02 SES 02 A, Inclusion of Disadvantaged Individuals
The topic: Practices Promoting Inclusion of Adult Students with Disabilities in Kazakhstani Technical Vocational Education and Training Institutions (TVETIs).
Kazakhstan through its State Program on Education Development (2016-2019) has set a goal to make 100 percent of TVET Institutions inclusive by 2019. Although, the government adopted a number of international policy documents and reaffirmed its willingness to promote inclusion, adults with disabilities are still underrepresented within TVETIs. On the other hand, the extent of inclusion of Kazakhstani TVETIs is unknown. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to explore practices promoting inclusion of adults with disabilities within Kazakhstani (TVETIs).
The study will attempt to answer this overarching research question: Which teaching practices promote inclusion of adult students with disabilities in Kazakhstani Technical Vocational Education and Training Institutions? The following sub-questions will help answering the main research question: How is inclusive education understood within TVETIs? How is inclusion of adult students with disabilities applied in TVETIs generally? Which practices are known to promote inclusion of adult students with disabilities in TVETIs internationally? Which of those practices could be applicable to a Kazakhstani TVETIs and how those could (if necessary) be promoted?
Departing from the Activity Theory by Engestrom (2001) as a lens, this qualitative study will adopt Collaborative-Action-Research (CAR) as a research design. The participants will be selected conveniently to form a collaborative action research team composed of faculty and students. The research data will be collected in four phases of Action Research i.e. Planning, Observation, Action and Reflection. During an action research cycle, the data will be collected by means of focus-group discussions, observations of lectures, interviews, document analysis and diaries. Triangulation of findings from the literature as well as empirical data will be conducted in order to achieve trustworthiness. The data will be analyzed through group interpretative data analysis and an inductive analysis of all sets of data.
The study will develop the conceptual framework of inclusive education and contribute to the development of research methodology of Action Research design. The significant contribution of this study is that it applied Activity Theory as the facilitator of research where the CAR is the tool for implementing changes and Professional Learning Community (PLC) is the vehicle to explore inclusive teaching practices. In this study, PLC is a collaboration of five TVET teachers and the researcher who is continuously looking for learning opportunities; share their learning for developing the individual and joint capacity of the community with the aim to improve learning to students. Such approach connecting CAR and PLC within Activity Theory contributes to implementing meaningful changes in Kazakhstani TVETIs by maintaining inclusive education to adults with disabilities during their lifespan. The recommendations of this research, if accepted, will help to raise the enrollment of the target group population as well as its graduates’ employability.
The qualitative approach for this study has been chosen as it allows exploring the experiences in detail. Qualitative research begins with assumptions and the use the interpretive framework that informs the study of the research problem. It is assumed that the researcher and the team of teachers have assumptions about inclusion and inclusive teaching practices in relation to Kazakhstani TVET system. Collaborative-Action-Research (CAR) as a research design will be employed by the researcher in this research. This study will employ five most common data collection instruments: one-on-one interviews, focus group interviews, observation, diaries and document analysis.
The strong argument for promoting inclusion in TVETIs is that training of the unemployed including those with disabilities can be beneficial to the economy of Kazakhstan. In order to facilitate this progress, it is necessary that Kazakhstani TVET colleges become inclusive and promote inclusive practices. Adoption of inclusive education by the Government of Kazakhstan along with life-long education is aimed at all levels of education including TVETIs by 2020. The study aims: 1) To investigate how inclusive education understood and conceptualized within Technical Vocational Education and Training Institutions? 2)To identify teaching practices of inclusion of adult students with disabilities in Technical Vocational Education and Training Institutions in other contexts and internationally? 3) To identify which of those teaching practices could be applicable to a Kazakhstani Technical Vocational Education and Training Institutions and how could those (if necessary) be promoted? 4) To develop a practical guide of practices which promote inclusion of adult students with disabilities in Kazakhstani TVETIs.
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