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Educational Psychology and Inclusion in Education

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1 Educational Psychology and Inclusion in Education
By Lisa DeSouza Academic & Professional tutor and Educational Psychologist University of Nottingham December 2005

2 Aims of Session To explore definitions of inclusion and what it means for the education of children and young people. To briefly examine the history of special education and the move towards inclusion. To compare and contrast the medical and social models of disability. To examine the research evidence in relation to inclusive education. To explore how educational psychologists can contribute to the inclusion of children and young people in schools.

3 What is Inclusive Education?
“Rejecting segregation or exclusion of learners for whatever reason – ability, gender, language, care status, family income, disability, sexuality, colour, religion or ethnic origin; Maximising the participation of all learners in the community schools of their choice; Making learning more meaningful and relevant for all, particularly those learners most vulnerable to exclusionary pressure; Rethinking and restructuring policies, curricula, culture and practices in schools and learning environments so that diverse learning needs can be met, whatever the origin or nature of those needs.” (From British Psychological Society: Inclusive Education Position Paper, 2002:2)

4 What is Inclusive Education?
Inclusion means including all children and young people in their local mainstream school. Inclusion means young people and adults with disabilities being included in mainstream society. Inclusion is an ongoing process. Inclusive schools help the development of communities where all people are equally valued and have the same opportunities for participation.

5 Inclusive Education versus Segregated Education
Questions have been raised internationally about the value of segregated education (i.e. special schools/units etc.) Many argue that it encourages prejudice and discrimination in school and in the wider society.

6 Salamanca World Statement
“Inclusion and participation are essential to human dignity and to the enjoyment and exercise of human rights. Within the field of education this is reflected in the development of strategies to bring about a genuine equalisation of opportunity” (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), 1994:11)

7 History of Special Education
First special schools set up in UK in 1850s. Set up initially to educate children with hearing or visual impairments only. By end of 19th century, big expansion in special school sector which continued into the 20th century.

8 Moving towards Inclusion
Human Rights movement in the 1960s. Changing views on people with disabilities within the wider society. Lack of research evidence about value of special schools. Focusing on similarities between children with disabilities and other children, rather than differences. (Frederickson & Cline, 2002)

9 The Medical Model of Disability
Child is faulty Diagnosis Impairment becomes focus of attention Assessment, monitoring, programmes of therapy imposed Segregation and alternative services ‘Ordinary’ needs put on hold Re-entry if ‘normal’ enough permanent exclusion

10 The Social Model of Disability
Child is valued Strengths and needs defined by self and others OUTCOME based programme designed Resources made available to ‘ordinary services’ Training for parents and professionals Relationships nurtured DIVERSITY WELCOMED Society evolves

11 Concepts of Special Educational Needs
Focus on individual differences Focus on environmental demands Interactional analysis of special educational needs (See Frederickson & Cline, 2002)

12 Inclusive Education and the Research Evidence
A wide variety of studies have produced some consistent results: No evidence that segregated education fosters social or academic progress over mainstream school education. Some studies show advantages to inclusive placements if accompanied by an appropriate individualised programme. Other studies have reported that there is a small to moderate advantage to inclusion on both social and academic outcomes. (See Frederickson & Cline, 2002)

13 Inclusive Education and the Research Evidence
Some research has focused on effect of inclusion on children without disabilities: Evidence suggests that inclusion supported progress of children without disabilities. Inclusion found to have positive impact and facilitates the education of all children. Teacher time not affected by presence of students with special educational needs (See Frederickson & Cline, 2002)

14 Inclusive Education and the Research Evidence
Research in this area has been limited. Methodological limitations in many of the studies carried out. More research on outcomes of inclusion is needed.

15 Components of Effective Inclusive Education- Research Evidence
Strong visionary leadership Flexible pupil groupings and adaptable teaching style High expectations for all pupils Collaboration Community and parental involvement (See Frederickson & Cline, 2002)

16 Role of Educational Psychologists and Inclusion
Making psychology (knowledge about human behaviour and learning) available to schools and all learners. Helping schools design appropriate learning environments for learners with different learning styles and needs. Focusing on the effects of environment and systems on learning and behaviour.

17 Role of Educational Psychologists and Inclusion
Use of psychological skills and consultation to identify, assess and help resolve concerns. Using research skills to examine how learning settings can become more inclusive. Advocating for children and young people with disabilities. Enabling voices of the vulnerable to be heard.

18 References Main Texts: Other References:
Frederickson, N. and Cline, T. (2002) Special Educational Needs, Inclusion and Diversity Open University Press Other References: British Psychological Society (BPS) (2002) Inclusive Education Position paper Bunch, G. and Valeo, A. (1997) Inclusion: Recent Research Inclusion Press Clark, C., Dyson, A. and Millward, A. (Eds.) (1998) Theorising Special Education Routledge Clough, P. and Corbett, J. (2000) Theories of Inclusive Education: A Students’ Guide London: Chapman Thomas, G. and Loxley, A. (2001) Deconstructing Special Education and Constructing Inclusion Open University Press Thomas, G. and Vaughan, M. (2004) Inclusive Education: Readings and Reflections Open University Press

19 References Useful Journals: Educational Psychology in Practice
Educational and Child Psychology International Journal of Inclusive Education

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