Searching for a common framework for education and architecture through reconsideration of universal design principles for promoting inclusive education in primary schools

Durak, Selen
In recent years, as sensitivity for human rights and diversity in society increased, inclusion has become an important subject matter for discussions both in wider social context as a parameter reflecting more conscious and democratic understandings of human world, and in particular context of different disciplines. Inclusion has become a widely discussed theme of inclusive education practices both internationally and in Turkey, as well as a central theme for Universal Design approach. In education, inclusion is a challenge which calls for a comprehensive institutional restructuring and demands adaptations in physical education environments. This condition implicitly challenges architects to take action for developing effective design approaches in order to create inclusive education environments. This thesis is a search for a common framework for education and architecture for promoting inclusive education in primary schools. Despite the potential of Universal Design principles for bringing education and architecture together for this common goal, Universal Design approach remains limited for promoting a comprehensive understanding of inclusion. Through a comprehensive review of legislations, literature and a case study carried out for conceiving practical concern of inclusive education, this study broadens the notion of inclusion and claims that inclusion is an ongoing process during which students develop their capacities with the provision of equal opportunities of access to educational resources, supportive services, teachers, professionals and effective education environments. Depending on this thesis’ process-based and student-centered understanding of inclusion, Universal Design principles are differentiated by focusing on design aspects which maximize students’ individual strengths during inclusive education process.


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Citation Formats
S. Durak, “Searching for a common framework for education and architecture through reconsideration of universal design principles for promoting inclusive education in primary schools,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2010.