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Contextualising

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  • 1. ED6306 - Inclusive and Multicultural Education – Dan O’Sullivan Teaching Students with General Learning Disabilities: a) Barriers to Learning b) Principles of Effective Instruction 07/11/11 8 Inclusion: Societal and Whole-School Issues 24/10/11 7 Contextualising Inclusive Education 17/10/11 6 Theme Date Lecture No.
  • 2. Dyslexia ~ From Theory to Practice - Delivering Effective Evidence-Based Instruction 28/11/11 11 Review & Discussion ED6306 Assignment – Guidelines (Submission: December 13 th 2011) 05/12/11 12 Inclusive Classroom Practices: a) Differentiation b) Collaborative Learning Strategies: ~ Peer Tutoring ~ Co-operative Learning (Group Work) 21/11/11 10 Inclusive Classroom Practice: a) In-class Support / Team Teaching 14/11/11 9 Theme Date Lecture No.
  • 3. Contextualising Inclusive Education Dan O’Sullivan ED6306 - Inclusive and Multicultural Education Lecture 6: 17/10/11
  • 4. Introduction:
    • Inclusive education: Dominant / controversial issue confronting educational policy-makers & professionals today
    • Inclusive education: Common denominator = the recognition and valuing of diversity in educational institutions
    • Inclusive education
    - A variant of education in general? - The main , or even the only, form of education?
    • Whichever view accepted, clear that all of the issues that confront education in general must also be addressed in inclusive education:
    - curriculum - assessment - school management - professional development of teachers - pedagogy…………..
  • 5. - Learning disability: Cognitive capacity/IQ = G eneral L earning D isability [Mild / Moderate / Severe & Profound] - Autistic Spectrum Disorders - Specific Learning Disability (Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia) - Specific Speech and Language Disorder - Assessed Syndromes (e.g. Down’s Syndrome) - Physical disability – e.g. Spina Bifida / Cerebral Palsy - Sensory disability – visual / hearning
    • S pecial E ducational N eeds [ SEN ]:
    - Emotional/behavioural disorder [disturbance] (EBD) ADD ~ ADHD ~ ODD ~ CD
  • 6.
    • Issues specific to particular populations: e.g. students with Special Educational Needs (SEN)
    ~ notions of ‘special need’ / definitions - ‘labelling’ ~ curricular adaptations - differentiation ~ individualisation of programmes - Individual Education Plan (IEP) ~ support services - www.ncse.ie
  • 7. Proposition 1 Inclusive education extends beyond special needs arising from disabilities – includes consideration of other sources of disadvantage / marginalisation: - gender - socio-economic status / disadvantage - language - ethnicity - geographic isolation………………… Complex inter-relationships that exist among these factors & their interactions with disability [e.g. parents & ‘social capital’] Scope varies internationally N.B. Inclusion of pupils with SEN = central concern of ‘Inclusive’ section of ED6306 Proposition = a suggestion to be considered
  • 8. Contexts of inclusive education consideration should be given to the relationships among the - social political economic cultural and historica l contexts of inclusive education - at macro micro personal and interpersonal levels. Inclusive education embedded in a range of contexts:-
  • 9. Proposition 2 Inclusive education is a complex and problematic concept
    • Lack of a commonly accepted definition of “inclusion”
    • Lack of conceptual clarity with regard to disability definitions and the very notion of inclusion
    • Laden with ambiguity and dilemmas
    • Multi-dimensional phenomenon - unrealistic to take a uni-dimensional perspective
    • Educational practices labelled as inclusive have a strongly local flavour.
  • 10. Proposition 3 Although no universally accepted definition of inclusive education, there is growing international consensus as to the principal features of this multi-dimensional concept
    • Entitlement to full membership in regular, age-appropriate classes in their neighbourhood school
    • Access to appropriate aids and support services
    • Individualised programmes – with appropriately differentiated curriculum and assessment practices
    • Inclusive education: distinct in two respects:
    - distinct from integration – unconditional belonging / full membership - goes far beyond mere physical (or locational) placement – instead, attention paid to all aspects of schooling i.e. participation .
  • 11. Proposition 4 From the perspective of placement criteria alone, there are three main types of provision for students with SEN: one-track, dual-track, and multi-track. Inclusive education for students with disabilities usually refers to a one-track system.
    • One-track: serving all students in one system.
    • Dual-track: serving students with SEN in one system – all others in another, main, system.
    • Multi-track: serving various groups in different parallel systems
    Yet more complexity: in some countries the classification into one of these three categories is in a state of flux [e.g. Holland].
  • 12. Proposition 5 The inclusive education / segregation divide is not limited to the regular class vs. the special class / special school, - also covers a range of other educational provisions that separate students – [ institutional access alone does not equate with educational inclusion ] - Segregating effects of enrolment / selection [and grouping] by academic ability / aptitude: Academic (& social!) selection practices - schooled with “like-ability” peers rather than with peers from an homogeneous “community”. {Issue of schools reproducing inequalities} 2 issues - Mini-special schools attached to the mainstream: Students with SEN ostensibly integrated, but placed in segregated and semi-segregated provision within mainstream schools - largely in isolation from their peers
  • 13. Proposition 6 With regard to students with disabilities, inclusive education is a site of conflicting paradigms, centered on two different conceptualisations of special needs: A) Psycho-medical model: [ “defect model” / “categorical model” etc. ] - Assumption: disability = a stable trait – can be readily diagnosed and categorically grouped – category determines resource provision [ cf. Lecture 1 – Denis Burns - Slide 8: Application Criteria: Resource Teaching ] - School failure - ascribed to some defect, pathology, or inadequacy located within the student . Predominates within many ( most?) systems. - Reduces people to an essentialised set of characteristics - Influences teachers’ expectations ?
  • 14. B) Socio-political model: [“social model” / “relational perspective”] - Special needs = social constructs. Task: Finding a balance between the two paradigms. - Special education = structural inequalities at the macro-social level are reproduced in institutional form. - Attention paid to system deficiencies.
  • 15. Proposition 7 Inclusion goes beyond education and should involve consideration of - employment - recreation - health and living conditions. It should therefore involve transformations across all government and other agencies at all levels of society.
    • “ Educational inclusion……. presumes a broad-based collective will to effect transformation at every level of society ”
    • Educational exclusion [described] as operating “in a sea of social exclusionary processes which affect access to basic rights in a number of domains: food, shelter, social security, employment, education etc.”
  • 16. Proposition 8 Inclusive education is not always made available to all students with SEN’s arising from disabilities, particularly those with severe or multiple disabilities.
    • No country has achieved full inclusion - an unattainable ideal.
    • Even in countries with strongest commitment to inclusion – seen as a conditional entitlement .
    • Grounds for exclusion: - based on particular categories - perceived severity of disability - judgement exercised on a case-by-case basis - parental choice
    e.g. USA – inclusive ed. not a right – “least restrictive environment” legislation support the preference that for inclusion to be justified, students should be expected to be able to achieve or acquire specific skills or certain levels of knowledge. www.courts.ie/Judgments.nsf/SearchPage?Openform Search string: ‘Lucan Educate Together’
  • 17. Proposition 9 Inclusive education policies & practices must take account of reforms in general education - especially those derived from such neo-liberal philosophies as marketization, devolution, public choice, competition, and the setting of accountability criteria such as standards , outcomes and high-stakes testing.
    • Marketization: Assumption = Marketization of education = excellence. Possible consequence ~ SEN students viewed as “non-marketable commodities” who depress the performance of schools. Does ‘marketization’ amplify & reinforce exclusion and segregation?
    • Standards: Emphasis on excellence & accountability – developing the economy via developing the individual. Emphasis on “outputs”. “Unproductive” students less welcome in schools?
    • State = curb worst (usually unintended) excesses of marketization.
    • Literacy & Numeracy for Learning & Life (DES July 2011) ??????? www.education.ie [‘Featured Links’ section on right-hand side of Homepage]
  • 18. Proposition 10 * Societal values & beliefs (12 & 13); * economic factors (14); * a lack of measures to ensure compliance with policies; * the dispersion of responsibility for education; * conservative traditions among teachers, teacher educators and educational researchers; * parental resistance; * lack of skills among teachers; * rigid curricula and examination systems; * fragile democratic institutions; * inadequate educational infrastructures (especially in rural/remote areas); * large class sizes; * resistance from the special education sector (especially special schools); * top-down introduction of inclusive education without adequate preparation of schools/communities. Manifold reasons for Policy / Practice gap in inclusive education: Specified - Enacted - Experienced
  • 19. Proposition 11 Inclusive education exists in historical contexts in which vestiges of older beliefs co-exist with newer beliefs.
    • To understand current and planned approaches to inclusive education, necessary to consider past attitudes, policies & practices.
    • Avoid taking either an unduly optimistic or an unduly pessimistic view of history
    • Optimistic perspective: uninterrupted progress away from prejudice in the direction of enlightenment
    • Pessimistic perspective: vested interests conspire [d] to subvert progress
    • Instead ~ potential of the concept of dilemmas to understand inclusion – i.e. contradictory responses to diversity / “dilemmas of difference” /
    • Human societies don’t pass through discrete periods or stages – instead vestiges of older beliefs co-exist with newer beliefs. Consequence: Tensions between past and new paradigms.
  • 20. Proposition 12 Inclusive education is embedded in a series of contexts , extending from the broad society , through the local community , the family , the school and to the classroom.
    • Student with SEN simultaneously occupies a series of spaces - each has the potential to facilitate or hinder inclusion
    • Necessary to adopt a systems perspective of inclusive education - contextualist approach [ i.e. context within contexts]
    • Contextualist approach highlights major cross-cultural differences in definitions of disability, the attributations of their aetiology (causation) and the stigma or value attached to various conditions. [action assumes value]
  • 21. Proposition 13 Because cultural values and beliefs , levels of economic wealth , and histories mediate the concept of inclusive education, it takes on different meanings in different countries, and even within countries . The form taken by inclusive education in any particular country is influenced by the nature of the settlements reached at any one time between Tensions: global vs. local / modernization vs . traditionalism [Tensions exacerbated by the rapidity of modernization processes] All settlements are: a) complex ; b) unique to each country; c) are in a state of flux. [Also within-country cultural variations] b) modernization values [universal welfare / equity and equality / democracy / human rights / social justice / individualism / parental choice] a) traditional values [social cohesion & group identity / collectivism / images of wholeness / fatalism / hierarchical ordering of society and
  • 22. Proposition 14 Economic considerations play a significant role in determining approaches to inclusive education:
    • Financially realistic to provide special schools throughout a country? Pragmatic, economically driven approach to inclusive education.
    - Adoption of a human capital policy of developing all individuals primarily as a means of enhancing the economy. - An attitude that persons with disabilities are economic liabilities and are therefore of low priority.
    • Economic purposes of education for students who may never become highly productive in economic terms:
  • 23. Proposition 15 Conclusion: Inclusive education reflects the relationships that exist at any one time among a country’s social, political , economic, cultural and historical contexts. No one model of inclusive education suits every country’s circumstances – caution must be exercised in ‘exporting’ and ‘importing’ a particular model:
    • ‘ Importers’: challenge is to determine how far their country’s indigenous philosophies, ideologies, and practices should be encouraged, respected, challenged, overthrown or blended with those from ‘outside’
    • ‘ Exporters’: obligations to respect local values
  • 24. Proposition 16 Inclusive education requires major shifts from old to new educational paradigms.
    • Inclusive ed. reflects various settlements made between competing paradigms – a process of resolving dilemmas
    • Tensions and frustrations / Policy ~ practice gap
    • SEN pupils ~ “canaries in the coal mine” – reveal qualities of educational systems in general
    • Not surprising to witness resistance to implementation of inclusive education: makes considerable demands on systems and participants
    • “ Inclusive education as Trojan Horse” – challenges all to transform, re-align…….. Both shapes and is shaped by the ethos of the education system and the culture in which it is embedded.
    • Elicits a range of reactions : compelling, unconvincing, liberating, threatening…..
  • 25. Mitchell, David (2009) Sixteen propositions on the contexts of inclusive education, in Mitchell, D. (ed.) Contextualising Inclusive Education – Evaluating old and new international perspectives , Abingdon: Routledge, 1-21. [Chapter 1 - Introduction] Boole Q+2 371.9 MITC – 3 copies Recommended websites: Special Education Support Service: www.sess.ie [ Remit: Professional Development] National Council for Special Education: www.ncse.ie [ Remit: Resource Allocation / Research]

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