04 SES 04 B, Preparing Teachers for Inclusive Classrooms: Opportunities and challenges
The goals of inclusive education continue to be disputed and contested locally, nationally and internationally (D’Alessio, 2012; Slee, 2013; Stepaniuk, 2018). In New Zealand as elsewhere, who should be included about discussions about diverse learners, who do we intend to include are similarly contested (Florian, Young & Rouse, 2010; Morton & Gordon, 2006). Many teacher education programmes have described a crowded curriculum where teaching staff vie for space for a particular content area or particular category of difference or diversity (Morton & Gordon, 2008). In one programme at the University of Canterbury, we have begun to shift our attention to the idea of belonging. Belonging is a central concept in the New Zealand Curriculum (2007). It’s been our experience that This paper examines the ways student teachers in one programme were asked to think about building and maintaining cultures of belonging in classrooms and schools. The programme was a new one-year postgraduate Masters degree leading to a teaching qualification for primary or secondary settings in New Zealand. The data for this presentation are drawn from a critical reflection assignment in a course titled “Creating inclusive learning environments for diverse learners.” The data comprise the students’ assignments collected over the first three years of the programme delivery.
Within the course, social constructionism (Burr, 1996; 2015; Dudley-Marling, 2011; Morton & Guerin, 2017) is used as the key epistemological framework in the development of students’ understandings of meanings and interpretations of difference. Social constructionism is also used as the framework for the presentation of this paper. Understanding meanings as socially negotiated, mediated and enacted problematises many taken-for-granted understandings and concepts that lie at the heart of traditional classroom practice (Macartney & Morton, 2013). Four inter-related and entangled social constructions are examined: difference, curriculum, pedagogy and assessment.
Disability Studies in Education can also suggest frameworks that allow us to recognize new possibilities for developing inclusive practices within so-called ‘regular education’ practices (Gabel, 2005; Gallagher, 2004). This involves both looking in different places and using different frameworks to ‘notice, recognize and respond’ to what is seen. Different questions arise, different problems become available for interrogation. In this presentation, two elements are recognising and resisting deficit discourses, and drawing on culturally repsonsive pedagogies to reframe inclusive practices for all learners.
The critical reflection assignment asks students to “notice how cultures of belonging are being built and/or maintained in your setting.” The students learn that their own responses, including their emotions, are data that they can interrogate (Harrison, Macgibbon & Morton, 2001). They are scaffolded to include their responses in the observations of their classrooms, and schools, developing some of the tools for critical autoethnography (Mills & Morton, 2013). Two conceptual frameworks are provided to support their analysis and interpretation of their observations. The first framework is Skidmore’s (2002) pedagogical discourses. Skidmore’s detailed ethnographic study of two schools is replete with many examples the students initially recognise from their own expereinces as school students. In this paper Skidmore describes his analysis and devleopment of a pedagogical discourse of deficit and a pedagogical discourse of inclusion. The second framework is built on culturally responsive pedagogy – a relational pedagogy illustrated through the Educultural Wheel (Macfarlane, 2004; Macfarlane, Macfarlane & Glynn, 2012). At the end of the paper, the students consider what they have learned that might shape their own practices in the first few months of their teaching in their ‘own’ classrooms.
The students’ critical reflection assignments provide rich descriptions of their observations of ‘cultures of belonging’ in action as well as absence. As mentioned, their observations also include students’ personal reponses to what they’ve noticed. Data analysis is thematic, and currrent coding categories include who/what/how was considered relevant to a culture of belonging, and if/how the students placed themselves in this observed culture. Their discussions of their anticipated early months of teaching provide a glimpse into their likely responses to diversity with the understandings they invoke of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment. We conclude with what we, as teacher educators, are learning about building a culture of belonging in our own classrooms.
Burr, V. (1995). An introduction to social constructionism. London: Routledge. D'Alessio, S. (2012) Integrazione scolastica and the development of inclusion in Italy: does space matter?, International Journal of Inclusive Education, 16:5-6, 519-534, DOI: 10.1080/13603116.2012.655495 Dudley-Marling, C. (2011) The social construction of learning. Springer encyclopaedia of the sciences of learning. http://oesys.springer.com/welcome.asp Florian, L. , Young, K., & Rouse, M. (2010) Preparing teachers for inclusive and diverse educational environments: studying curricular reform in an initial teacher education course, International Journal of Inclusive Education, 14:7, 709-722, DOI: 10.1080/13603111003778536 Harrison, J., MacGibbon, L. & Morton, M. (2001). Regimes of trustworthiness in qualitative research: The rigours of reciprocity. Qualitative Inquiry, 7(3), 323-345. Macartney, B. and Morton, M. (2013) Kinds of participation: Teacher and special education perceptions and practices of 'inclusion' in early childhood and primary school settings. International Journal of Inclusive Education 17(8): 776-792. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13603116.2011.602529. Macfarlane, A. (2004). Kia hiwa ra! Listen to culture: Maori students' plea to educators. Wellington, NZ, NZCER. Macfarlane, A., Macfarlane, S. & Glynn, T. (2012). In S. Carrington and J. MacArthur (Ed.), Teaching in Inclusive School Communities (pp. 163-188). Brisbane: John Wiley & Sons. Mills, D. & Morton, M. (2013). Ethnography in education. London: Sage and British Educational Research Association. Morton, M. (2015). Using DSE to recognize, resist, and reshape policy and practices in Aotearoa New Zealand. In D. Connor, J. Valle and C. Hale (Ed.), Practicing Disability Studies in Education: Acting Toward Social Change: 197-216. New York: Peter Lang. Morton, M. & Guerin, A. (2017). Sociocultural perspectives on curriculum, pedagogy and assessment to support inclusive education. In Oxford Encyclopedia of Education. Oxford University Press. DOI: http://education.oxfordre.com/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780190264093.001.0001/acrefore-9780190264093-e-147 Morton, M. & Gordon, L. (2006). Inclusive education in Aotearoa: what are we doing in initial teacher education, professional learning and development? : Final report to NZCCS. School of Professional Development, Christchurch College of Education. 20 pages. http://www.ccsdisabilityaction.org.nz/AboutUs/Publications/InclusiveEducation/tabid/1012/Default.aspx Slee, R. (2013). How do we make inclusive education happen when exclusion is a political predisposition?, International Journal of Inclusive Education, 17:8, 895-907,DOI: 10.1080/13603116.2011.602534 Stepaniuk, I. (2018): Inclusive education in Eastern European countries: a current state and future directions, International Journal of Inclusive Education, DOI: 10.1080/13603116.2018.1430180
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