04 SES 01 A, School Wide Inclusive Education
The aim of this study was to explore the most pertinent issues relating to the education of students with disabilities and special educational needs in second-level mainstream schools in the Republic of Ireland. A multi-perspective approach was adopted by accessing the views of a wide range of stakeholders, both within schools and within the wider education system, through a variety of means, and by conducting a multi-layered analysis of the system by examining the classroom context, the school context and the context of the wider national system. While it was conducted within the Irish context, it was also informed by international perspectives, including a review of relevant internaltional policies and legislation and also site visits to other jurisdictions, including England and Finland. It thus has the potential not only to inform policy and practice within Ireland, but also within a wider international context. The study adopted a psycho-social model approach to disability and special educational needs, thus emphasising the interaction between individuals and their learning environments.The study was informed by the related theoretical frameworks of Bronfenbrenner's (1979) Ecological Model, Systems Theory and the Organisational Paradigm. A particular focus of this study was on the organisational aspects of schools. It thus embraced the concept of schools as systems and the idea of schools as learning organisations, The aim was not merely to describe current practices in the schools but to explore, with school personnel, opportunities for developing more inclusive practices in the schools.
Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development. www.dbhds.virginia.gov/OSAS-ATOD (accessed; 9th December 2009) Clark, C., Dyson, A., Millward, A. and Robson, S. (1999). Theories of inclusion, theories of schools: Deconstructing and reconstructing the ‘inclusive school’. British Educational Research Journal, 25 (2), 157-177. Easterby-Smith, M. and Araujo, L. (1999). Organizational learning: Current debates and opportunities. In M. Easterby-Smith, L. Araujo and J. Burgoyne (Eds.), Organizational learning and the learning organization: Developments in theory and practice (pp. 1-22). London: Sage. Emery, F.E. (Ed.) (1969). Systems thinking: Selected readings. Middlesex: Penguin. Lindsay, G. (2003). Inclusive education: a critical perspective, British Journal of Special Education, 30 (1), 3-11. McCarthy, E. (1997). The dynamics of culture, organizational culture and change. Thornfield Journal, 20, 1-19. McDonnell, P. (2000). Inclusive education in Ireland: Rhetoric and reality. In F. Armstrong, D. Armstrong and L. Barton (Eds.), Inclusive education: Policy, contents and comparative perspectives. London: David Fulton. Norwich, B. (1996). Special needs education or education for all: connective specialisation and ideological impurity. British Journal of Special Education, 23 (3), 100-104. Oliver, M. (1996). Understanding disability: From theory to practice. Hampshire: Palgrave. Senge, P., Cambron-McCabe, N., Lucas, T., Smith, B., Dutton, J. and Kleiner, A. (2000). Schools that learn. London: Nicholas Brealey. Skrtic, T.M. (1995). Disability and democracy: Reconstructing (special) education for postmodernity. New York: Teachers College Press.
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