University of Oulu

Children’s literature as a method of implementing inclusion in classrooms

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Author: Kaihilahti, Silja1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)
Pages: 44
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : S. Kaihilahti, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-09-28
Thesis type: Bachelor's thesis
Tutor: Sääskilahti, Minna


Although the Salamanca Statement of 1994 states that all children all entitled to inclusive education despite exceptionalities or other obstacles, prejudices towards those with exceptionalities persist in society and in education. Individuals with exceptionalities are often negatively stereotyped and found ‘’unworthy’’, reinforced by stigmatizing language and objectifying labels. Being exposed to these attitudes towards individuals with exceptionalities may cause a decrease in mental health, self-esteem, social skills, and educational successes. Furthermore, individuals with exceptionalities may struggle with normative practices in schools, which are often invalidated.

Research suggest that dismantling prejudices and uncomfortable situations would encourage solidarity and therefore help develop an inclusive environment. Dismantling prejudice is a complex and delicate mission, yet this research suggests teaching social and emotional capacities in order to combat these attitudes. Social emotional learning (SEL) promotes positive encounters with oneself and others, a beneficial tool for everyone in a classroom, both those with and without exceptionalities.

As a method of teaching of SEL, this research suggests bibliotherapeutic processes. Bibliotherapy can address both typical developmental issues, as well as clinical issues for students who need further support. Books are an accessible method to discuss difficult issues, and be therapeutic for those with exceptionalities, as they can act as a mirror for oneself and provide role models. However, most teachers feel they do not have the knowledge or capabilities to teach inclusive topics and are not aware of methods to do so. Therefore, this research will further analyze the need for inclusive literature and illustrate methods for teachers to use in classrooms in order to implement inclusion.

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Copyright information: © Silja Kaihilahti, 2022. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.