Reframing policy trajectory for inclusive education in Malawi

Keywords: Inclusive Education, Education Policy, Pedagogical Responses, Malawi, Southern Africa


This qualitative study proffers ways of reframing the policy trajectory for inclusive education in Malawi. The
study involved a document review of inclusive education policies and strategies and in-depth semi-structured
interviews with mainstream teachers at a secondary school in Malawi. The results from the document review
show that the framing of the education policies and strategies regarding inclusive education pedagogy as an
educational practice is influenced solely by learners’ cognitive proficiencies. However, the analysis of the semistructured interviews points towards multi-scalar pedagogical responses to inclusive education. Therefore, I argue that the framing of inclusive education policies and strategies ignores crucial interactive schooling
systems such as the onto-pedagogical framings of mainstream teachers and specialists that shape pedagogy in
the context of inclusivity. The study concludes that inclusive education policy formulation and implementation
requires interactions among and across schooling systems, such as mainstream and specialist teachers, and not
merely attending to the epistemological needs of learners. I recommend a bio-ecological systems policy
reframing that could help the Malawian and other southern African education systems to use different factors
that influence inclusive education.

Research Articles