04 SES 09 D, Inclusion: Deconstructing Rhetoric To Promote Organisational Change
This paper presents and discusses data from a purposive sample of five of 67 project reports submitted by EPS-counselors in a university program on organizational development (OD). The selected reports are those which most explicitly and extensively focus on how the counsellors work together with schools in conceptualizing inclusive ideologies, and in what ways, and to what extent, they are developed into inclusive practices in efforts towards OD.
In Norway, the Educational Psychological Services (hereafter EPS) are localized at the municipal and county levels. Counselors provide services to schools and early childhood education and care institutions. According to the Education Act, (1998) the services are twofold; to assist the schools in work on competence enhancement and organizational development in order to improve the adaptation of education for children with special needs, and to prepare expert assessments. Work is to be done within a framework of inclusive education. However, little emphasis has been placed upon competence enhancement and organizational change, largely due to the extensive work needed for expert assessments (Hustad, Strøm & Strømsvik, 2013; Hustad, Lødding, Fylling & Ulriksen, 2016; Andrews, Lødding, Fylling & Hustad, 2018).To improve inclusive educational practices, greater emphasis must be placed on developing schools as learning organizations (Booth,1996; Dufour & Marzano, 2011; French & Bell,1999; Haug, 2014).
A strategy for continuing education for employees in the educational psychological service, SEVU-PPT, 2013-2018 has been finalized by the Norwegian Directorate of Education and Training. The aim was to enhance competence in organizational change and development. The strategy consisted of a series of in-service programs at the graduate level in different universities and colleges in Norway. Oslo Metropolitan University (OsloMet) has been a partner in the implementation of the strategy, and in developing new programs for EPS-counselors in organizational change and development.
To our knowledge, there are no studies exploring how inclusion - as concepts, strategies and practices - is emphasized in organizational development as collaborative efforts between the EPS and schools (Moen, Risberg, Samuelsen & Sølvberg, 2018). Hence, the aim of this study is to explore this issue in the EPS-counselors’ project reports submitted in the university’s SEVU-PPT program at Oslo Met. As part of the program, it is mandatory to develop plans for organizational change and to initiate them in collaboration with schools. Details on these efforts are given in their reports. Using Goodlad’s (1979) conceptual system of substantial domains in curriculum inquiry, our focus is on how inclusion is ideologically conceived, formulated, perceived and operationalized in the reports. The research question we want to explore is: How do EPS-counselors, in collaboration with schools, conceptualize inclusion and develop inclusive strategies and practices in organizational development?
The research is based upon case studies of five purposively selected reports, using intensity sampling (Patton, 1990; George & Bennett, 2005; Stake, 2005), which provide the most explicit and extensive accounts of inclusiveness as relates to ideology and school practices. Rather than trying to achieve representativeness, the purpose of the sampling is to explore special or unique cases, which provide the most comprehensive insights into the research question. The first methodical step is to sort out and exclude reports which do not explicitly thematize inclusion. The second step is to make a careful selection of five reports from the remaining battery, which have the most extensive emphasis on inclusion throughout their OD efforts. The third step is to develop an understanding of each case (report) on its own terms, with a focus on inclusion. The final step is to compare between the cases to explore similarities and differences. The results will be discussed as to possible variations in conceptualizations, strategies and practices regarding inclusion in OD in schools.
Our main focus is the tension between how inclusion is conceptualized in plans for organizational change, and the extent to which the ideas and principles are implemented and emphasized as inclusive strategies and practices. We expect to find variations in conceptualizations, strategies and practices. Further, we expect to find variations regarding the extent to which EPS counselors acknowledge themselves as agents of inclusive educational practices. We also anticipate that the reports highlight collaborative efforts to develop the schools as inclusive learning communities. These insights may serve as a knowledge base both for professionals in the field, and for schools in developing their collaborative efforts with the EPS services in working with organizational change towards inclusive education. This study contributes to an increased understanding of challenges in EPS-counselors’ work as change agents in OD.
Andrews, T.; Lødding, B.; Fylling, I.; Hustad, B.-C. (2018). Sluttrapport: Kompetanseutvikling i et mangfoldig landskap: Om virkninger av Strategi for etter og videreutdanning i PP-tjenesten. Oslo og Bodø: NIFU og Nordlandsforskning. Booth, T. (1996). Stories of exclusion: Natural and unnatural selection. In E. Blyth & J. Milner (Eds.) Exclusion from School: Inter-professional Issues for Policy and Practice. London: Routledge. Dufour, R. og Marzano, R. J. (2011). Leaders of Learning. How Disctrict, School and Classroom Leaders Improve Students Achievement. Bloomington: Solution Tree Press. French, Wendell L. og Bell, Cecil H. (1999). Organization development: behavioral science interventions for organization improvement (4th ed.). Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall. George, A. L. and Benett, A. (2005). Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences. Cambridge Mass: MIT Press. Goodlad, John I. and Associates (1979). Curriculum Inquiry – The Study of Curriculum Practice. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company. Haug, P. (2014). The practices of dealing with children with special needs in school: a Norwegian perspective. Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, 19(3), 1-15. doi:10.1080/13632752.2014.883788 Hustad, B.-C., Strøm, T., & Strømsvik, C. L. (2013). Kompetanse i PP-tjenesten - til de nye forventningene?: kartlegging av kompetansen i PP- tjenesten (Vol. nr. 2/2013). Bodø: Nordlandsforskning. Hustad, B.-C.; Lødding, B.; Fylling, I.; Ulriksen, R. (2016). Systemorientering gjennom kompetanseutvikling? Første delrapport fra evalueringen av Strategi for etter- og videreutdanning i PP-tjenesten. Oslo: NIFU. Ministry of Education and Research. (1998). Education Act (Lov om grunnskolen og den vidaregåande opplæringa) with amendments. Oslo: Ministry of Education and Research [http://www.utdanningsdirektoratet.no/Artikler/_toppmeny/_English/Education-Act/] Moen, T.; Rismark, M.; Samuelsen, A. S.; Sølvberg, A.M (2018). The Norwegian Educational Psychological Service: A systematic review of research from the period 2000–2015. Nordic Studies in Education, 38, pp. 101–117. OECD. (2017). A guide for ensuring inclusion and equity in education. https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000248254 Patton, M. (1990). Qualitative Evaluation and Research Methods. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publication. Stake, R. E. (2005). Qualitative case studies. In Denzin, N. K. & Lincoln, Y. S. (eds.), The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publication.
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