You are viewing information for England.  Change country.

Equality, participation and inclusion: learning from each other

This module is for anyone interested in issues of access for children and young people in diverse social and educational contexts. It supports you in engaging with differing perspectives on equality, participation and inclusion, and in developing your own perspectives. You will address the dimensions of disability, disaffection and learning difficulty in the context of wider diversity across the breadth of childhood and youth services. It asks what constitutes good participatory and inclusive practice. A range of video case studies from early years to late teens, with an emphasis on education and learning, illustrate the key themes and issues.

Modules count towards OU qualifications

OU qualifications are modular in structure; the credits from this undergraduate module could count towards a certificate of higher education, diploma of higher education, foundation degree or honours degree.

Browse qualifications in related subjects


Module code


  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
Study level
Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU module levels correspond to these frameworks.
2 9 5
Study method
Distance Learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements
See Entry requirements

Student Reviews

I really enjoyed this module as I am currently a teaching assistant working in a primary school, wanting to become...
Read more

I found it extremely interesting recognizing the theory behind the practices that have been in place in my life. I...
Read more

Request your prospectus

Explore our subjects and courses

Request your copy now

What you will study

The opening section of this module explores the conceptual basis for dealing with difference. The initial focus is on the how and why people fight for inclusion and equality. The historical construction of disability and its support in an educational and health framework is interwoven through the units. It goes on to consider how social barriers have impacted on the diversity of individuals. It will introduce the conceptual frameworks to be used throughout the module.

The second section addresses the varying perspectives on inclusion, participation and equality held by academics, those in professional roles, parents and other ‘stakeholders’. First-hand accounts from children and young people, service-users, and disability activists are also included. Students will use online and written materials to recognise that there is no unified conceptualisation of these constructs and that individuals can hold different perspectives at different times or even at the same time, related to or separate from their professional or personal roles.

The module then explores the ongoing development of services intended to deliver equity and involvement for a diverse population. It encourages the exploration and critique of changing policies at a local and national level. The policy in practice is examined through video case studies of an inclusive school and a children’s centre, and by looking towards alternative interventions to prevent social and educational exclusion. The process of creating new services for children and youth services will be examined as a political process involving policies in tension.

The fourth section considers the dilemmas that exist through our use of difference to define ourselves and others, and the kinds of support we provide for each other. It examines the experiences of a broad range of individuals as a consequence of their identified difference. Also the impact that this has had upon the support they have received, the barriers they have faced, and their notions of self and identity.

The final section discusses how individuals can lead change in the culture and practice of organisations, and other social structures linked to childhood and youth. It presents perspectives on good practice in inclusive education and childhood and youth provision, and how this might be evaluated and measured. We look at examples of collaboration, listening, reflection and learning and how they can be enacted in relationships with young people and professionals in a variety of contexts. Consideration is given to how people can overcome resistance and fight for their rights. The module concludes by looking forward to what seems possible now.

The module is delivered through a mix of written and online text, allowing it to reflect changes in policy, theory and practice. All materials will be downloadable or accessible through DVD. Throughout the module, through the assessments and the activities, you will be encouraged to develop your own views on the issues raised alongside the perspectives of others. As well as student forums you will have the option to upload video and audio clips for other students to reflect upon and respond to. If you don't have a built-in webcam on your PC/laptop we can supply a web camera on request via StudentHome shortly before the module starts.

You will learn

The aims of this module are to enable you to:

  • understand the historical and policy context of responses to difference, with particular reference to issues of education and disability
  • explore a range of models of provision for children and young people, to consider their delivery of equality, participation and inclusion, focusing upon disability, disaffection and learning difficulty in the context of wider diversity
  • consider the perspectives and experiences of a range of children and young people, and those involved in their support, in relation to issues of equality, participation and inclusion
  • consider the values, policy and organisational dimensions inherent in delivering equality, participation and inclusion through social structures, with particular reference to education
  • develop your own position on the delivery of equality, participation and inclusion
  • develop a critical approach to writing and practice in relation to equality, participation and inclusion.

Vocational relevance

This module is relevant for students with or without a vocational interest. The emphasis on education will make the module of particular relevance to educational practitioners. However, interwoven throughout the module are the experiences and perspectives of the full range of practitioners working with children and young people.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material and mark and comment on your written work, and whom you can ask for advice and guidance. We may also be able to offer group tutorials or day schools that you are encouraged, but not obliged, to attend. Where your tutorials are held will depend on the distribution of students taking the module.

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.


The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box above.

You will be expected to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) online through the eTMA system unless there are some difficulties which prevent you from doing so. In these circumstances, you must negotiate with your tutor to get their agreement to submit your assignment on paper.

Future availability

Equality, participation and inclusion: learning from each other (E214) starts once a year – in October. This page describes the module that will start October 2019. It will start for the last time in October 2019 – there’s no planned replacement.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.

    Course work includes:

    6 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
    End-of-module assessment
    No residential school

    Course satisfaction survey

    See the satisfaction survey results for this course.

    Entry requirements

    There are no formal academic or experiential requirements to study this module.

    If you're not sure you're ready, talk to an adviser.


    Start End England fee Register
    05 Oct 2019 Jun 2020 -

    Registration now closed

    October 2019 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.

    Additional Costs

    Study costs

    There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a computer, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

    If you're on a low income you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after your module has started.

    Ways to pay for this module

    Open University Student Budget Account

    The Open University Student Budget Accounts Ltd (OUSBA) offers a convenient 'pay as you go' option to pay your OU fees, which is a secure, quick and easy way to pay. Please note that The Open University works exclusively with OUSBA and is not able to offer you credit facilities from any other provider. All credit is subject to status and proof that you can afford the repayments.

    You pay the OU through OUSBA in one of the following ways:

    • Register now, pay later – OUSBA pays your module fee direct to the OU. You then repay OUSBA interest-free and in full just before your module starts. 0% APR representative. This option could give you the extra time you may need to secure the funding to repay OUSBA.
    • Pay by instalments – OUSBA calculates your monthly fee and number of instalments based on the cost of the module you are studying. APR 5.1% representative.

    Joint loan applications

    If you feel you would be unable to obtain an OUSBA loan on your own due to credit history or affordability issues, OUSBA offers the option to apply for a joint loan application with a third party. For example, your husband, wife, partner, parent, sibling or friend. In such cases, OUSBA will be required to carry out additional affordability checks separately and/or collectively for both joint applicants who will be jointly and severally liable for loan repayments.

    As additional affordability checks are required when processing joint loan applications, unfortunately, an instant decision cannot be given. On average the processing time for a joint loan application is five working days from receipt of the required documentation.

    Read more about Open University Student Budget Accounts (OUSBA).  

    Employer sponsorship

    Studying with The Open University can boost your employability. OU courses are recognised and respected by employers for their excellence and the commitment they take to complete. They also value the skills that students learn and can apply in the workplace.

    More than one in ten OU students are sponsored by their employer, and over 30,000 employers have used the OU to develop staff so far. If the module you’ve chosen is geared towards your job or developing your career, you could approach your employer to see if they will sponsor you by paying some or all of the fees. 

    • Your employer just needs to complete a simple form to confirm how much they will be paying and we will invoice them.
    • You won’t need to get your employer to complete the form until after you’ve chosen your module.  

    Credit/debit card

    You can pay part or all of your tuition fees upfront with a debit or credit card when you register for each module. 

    We accept American Express, Mastercard, Visa and Visa Electron. 

    Mixed payments

    We know that sometimes you may want to combine payment options. For example, you may wish to pay part of your tuition fee with a debit card and pay the remainder in instalments through an Open University Student Budget Account (OUSBA).

    For more information about combining payment options, speak to an adviser or book a call back at a time convenient to you.

    Please note: your permanent address/domicile will affect your fee status and therefore the fees you are charged and any financial support available to you. The fees and funding information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2020. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees. 

    This information was provided on 17/09/2019.

    What's included

    Module books, other printed and online materials, DVD, webcam, website.

    Computing requirements

    A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module. Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.

    Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a device that meets the requirements below.

    A desktop or laptop computer with either:

    • Windows 7 or higher
    • Mac OS X 10.7 or higher

    The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

    To join in the spoken conversation in our online rooms we recommend a headset (headphones or earphones with an integrated microphone).

    Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students.

    Materials to buy

    Set books

    • Rix, J., et al. (ed) Equality, Participation and Inclusion 1: Diverse Perspectives Routledge £31.99 - ISBN 9780415584227
    • Rix, J., et al. (ed) Equality, Participation and Inclusion 2: Diverse Contexts Routledge £30.99 - ISBN 9780415584241

    If you have a disability

    The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying E214 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

    To find out more about what kind of support and adjustments might be available, contact us or visit our Disability support website.