tools possibilities for multi literacy as a way of giving students more ways of participating in the class activities


Theme 2: Classroom experiments. Mathematics

● Focus on barriers and opportunities for participation for

students in mathematics difficulties.

Schmidt (2015, 2016 A, 2016, B, 2017)

○ Teachers welcome mistakes but it is always the same students who seem to make mistakes.

○ Ideally construction of the classroom activities should force students to make mistakes

● Development of teacher skills to teach more inclusively in mathematics. -Differentiation as one of their core elements.

Faragher & Clarke ( 2020), Roos ( 2015), Lindhardt & Lindenskov (2019)

○ A community of practice among teachers in the understanding and development of inclusive classroom environment


Theme 3: Organizational conditions

Two studies about organizational conditions influencing inclusive teaching in Math and Danish/L1

Findings: Organizational conditions seems to be of less importance


Theme 3: Organizational conditions

● Roos (2016) the leader as the central character in the development of the teachers classroom practices with students in complex learning situations.

○ When the leaders solution (courses for the teacher) does not solve the teachers challenges with including students in complex learning

situations then the teachers withdraw from the leaders management. The teachers create their own solutions and the leader loses the possibility to influence the development.


Theme 3: Organizational conditions

● Macquuen (2013) separating students based on their academic level in math and literacy.

○ Lower academic level characteristics (promotes exclusion instead of inclusion)

■ Boys are overrepresented

■ Teaching is individualized

■ The focus of the teaching changes to basic academic knowledge

■ Teachers with lower experience

■ Small groups leads to problems with social inclusion


Theme 4: Metastudies

Two studies containing metastudies on inclusion in mathematics

Findings: A predominance of Nordic studies and a lack of children’s perspectives


Theme 4: Metastudies

Schmidt, (2013)

Classroom management in mathematics and their significance for inclusion.

● The included studies see mathematical difficulties as socially produced.

● Danish knowledge gap in relation to differentiation, classroom management and inclusion.


Theme 4: Metastudies

Roos (2018)

Examines which discourses are used about the term “inclusion” in studies on mathematics and inclusion from 2010-2016.

● 76 studies: Includes studies on highly gifted children, kindergarten children, special schools, poor and ethnic minorities and general schools and policy studies.

Two different discourses:

● An ideology: Inclusion as equality in mathematics education

● A way of teaching: Inclusion as a intervention in the classroom with the aime to create motivation

Lack of child perspective in research:

● Ross points out that a child perspective is largely absent in the included research.



1. Teachers understanding and interpretation of their subjects in combination with their perception of the students’ academic level has great importance for their actions regarding academic inclusion

2. L1-teaching tend to be focused on genre pedagogy or it-based solutions 3. Math-teaching tend to be focused on differentiation or classroom


4. Organizational conditions seems to be of less importance 5. A predominance of Nordic studies

6. A lack of children’s perspectives


Included studies

Andreassen, R.;Reichenberg, M.(2018).Svenske og norske læreres forventninger om å mestre elevtilpasset leseopplæring. Nordic studies in education vol.(3):232-251 Christensen, M. V. (2017). Genrepædagogik som kompetenceudvikling på Sølystskolen. In Sprogforum (Vol. 23, Issue 63, pp. 35–40).

Drewry, R. J., Cumming-Potvin, W. M., & Maor, D. (2019). New Approaches to Literacy Problems: Multiliteracies and Inclusive Pedagogies.Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 44(11).

Emtoft, L., Nielsen, L.O., Gents, S.D. & Eeg, H. (2020). Lærerperspektiver på inklusion i matematik og dansk. Studier i læreruddannelse og -profession, 5 (1) 115-134.

Emtoft, L.,Nielsen, L.; Gents.S. (20209. Elevers sociale inklusion og faglige progression - et dilemma. Specialpædagogik2020;40(4):2-14.

Emtoft, L. E. (2017). Ph.d: “Jeg har aldrig prøvet at være den første før” - en undersøgelse af lærere og elevers praksis med IT og dennes betydning for deltagelse og inklusion.

Roskilde Universitet.

Faragher, Rhonda M; Clarke, Barbara A (2020). Inclusive practices in the teaching of mathematics: some findings from research including children with Down syndrome.

Mathematics Education Research Journal03// 2020;32(1):121-14

Macqueen, S. (2013) Grouping for inequity,International Journal of Inclusive Education, 17:3, 295-309, DOI: 10.1080/13603116.2012.676088 Kuyumcu, E. (2011). Utvärdering av Knutbyprojektet.

Lindenskov, L. B., & Lindhardt, B. (2019). Exploring approaches for inclusive mathematics teaching in Danish public schools. Mathematics Education Research Journal, 32(1), 57-75.

Martin, J. R. & Rose, D. (2008). Genre relations: mapping culture. Equinox Publishing Ltd.

Praetorius, A.K, Berner, V.D., Horst,Z. Scheunpflug & Dresel, M. (2013) Judgment Confidence and Judgment Accuracy of Teachers in Judging Self-Concepts of Students, The Journal of Educational Research,106:1, 64-76, DOI: 10.1080/00220671.2012.667010

Roos, H. (2018). Inclusion in mathematics education: an ideology, a way of teaching, or both?. Educational Studies in Mathematics. 100. 10.1007/s10649-018-9854-z.

Roos, H. (2016). Inclusion in mathematics: the impact of the Principal. Cursiv 18,p. 107-122.

Roos, H. (2015).Inclusion in mathematics in primary school: what can it be?. Linnaeus University

Schmidt, M. C. S., (2017). Klassekammerathjælp - sociofaglig inkludering og ekskluderingsmekanismer. Specialpaedagogik.37, 3/4, p. 85-97 13 p.

Schmidt, M. C. S.( 2016)A .Når matematikvanskeligheder bliver usynlige for lærerne: om klasseledelse og elevdeltagelse i inkluderende undervisning.MONA.3, p. 41-53 13 p.

Schmidt, M. C. S.,( 2016). B. Mathematics difficulties & classroom leadership: a case study of teaching strategies and student participation in Inclusive classrooms. Cursiv.18, p. 81-105 25 p.

Schmidt, M. C. S.( 2013). Klasseledelse i matematik. Hvad ved vi egentlig? Et systematisk review om matematiklæreres bidrag til et inkluderende læringsfællesskab på skolens begynder- og mellemtrin. MONA. 3, p. 23-43 20 p., 2013-3.

Svendsen, H.(2017). Et inkluderende didaktisk design? Studier i læreruddannelse og -profession,Årg. 2 (Nr.1 ):90-116 Schmidt, M. C. (2015). Inklusionsbestræbelser i matematikundervisningen.København: Århus Universitet.



Bekendtgørelse af lov om folkeskolen, LBK nr. 823 af 15/08/2019, §3, stk.2).

Emtoft, L., Nielsen, L.O., Gents, S.D. & Eeg, H. (2020). Lærerperspektiver på inklusion i matematik og dansk. Studier i læreruddannelse og -profession, 5 (1) 115-134.

Farrell, P. (2004). School Psychologists: Making Inclusion a Reality for All. School Psychology International, 25(1), 5–19.

Roos, H. (2019). Inclusion in mathematics education: an ideology, a way of teaching, or both?. Educational Studies in Mathematics. 100.


Sørensen K., Nielsen, L. & Christensen, A. I. (2017). Mental sundhed. Kortlægning af måleredskaber.København: Statens Institut for Folkesundhed, SDU

Wenger, E. (2008). Communities of Practice. New York: Cambridge University Press.




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