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The article examines the concept of spirituality as an expression of the important socio-cultural heritage of Ukrainians; analyzes the development of inclusive education through spirituality and religion in Ukrainian society; reveals the main ways of shaping the attitude of Ukrainians towards people with disabilities; identifies the problems of developing inclusive education in Ukraine through spirituality.
Keywords: inclusive education, spirituality, religion, spiritual values, person with disabilities.

Pavlova A. O.
is a student of the third (educational and scientific) level of higher education,
H. S. Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University, Kharkiv, Ukraine


Inclusive education has been implemented in Ukraine since its independence. The rate of involvement of children with special educational needs in the inclusive educational process is growing every year. The development of inclusive education, namely the formation of a new, humane society for people with disabilities, is taking place at the change of epochs and the transition to the second quarter of the twenty-first century, on the basis of religious and spiritual differences, economic, social and political crises.

Today, the idea of inclusion is based on the ideology of equality – ensuring equal treatment of everyone, eliminating any form of discrimination. Inclusive education is aimed at developing the capabilities of each individual to successfully socialize in society, implement the acquired knowledge and skills, effectively overcome life difficulties, make decisions independently, consciously choose, and be socially active.

The moral component of inclusive education is based on a system of universal and national values, and spirituality is the basic structural component of the Ukrainian mentality.

It is the fact that the spiritual context directly influences the acceptance of inclusive education by society in Ukraine that led to the writing of this article.

Religion plays an important role in shaping the spiritual identity of Ukrainians. It reflects the spiritual values of the individual and holiness in Christian culture. Spirituality as an expression of the important socio-cultural heritage of Ukrainians, which has been formed over two millennia, strengthens the worldview of mytho-religious and holistic fusion, absorbing into activity and time-space location the best “Slavic” qualities, such as kindness, sincerity, compassion, loyalty, piety, vitality, integrity, humanity, which are vividly combined in the people.

An analysis of the works of domestic scholars makes it possible to define spirituality as an important component in the universal human value system. It is the process of humanization of nature and society, the process of formation of the human being, his/her attitude to the surrounding reality, to others and to oneself, which gives rise to spiritual culture as a social universality. The structure of spirituality is highlighted by the following components: cognitive, moral, and aesthetic. They are the main areas of spiritual improvement of the individual, and their interaction and coherence are very important for spiritual development. The process of harmonizing the links between universal and individual moral values, which involves self-improvement of the individual, forms spirituality [2, p. 54].

The spiritual component of Ukrainian society has become the reason for humane treatment of people with disabilities. The evolutionary development of the concept of “disability” was initially based on the eternal paradigm “man is the image of God”, which today is guided by most people and which underlies the established humane statements and attitudes. Spiritual qualities are the precious gospel basis of love for one’s neighbor. Documents such as Ruska Pravda and The Teachings of Volodymyr Monomakh show that Ukrainians have always been committed to democratic values, believed in the ideal of goodness and tried to implement it in public life.

The evolution of public perception of people with disabilities over a long period of time has continued to highlight and “focus” on the values that underlie life. One of those values that was nurtured in the process of developing public perception was the idea of equality. This extremely important, without exaggeration, idea proclaims the future possibilities of the individual for self-realization. This approach calls for strengthening the child’s participation in the formation of traditions, ideals, aspirations, etc.

Based on the definition of “humanization of education” put forward by Honcharenko, we can conclude that the activities of educational institutions in the early days of Ukraine’s independent development contained humanistic and spiritual elements. The introduction of inclusive education has increased its importance, shifting the emphasis from the educational to the social part.

General secondary education institutions need to take a balanced approach to the quality of inclusive education for children with special needs, as the future of society as a whole depends on this level. The model rules for ensuring equal opportunities for people with disabilities define inclusive education as a desirable form, but not as a substitute for special education.

Educational and social policy at school, focused on the needs, interests and abilities of children, is a reflection of the humanization of school and the democratization of society. Inclusive education cannot be implemented in societies with low democratic standards also because the functioning of children with special needs is perceived through the prism and methods of segregation of the medical model.

An inclusive school environment has always been focused on traditional Christian value systems, including love for one’s neighbor, respect for equality, recognition of individual freedom and sovereignty, tolerance, and the pursuit of social harmony and self-development. Inclusion is a philosophy of a person who understands the importance of including everyone in society, understanding that all children are valuable members of society and have equal rights regardless of the peculiarities of their physical and mental development [1, p. 246].

Thus, the formation and development of inclusive education is permeated with spirituality at all stages. Ukrainian society is undergoing such important changes as globalization and the process of an individual’s entry into culture. The European dimensions of democracy and humanity that have been established over the past 50 years are changing the culture, values, customs, traditions, and worldview of the Ukrainian ethnic group.

List of references

1. Kolupaeva A. A., Lutsenko I. V. Normative Bulletin. Analysis of international legislation on inclusive education. Education of persons with special needs: ways of development. 2016. Issue 11. С. 242-260.
2. Oronovska LD, Tsap H. Formation of spiritual values of the individual: theoretical aspect of the problem. Value orientations in the modern world: theoretical analysis and practical experience : collection of abstracts of the III international scientific and practical conference, Ternopil, May 13-14, 2021: Vector, 2021. С. 52-57.
3. Sergeeva I., Bakhmet M. The value of inclusive education. The system of providing education to children with special educational needs in a modern institution : a collection of materials. VI All-Ukrainian scientific and practical conference, December 12, 2018. Lysychansk: Lysychansk Pedagogical College of Luhansk Taras Shevchenko National University. Lysychansk : FOP Chernov O. G., 2018. С. 194-196.