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Exploring the concept of Relational Inclusivity in the context of special and inclusive education

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Thursday 9 May 2024

5pm - 6pm




Online, Faculty of Education



Friends linking arms.

In this research seminar Dr Christoforos Mamas and David Trautman from the University of California will explore the concept of Relational Inclusivity (RI) in the context of special and inclusive education, focusing on the importance of positive peer relationships for students, especially those with identified Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

Join this presentation online via Microsoft Teams on Thursday 9 May using the booking link provided.

Event Details

Within this presentation, we argue for a systematic understanding and promotion of relationships in schools to create more inclusive, caring, and just communities. We will introduce a Social Network Analysis (SNA) Toolkit as a set of tools for examining and transforming RI.

We define RI as the extent to which all students are connected into the social fabric of their educational environments, emphasizing its ethical, moral, and pedagogical significance.

We stress that programmatic models of inclusion may not necessarily result in actual inclusion, highlighting the need for active monitoring, development, and maintenance of RI to ensure the full engagement of students, especially those with SEND.

Approaching RI from a social network perspective, we argue that educators should be intentional about cultivating relationships among all students, using the SNA Toolkit to visualize network structures and gain insights into social dynamics within classrooms.

The Toolkit, a free web-based program, facilitates the collection of relational social network data through surveys, enabling teachers to analyze relationships and support the development of RI.

The Toolkit’s user-friendly interface allows educators to create sociograms and obtain descriptive SNA measures without requiring expertise in social network methods.

The SNA Toolkit could be a valuable resource for educators seeking systematic ways to understand and enhance the relational dimension of school, ultimately contributing to more inclusive educational practices.


  • Dr. Christoforos Mamas, Department of Education Studies, University of California, San Diego, USA
  • Mr. David Trautman, Department of Education Studies, University of California, San Diego, USA


Dr. Christoforos Mamas is a former elementary school teacher and is currently an assistant professor specializing in Transforming Special Education within the Department of Education Studies at the University of California, San Diego. His main research focus revolves around investigating the relational inclusivity of students identified as having special educational needs and disabilities in mainstream educational environments.

Mr. David Trautman is a PhD student at the University of California, San Diego in the Department of Education Studies. He is a former California public school teacher and administrator whose research focus revolves around equity and school district reform, with a particular emphasis on leadership.

Discover more about our Children’s Agency and Rights in Education Group

Who is this event for?

Current students Researchers Teachers, tutors and careers advisers