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Inclusive but independent: making inclusive schooling work in the current educational context Prof Bob Conway School of Education, Flinders University.

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Presentation on theme: "Inclusive but independent: making inclusive schooling work in the current educational context Prof Bob Conway School of Education, Flinders University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Inclusive but independent: making inclusive schooling work in the current educational context Prof Bob Conway School of Education, Flinders University

2 The key concepts Rights of those with special needs to be involved in meaningful ways ACCESS PARTICIPATION Curriculum Relevant Broad Qualification outcomes Content Teaching/learning activities Student Engagement Active learning © R Conway, 2012

3 What’s in a term/concept? Integration of students with special needs Inclusion of students with special needs Inclusive Schools Inclusive Education Education for all Inclusion by proximity © R Conway, 2012 Inclusive society??

4 © R Conway, 2012




8 What is the Australian literature base?  Attitudes and beliefs of staff and leaders are well researched  Specific policies and practices in jurisdictions  Inclusive practices (or not) in ECE, Prim & Sec  Inclusion needs of students with specific special needs and how best to meet them  Pre- and inservice training needs of staff  Models of service delivery based on funding, philosophy and pragmatics © R Conway, 2012

9 What is the Australian data? Identified numbers are rising 2.6% (1996) – 3.5% (2001) – 4.8% (2009) (Dempsey, 2011) High variations in reported incidence 4% to 12% depending on disability categories used Some use “diagnosed”, others “deemed” Increasing enrolments in special education settings in some states/territories Political commitment Voting against secondary mainstream placements by students and parents Special needs specific (eg. social-emotional) Enrolments in government schools are increasing as a percentage of total enrolments (Except WA) – does government school mean the default option for students with special needs? © R Conway, 2012

10 What’s the national agenda?  NDIS  DEEWR activities around disability Gonski Review issues and disability Nationally agreed definitions of disability for data collection Funding for state/territory training (MSSD) with some important guiding principles: Strive to support students in all setting and meet level of need Recognise different schooling arrangements, including resourcing Refunding of Positive Partnerships 2012-2014 Review of Disability Standards for Education (2005) Schools Disability Advisory Council  ACARA Australian Curriculum (content, assessment, not pedagogy) Is special education a cross-curriculum issue/ embedded/inclusive or pre-F? NAPLAN MySchool website and special needs data AITSL Inclusion aspects recognised in standards (eg: 1.3, 1.5,1.6,3.1,4.1,5.3) © R Conway, 2012

11 Four key issues – outcomes to date  Nationally consistent data  Gonski Review and disability  Disability adjustment categories  Disability Standards for Education 2005 and review © R Conway, 2012

12 Categories of disability under National Consistent Data  Physical  Cognitive  Sensory  Social/Emotional DEEWR, 2012

13 Key Gonski Review findings We need to lift performance: Australia’s standing in international comparisons is slipping Student performance needs to lift, particularly for the lowest performers Multiple and/or concentrated disadvantage adversely affects outcomes We need to improve funding: Current funding is not linked to educational outcomes Funding is not logical, consistent or publicly transparent Public funding should reflect school and student characteristics, regardless of sector DEEWR, 2012

14 Development of a funding loading for students with disability from Gonski There is no nationally consistent data regarding students with disability and hence no recommendations could be made on this funding. The Review of Funding for Schooling recommended that work on collecting nationally consistent data on students with disability should be progressed as a priority – now agreed. Significant additional and collaborative work is required to develop a funding loading for students with disability. This work is being progressed through the Strategic Policy Working Group. It will be informed by the Ministerial Reference Group, the Australian Education, Early Childhood Development, Senior Officials Committee (AEEYSOC) (through relevant working groups) and the Australian Government Schools Disability Advisory Council. DEEWR, 2012

15 Disability categories – Descriptors for adjustment No adjustments at this time Supplementary Substantial Extensive DEEWR, 2012


17 Disability Standards for Education 2005 © R Conway, 2012

18 Who is affected by the DSE  Early Childhood (not childcare providers)  Schools (government & registered)  Post school education and training  Higher Education  Accrediting bodies  All types of delivery © R Conway, 2012

19 Standards covered in the DSE  “On the same basis”  Enrolment  Participation  Curriculum development, accreditation and delivery  Student support services  Harassment and victimisation © R Conway, 2012

20 DSE Participation compliance  Flexibility  Alternate activities to ↑ participation  Negotiate, agree and implement programs to ↑ participation  Additional support to assist achievement of learning outcomes  Reasonable substitute activities for those who can’t participate  Non-classroom and extra-curricula activities are designed to include the student © R Conway, 2012

21 DSE Curriculum development, accreditation and delivery compliance  Reasonable adjustment to:  Curriculum  Teaching materials  Assessment and certification  Teaching and learning activities  delivery modes including non-classroom  Assessment procedures and methodologies adapted to allow students to demonstrate knowledge skills and competencies © R Conway, 2012

22 Disability Standards Review recommendations – comments by DEEWR 14 recommendations covering 5 key themes:  greater awareness  Additional clarity for some legal definitions  Access and participation, discrimination and inclusion  Contemporary education practice  Accountability, complaints and compliance processes. DEEWR, 2012

23 Inclusive education in Australian schools Still resistance to “reasonable adjustment” based on lack of skills, resources, time Outcomes-driven curriculum and assessment deters focus on special needs Still resistance to enrolments of students with special needs without teacher aide or special needs teacher support (particularly in secondary) Issues of “generic” special education staff in some states/territories and whether they can meet the needs © R Conway, 2012

24 Achieving effective behaviour, learning and teaching (BLT) Curriculum issues linking current and past learning how achievable is the task or materials? does the student identify the goal of the task and recognise its relevance and application? Instructional issues pacing instruction (task size) types and amounts of feedback productive learning time strategies such as prompting, modelling, chaining The learning context classroom management and organisation classroom climate communication processes Effective learning and teaching experiences © R Conway, 2012

25 We need to be realistic in our expectations of all students © R Conway, 2012

26 What do we need to do to improve PL provisions in schools? Need for sustained PL, not one-off sessions Engage all staff (including school leaders) in PL that: – Increases teacher self-efficiency to differentiate L&T – Increases student academic engagement through reasonable adjustment – Provide strategies to address behaviour issues that emerge from lack of engagement – BLT – Encourages teachers to be collaborative in addressing their and student needs – Supports, not blames teachers – Is evidenced-based and locally relevant Do we need disability-specific PL or generic? – Role of PP model and students with ASD © R Conway, 2012

27 A changed model? Integration approach  Focus on student  Assessment by specialists  Diagnostic outcome  Student program  Placement in a program  Boundaries Inclusionary approach   Focus on classroom   Examine teaching & learning factors   Strategies for teacher   Adaptive and supportive classroom programs   No boundaries (After Porter, 1995)

28 Three areas still in debate 1. Principles behind inclusion 2. Evidence for the success or otherwise of inclusive practices 3. Mechanics: the technical changes needed to make inclusion happen © R Conway, 2012

29 Paradigm changes  Schools are the centre of analysis – schools are inclusive or not.  Change the way things work not the way they look – both policies and practices.  Development of schools rather than including students with a disability into existing arrangements.  Can we/ should we be truly inclusive? © R Conway, 2012

30 So, where to?  Less emotion and resistance to meeting all students’ needs in a new Australian Curriculum  Better targeted PL for schools and systems as a whole  A continued range of placement options with the option of moving into, and out of, special needs settings  A rethinking of what we mean by an inclusive school “The challenge ahead is to appreciate that inclusion is less about disability and more about social change, school reform and educational restructuring.” (Roger Slee in O’Rourke, 2011) © R Conway, 2012

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