Browsing Institute of Education Research Collection by Subjects
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Developing the effectiveness of teacher education for inclusionAbstract: This paper reports on the findings of a research study which sought to identify the conditions, processes and activities underpinning effective inclusive teacher education. The study took forward what was currently known (or hypothesised) and from this built a pedagogic model (in the form of inclusive action research) that was applied in a partnership school during the practicum period among 22 participants (preservice teachers, experienced teachers and teaching assistants) to support the professional development of all involved. The findings support the claim that socially situated, research oriented, reflexive, collaborative approaches to developing inclusive practice are important elements in an effectual programme. They also cast light on the conceptual and practical challenges involved in being inclusive and on the impact of external cultures on the professional identities and actions of practitioners. This paper takes the position that de-intellectualised, competence based ‘on the job training’ models of teacher education will not be effective in preparing teachers for the deep challenges involved in becoming and being a more inclusive practitioner.
Effective inclusive teacher education for special educational needs and disabilities: Some more thoughts on the way forwardThis study sought to identify the principles and practices underpinning effective inclusive teacher education for special educational needs (SEN) in ordinary schools through an inclusive action research project. The findings demonstrate that where practitioner development involves critical-theoretical, reflexive, research-oriented collaborations among a professional learning community, practitioners become more confident and skilful in enacting inclusive practice. This community was formed in the context of a school-university partnership and included pre-service teachers, experienced teachers, teaching assistants and university tutors. Its findings cast serious doubt over the efficacy of de-intellectualised, ‘on the job’ training models favoured by policy makers in England and elsewhere.
The Language of SEND: Implications for the SENCOThe central tenet of this chapter is that language matters. Over the centuries as human beings have represented and categorised both themselves and others in different ways, so interpretations and the language of disability (physical and learning) shape-shifts altering through time (Goodey, 2016). The language of disability and the societal and political values which underpin it are therefore not cross-historical – let two or three generations pass and the labels associated with disability alter. Sometimes such changes in language usage can seem little more than semantic fashion or a professional challenge to keep up-to-date with. The language of disability is however more than fashion and political correctness (Mallett and Slater, 2014), for words gain their meaning from the manner in which they are used (Wittgenstein, 2009). This chapter argues the language of special education shapes SENCOs’ values, expectations, assumptions, responses and practice. Through an exploration of historical and current language usage, this chapter analyses the language of special education and the implications for the school community.
Resilience, Reflection and ReflexivityHistorically the teacher resilience literature has tended to focus on the individual (Day, 2017), their ability to manage stressors and risk factors and to draw on protective factors (Howard and Johnson, 2004). More recently the emphasis has shifted from analysis of the individual, towards understandings which emphasise the interaction between individuals and their environments (Ungar, 2012). Focussed more on the latter rather than the former, this chapter moves away from the potentially damaging effects of a ‘pull yourself together’ mentality, in favour of analysis which contextualises teacher resilience. Teacher resilience is viewed more in terms of the space where an individual’s capacity to navigate challenges interacts over time with their personal and professional contexts (Beltman, 2015). The desired outcome of this meeting between individual and context is a teacher who experiences professional engagement and growth, commitment, enthusiasm, satisfaction, and wellbeing (Beltman, 2015) and thus is able to act in a personally, socially and emotionally responsible way. The nexus between professional challenge and teacher satisfaction is explored through two case studies presented in this chapter and the subsequent discussion which addresses the inclusion of children with additional needs (both special educational needs and/or disability (SEND) and able and talented).