Inclusion ,societal & whole-school issues


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Inclusion ,societal & whole-school issues

  1. 1. Inclusion: Societal & Whole-School Issues Dan O’Sullivan ED6306 - Inclusive and Multicultural Education Lecture 7: 24/10/11
  2. 2. Lecture 7: Outline 1) Introduction 5) Conclusion 4) Factors Associated with Successful Inclusion 2) SEN: The Continuum of Provision – Irish Context 3) Three Challenges of Inclusion Note: SEN = Special Educational Need
  3. 3. Inclusion: <ul><li>Increased prominence 1990’s + </li></ul><ul><li>Addressed in policy documents on social justice and equity </li></ul><ul><li>Worldwide trend </li></ul>1) Introduction
  4. 4. <ul><li>Inclusive schooling - essential to creation of a more socially inclusive society. </li></ul><ul><li>Focus of inclusion debate: How to best include rather than whether, when or why </li></ul><ul><li>Inclusion = rights based [& values based] </li></ul>
  5. 5. Concepts fundamental to understanding the inclusion of SEN pupils: a) Access ~ Participation ~ Outcome d) Pupil identity - labelling c) Relational dimension of school life b) Least Restrictive Environment
  6. 6. Integration Vs. Inclusion Often used interchangeably - though considerable differences in philosophy and practice between the two concepts. <ul><li>Locating / placing pupils with SEN in mainstream schools. </li></ul><ul><li>Radical restructuring of ed. system - enable all students to actively participate and achieve within mainstream settings </li></ul><ul><li>Making additional arrangements (teaching / support / Assistive Technology) for SEN pupils - but minimal change in overall school organisation. </li></ul><ul><li>Student adapts to school. [ Being there ] </li></ul>Integration: <ul><li>Rights-based philosophy - asserts entitlement of children with SEN to the same educational opportunities as their peers. </li></ul>Inclusion: <ul><li>School adapts to student. [ Taking part ] </li></ul>
  7. 7. …… not just about groups of people who are somehow “different” Inclusion……. … is about systems reforming to include us all, rather than integrating specific needs groups into existing systems.
  8. 8. However, concerns remain about the inclusion of pupils with SEN in mainstream settings: [ ***** Dilemma laden ] - Replacing ‘tyranny of institutionalisation’ with ‘tyranny of inclusion’ ????? <ul><li>Lack of services / resources in mainstream settings </li></ul><ul><li>‘ One-size-fits-all model’ - does not work in practice </li></ul>Arguments in favour of maintaining a Continuum of Provision: i.e. special schools ~ special classes ~ mainstream placements <ul><li>Inclusive mainstream schooling – economically the right option ? </li></ul><ul><li>Specialist provision in one location </li></ul>Case of Baroness Warnock [Warnock Report 1978]
  9. 9. <ul><li>Continuum offers protection from “rough” mainstream school environment ????? </li></ul><ul><li>Second-level schooling subject based, not student-centered </li></ul><ul><li>Students have the right to learn to their potential, as well as the right to equality </li></ul><ul><li>Remove student with SEN from mainstream setting – remove source of disturbance to others ??? </li></ul><ul><li>Unrealistic expectations placed on students with SEN in mainstream settings </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Individualised educational planning done more effectively in special schools </li></ul><ul><li>Easier to establish parent support groups in specialised settings </li></ul><ul><li>Eroding the continuum of provision = less choice for parents. </li></ul><ul><li>No basis to notion of “educational apartheid” or that students in special schools are devalued </li></ul><ul><li>Quality of provision may be sacrificed for location – “ being there ” takes precedence over “ learning there ” </li></ul>
  11. 11. 2) SEN: The Continuum of Provision – Irish Context Where does Ireland sit on the segregation ~ integration ~ inclusion continuum ? Official Position: In terms of recent policy and legislation Ireland has clearly adopted an inclusive position. N.B. cf. first 5 lectures - ‘Inclusive’ section of ED6306 – Denis Burns – two broad themes a) Legislation b) Support Services <ul><li>“ Every mainstream teacher now has a special education role” –Minister Mary Hanafin – 27 th May 2005 </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Policy process frequently expressed in normative (ideal) terms. “Field of Dreams” approach. Linear approach – “these are the policies and these are the expected results” – i.e. ‘to say is to do’. </li></ul><ul><li>Normative approach factors out the challenges. In reality all efforts at change / transformation characterised by “colliding fields of power”. </li></ul>However…. Discourse analysis: Policies / Principles / Guidelines………… Specified Enacted Experienced or Specified Enacted Experienced
  13. 13. In Practice: <ul><li>Special education in Ireland involves a broad continuum of provision </li></ul><ul><li>Implications of rapid changes in policy, legislation and provision are still being worked out at both school and system level. </li></ul><ul><li>Recent policy and legislation - e.g. EPSEN Act 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>EPSEN Act 2004 - framework for the development of SEN services: </li></ul>Note: Some sections of EPSEN Act, 2004 have been commenced. Commencement of remaining sections suspended by Minister Batt O’Keeffe – Nov. 2008 - due to economic circumstances. [ cf. Minister O’Keeffe’s Dáil reply re. suspension of EPSEN Act: Blackboard: Lecture 7 Subfolder]
  14. 14. 3) Three Challenges of Inclusion a) First challenge of inclusion: Structural issues – systemic logics / rationales / priorities <ul><li>Sociology of education – schools reproducing wider societal inequality - manifest along axes of class, gender, and disability……. cf. work of Prof. Kathleen Lynch - UCD e.g. 15 of the top 20 feeder schools for universities - fee paying. </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher education ~ making the values dimension explicit ~ Professional values inform practice </li></ul><ul><li>Developing critical competence: involves exploring deeply embedded aspects of learning: </li></ul><ul><li>Discourse on “special needs” students: – positioned as “lesser” in the classroom and system ? </li></ul><ul><li>Inclusion – an “add-on” or a central, foundational aspect of schooling ? </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Disproportionate distribution of SEN pupils among schools </li></ul><ul><li>Early 2008 – DES audit of admission policies – no system-wide exclusion of minorities but “certain subtle practices by individual schools can have the effect of discouraging particular groups from applying for places” (Batt O’Keeffe T.D. Minister for Education & Science - Irish Times - 04/12/2008) </li></ul><ul><li>Provision for special needs education largely concentrated in non-fee paying schools and in disadvantaged areas. Evidence ????? </li></ul>Structural / Systemic constraints on inclusion - Irish context <ul><li>Is it fair to equate fee paying schools with a form of “purchased segregation” ?????? </li></ul>
  16. 16. Several issues central to developing inclusive practice remain to be resolved. Overarching theme = “Messiness” of school life . <ul><li>Inadequate resources </li></ul><ul><li>Subject-centered curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>Academic competitiveness </li></ul><ul><li>TIME ( i.e. lack of!): - to adopt whole-school approaches - collaboration between special education teachers and subject teachers e.g. IEP development / plan for ‘team teaching’ - regular meetings with parents - adapting / differentiating the curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>Curriculum inclusion viewed as deeply problematic – </li></ul>
  17. 17. b) Second challenge of inclusion: Teacher identity: biography / beliefs / intent / agency / cultural literacy / professional experiences <ul><li>How do teacher experiences relate to those of their students ? - i.e childhood – adolescence - school experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Little known about how preparedness for inclusion is fostered [Jordan et al. (2009) Preparing teachers for inclusive classrooms ] </li></ul><ul><li>Recommendation: Teacher beliefs on inclusion be made explicit – begin process of seeing change as a possibility </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Two changes to teacher beliefs are ( very ) necessary </li></ul>A) Teacher attribution of within-child deficiency [psycho-medical model] – default response ? B) Subject teacher perception of “specialised” role of “Learning-Support” and “Resource” Teachers ( i.e. ‘someone else will fix problem’ )
  19. 19. <ul><li>Two heavily researched-based principles on teacher beliefs and inclusion of SEN students (Jordan et al. 2009) </li></ul>1) Teachers who believe students with special needs are their responsibility tend to be more effective overall with all their students 2) Teacher beliefs about disability and their responsibilities for their students with special needs may be part of a broader set of assumptions, attitudes and beliefs about ability (e.g. intelligence as “fixed”) - Possible for teachers to challenge structural and cultural aspects of education However……… rather than accepting the status quo
  20. 20. c) Third challenge of inclusion: Methodology – everyday classroom methodologies and strategies Cultural / systemic exigencies (urgencies): - Academic competitiveness / “points race” - “High stake[s]” testing - “Streaming” – grouping by ability Vs. Facilitating a wide spectrum of diversity in the classroom <ul><li>Dilemma laden - impacts on a teacher’s educational philosophy and his/her value purpose in the profession </li></ul>
  21. 21. Making practical curricular value judgements: Choice between - viewing inclusion of students as an “add-on” or secondary goal or - viewing inclusion as the bedrock of “good teaching” – avoiding compartmentalisation – increasingly recognised that effective teaching for SEN pupils is transferable to all learners – “Good teaching is good teaching”. [Inextricably linked, in turn, to classroom management]
  22. 22. e.g. “Good teaching” manifest in (among others): 2) Assessment principles – authentic forms – Based on the quality of performance on real learning tasks and on a developmental model of achievement e.g. Junior Certificate School Programme [JCSP] - portfolio system - stark contrast to high stake summative tests. ** Fairer assessment / testing remains a challenge. 1) Use of differentiated materials [Lecture 10: 21/11/11] Note: Sum mative and for mative testing:
  23. 23. 4) Factors associated with successful inclusion: A) Participation of the whole school community in developing a shared vision and practice B) Effective parental involvement C) Positive staff attitudes and expectations towards students with disabilities
  24. 24. * D) Collaborative teamwork among the school staff: In-class models of learning support / team teaching / co-teaching [Lecture 9 – 14/11/11] * F) Collaborative classroom strategies: Peer Tutoring and Co-operative Learning / Group Work [Lecture 10 – 21/11/11] * E) Adaptation of existing curricula and instructional practice: Differentiation [Lecture 10 – 21/11/11]
  25. 25. “ The traditional response of focusing support on the individual child has been shown to have limited effectiveness and increasingly support is delivered in the context of improving school capacity to respond to diversity ” (Griffin & Shevlin, 2007, p.252) A) Participation of the whole school community in developing a shared vision and practice: <ul><li>The development of an inclusive school: - firmly set in wider issues of overall school effectiveness and school improvement - facilitated by strong leadership on the part of the school principal + distributed leadership ~ crucial. </li></ul><ul><li>School improvement (like own professional development) - always a work in progress ! </li></ul>
  26. 26. Inclusion of Students with Special Educational Needs: Post-Primary Guidelines (2007) – Chapter 2 [Blackboard: Lecture 7 Subfolder] > Documents and Publications > Other DES Publications <ul><li>Capacity of a school to respond to pupils’ special educational needs depends on having effective whole-school policies </li></ul>Supporting the learning of individual students is a whole-school responsibility The NCSE Inclusive Education Framework: A guide for schools on the inclusion of pupils with special educational needs - Launched Nov. 16 th 2011 NCSE ? = National Council for Special Education [ ]
  27. 27. <ul><li>Post-Primary Guidelines (2007) acknowledge that post-primary schools face significant challenges in implementing inclusive approaches for students with SEN - difficult to translate a whole-school policy into daily accepted practice at all levels in a school community . </li></ul><ul><li>But …. Unless inclusion policies are based on shared values / joint ownership they are unlikely to be changed from rhetoric into action. </li></ul><ul><li>However…. “it is critical that such challenges are addressed….” (p.40) </li></ul><ul><li>Additionally….. a school may be organisationally inclusive without being learning inclusive. </li></ul>
  28. 28. <ul><li>‘ Continuum of Support’ - Rationale: ‘3 stage approach’ - develop systems that will meet pupils’ needs. R educes expectation of quick and easy solutions, in particular expectation that ‘an assessment’ will solve the problem. </li></ul>~ SEN occur on a continuum from mild to severe and from transitory to enduring . Support given is also on the basis of a continuum. <ul><li>‘ Continuum of Support’ - Guiding Principles: </li></ul>~ The central role of the subject teacher <ul><li>Being both organisationally inclusive & learning inclusive. </li></ul>N.B. A Continuum of Support for Post-Primary Schools ( NEPS 2010 ) Vol. 1: Guidelines for Teachers Vol. 2: Resource Pack for Teachers [ Blackboard: Lecture 7 Subfolder ] > NEPS > Reports and Publications [ NEPS ? - National Educational Psychological Service ]
  29. 29. <ul><li>‘ Continuum of Support’ A graduated ( and proportionate ) problem solving model comprised of three distinct school-based processes: ( i.e. “3 Staged Approach”) </li></ul>Stage 2: School Support ( for Some ) : Assessment & intervention - directed to some students requiring additional input. Co-ordinated by the LST in co-operation with the subject teacher. Stage 1: Support for ALL: Prevention - effective mainstream teaching & early identification - involves all subject teachers (Support for ALL by ALL ! )
  30. 30. Stage 3: School Support Plus ( for a Few ) : More intensive & individualised supports. Detailed assessment and development of intervention programmes for pupils with complex and/or enduring needs. Involvement of relevant external services e.g . educational psychologist / speech and language therapist / occupational therapist / visiting teacher service. Co-ordinated by the school’s Resource Teacher & Special Educational Needs co-ordinator.
  31. 31. Support for ALL Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 School Support ( for Some ) School Support Plus ( for a Few ) Subject Teacher(s) Pupil Parents Subject Teacher(s) Pupil Parents + Learning Support Teacher Subject Teacher(s) Pupil Parents + Resource Teacher/ SEN co-ordinator + Outside Specialists 80-90 % 10-20% 2-5% ‘ Continuum of Support’ towards addressing the needs of pupils with Special Educational Needs – Post Primary (NEPS 2010)
  32. 32. B) Effective parental involvement: <ul><li>Essential in relation to pupils with SEN and their families. </li></ul><ul><li>Recent years - noticeable shift in Irish educational policy and legislation - formally recognising the central role of parents of pupils with SEN - decision-making processes that affect their children. </li></ul><ul><li>EPSEN Act (2004) stipulates certain minimum requirements for the involvement of parents in the identification and assessment of their child’s learning difficulties & the drafting of a subsequent IEP – school has statutory duty to develop viable home-school links. </li></ul><ul><li>Legislative safeguard - doesn’t ensure school-parent relationships will be truly collaborative – may merely be undertaken to ensure compliance with the law. </li></ul>Children with Special Educational Needs: Information Booklet for Parents (NCSE: Sept. 2011) [Blackboard: Lecture 7 Subfolder]
  33. 33. <ul><li>Enormous variation among schools in their capacity to respond proactively to parental concerns – nonetheless, considerable changes as parents assume a more prominent role in their child’s education. </li></ul><ul><li>Equally, teachers also need to be valued within the collaborative P/T relationship – “Many teachers regularly push out the boundaries of their jobs to ensure that children with difficulties can participate and achieve within mainstream classrooms ……This reality needs to be recognised and built into the collaborative process involving home and school” (Griffin & Shevlin 2007, p.237). </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers need to acknowledge the expert knowledge parents have in relation to their child. </li></ul><ul><li>Pupil and staff wellbeing lie at the heart of an inclusive school culture </li></ul>
  34. 34. C) Positive staff attitudes and expectations towards students with disabilities: <ul><li>Avramidis & Norwich (2002 cited in Griffin & Shevlin 2007, p.78) - positive teacher attitudes were not necessarily the norm. </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher willingness to implement inclusive practices were influenced by: </li></ul>b) Teachers negatively disposed towards pupils who have more severe disabilities or those who display behaviour difficulties . a) The nature of the pupil’s disability/educational difficulties: Favourable attitudes apparent towards pupils with mild disabilities or physical/sensory impairments. <ul><li>Teacher attitude - a powerful influence on the success or failure of inclusion. </li></ul>
  35. 35. <ul><li>A move to the practice of inclusive education means change </li></ul><ul><li>Quality of support available to subject teachers critical – Collective responsibility for pupils with special needs. </li></ul><ul><li>Change - both threatening and challenging </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers feared being left alone to deal with classroom issues pertaining to the inclusion of pupils with SEN </li></ul><ul><li>When teachers felt supported by colleagues - developed positive attitudes towards inclusion. </li></ul>( Avramidis & Norwich 2002 cited in Griffin & Shevlin 2007, p.78).
  36. 36. 5) Conclusion <ul><li>In reality, many schools are well advanced in their thinking and delivery of an appropriate education for all. </li></ul><ul><li>N.B. Despite obstacles and challenges - Irish educational landscape replete with instances of the successful inclusion of pupils with special educational needs in mainstream settings. </li></ul>
  37. 37. Please remain mindful that … … inclusion is not a target to be hit, or a goal to be reached; … nor is it the final destination of a road of continuous linear improvement Rather …. …… inclusion is an ongoing process: marked out by struggle and negotiation, and worked out through interpersonal actions and relations
  38. 38. 1) Griffin, Seán & Shevlin, Michael (2007) Responding to Special Educational Needs – An Irish Perspective , Dublin: Gill & Macmillan. (Chs. 1-5). [ Boole Q+2 - 371.9 GRIF ] References: 3) A Continuum of Support for Post-Primary Schools (NEPS 2010) Vol. 1: Guidelines for Teachers Vol. 2: Resource Pack for Teachers > NEPS > Reports and Publications [Blackboard: Lecture 7 Subfolder] 2) Department of Education & Science (2007) Inclusion of Students with Special Educational Needs: Post-Primary Guidelines, Dublin: The Stationery Office. (Chs. 1-3). > Documents and Publications > Other DES Publications [Blackboard: Lecture 7 Subfolder] 4) Children with Special Educational Needs: Information Booklet for Parents (NCSE: Sept. 2011) [Blackboard: Lecture 7 Subfolder]
  39. 39. 5) Hegarty, Seamus (2001) Inclusive education – a case to answer. Journal of Moral Education, 30(3), 243-249. [Blackboard: Lecture 7 Subfolder] 8) Topping, Keith & Maloney, Sheelagh (eds.) (2005) The RoutledgeFalmer Reader in Inclusive Education, Abingdon: RoutledgeFalmer. (Intro. and Chs. 1-3) [ Boole Q+2 - 371.9 TOPP ] 6) CABHAIR Newsletter Insert ~ ‘Inclusive Schools: Developing a Practical Approach’ > Documents and Publications > CABHAIR Newsletter > Issue 3 January 2009 (CABHAIR Insert) [Blackboard: Lecture 7 Subfolder] 7) Jordan, A., Schwartz, E. & McGhie-Richmond, D. (2009) Preparing teachers for inclusive classrooms. Teaching and Teacher Education, 25(4), 535-542. [Blackboard: Lecture 7 Subfolder]