04 SES 04 A, Transdisciplinary Perspectives On Inclusive Education Advances In Higher Education
This presentation will explore the journey of contemporary researchers - disabled academics. As education becomes increasingly inclusive it offers increased opportunity to new researchers. The numbers of non-traditional learners in higher education have increased across Europe. Irish and EU policies promote this inclusion( Ebersold 2012). These students are also progressing to postgraduate levels in increasing numbers (Ahead 2017)and are eager to contribute to the research domain (Oliver and Barnes 2010). Despite that increase, barriers still exist for potential researchers (Callus, 2017).
Models of disability have changed driven by policies and legislative requirements (UN 2006). One of the main objectives of the EU Disability Strategy 2010-20 is to promote inclusive education and lifelong learning for students with disabilities (European Union, 2010).As a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) model (CAST 2011) is adopted, it time to reconsider the broader influences of ‘disability’ in academia.
UDL demands diversity of learning and difference is included (Rose & Meyer 2001). It seeks to move away from previous models of disability and be more enabling (Quirke McCarthy & Mc Guckin 2018). Moreover, as it challenges educational professionals; but it should also influence our ‘stereotypical’ view of the ’educational researcher’ and ‘research’ itself.
There are many opportunities for atypical researchers today as the numbers of non-traditional students increase year on year (HEA 2015) . In time this will influence the research we do, read, learn from and use to influence todays policies and practices. However, if we are taking a truly inclusionary approach (in today’s world) - the language of disability, stereotypical ideas about learning, transitions and how and where to start when we engage in ‘research’ has to be part of the evolution of inclusion. By focusing on a group with clearly identifiable challenges –researchers with a disability; what we need to consider when developing an inclusionary approach across the education system will become apparent.
Bronfenbrenner’s ecosystem (Bronfenbrenner 1979) is used to explore todays learning experience of the researcher with a disability, the significanceof the ‘Universal Design’ approach and its enabling impact for many and the positive impact this has on contemporary research. This presentation will explore the unlikely harmonybetween ‘disability’, ‘Universal Design’ ‘Bronfenbrenner’ ‘Researcher’ and ‘Research’. The researcher role is evolving, and as it does it demands that all research voices be included . But we cannot expect the "outsiders" to know what to do ... unless we get the "voice" and "insider" perspective from the new researcher.
The risk is to ignore those that are ‘thinking big’ and a missed opportunity for those of us that encourage ‘dreaming big’
This is part of a doctoral thesis and it is proposed that this paper will present the findings of interviews with two disabled academics. It will also spotlight their research and furthermore they will take an active role in the development and presentation of this paper. While there is much to be said the actual ‘risk’ is that the real ‘narrative’ may get lost. Therefore the Bronfenbrenner framework will lend focus and enable an exploration of the different experiences in terms of learning inside and outside the classroom that have framed the research and the researchers themselves. To ensure that this paper has the greatest impact (and is not limited to the ‘disability’ field); the Universal Design for Learning approach will also be employed . The aim of this paper is to present ‘real information’ to its audience so that the impact is authentic and set within the context of the move towards accessible information, research and the impact this has in and of itself. Preece (1995) highlights the need for research on disability and education which reflects the voice of disabled people. In order to understand the experiences of the participants the inclusion and true representation of the ‘voice’ of those with impairments was of utmost importance to the research. Pugach (2001) stated that qualitative research had an important role to play in ensuring the voice of oppressed groups reached the surface. The paper will take a transformative approach in that it is the cumulative learning and experience of this research team that will shape the finding. The conclusions will be primarily informed by a review of the literature relating to inclusive education, disability and universal design for learning and a spotlight of the experiences of the disabled researchers and furthermore the experience of researchers researching disability. This paper is being developed together with the Inclusion Education and Society (IES) research group in Trinity College Dublin. The IES group “is based on the central principle of supporting the inclusion of people from marginalised groups in education and society through focused research.” https://www.tcd.ie/Education/research/groups/ies/ . Aligning the experiences and learning of the two researchers together with the IES research team; taking a cumulative approach using the Bronfenbrenner framework and the theory of UDL, will be particularly valuable in this instance as there is limited research on this area.
It is hoped that this exploration will highlight the influences, drivers and models of practice in relation to inclusive education and inclusive research, not just in Ireland but also across Europe in the field of education. This paper aims to challenge our thinking as a research group, our actual research and in turn, other educational researchers. We cannot expect others to know what to think and do without the insider perspective from inclusive researchers.
AHEAD (2017), Number of Students with Disabilities Studying in Higher Education in Ireland 2016/17 Dublin: AHEAD Educational Press. Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development Cambridge. MA: Harvard. CAST. 2011. Universal Design for Learning Guidelines, Version 2.0. Wakefield, MA:AuthorCenter for Applied Special Technology. (2018).. Retrieved September 15th, 2018, from http://www.cast.org/our-work/about-udl.html#.W6DPZi0ZOu4 Callus, A.-M. (2017). "Making disability conferences more actively inclusive." Disability & Society 32(10): 1661-1665. CEDEFOP (2009) Professionalising Career Guidance: Practitioner Competences and Qualification Routes in Europe http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/EN/Files/5193_ en.pdf Available in English and German Ebersold, S. (2012). Education and training policy transitions to tertiary education and work for youth with disabilities, OECD Publishing. Greene, S., & Moane, G. (2000). Growing up Irish: Changing children in a changing society. The Irish Journal of Psychology, 21(3-4), 122-137. Higher Education Authority (HEA) (2015) National Plan for Equity of Access to Higher Education 2015-2019 HEA, Dublin. Hopkins L. The path of least resistance: a voice-relational analysis of disabled students' experiences of discrimination in English universities. International Journal Of Inclusive Education [serial online]. August 2011;15(7):711. Available from: Complementary Index, Lewis, C. A., Cruise, S. M., Fearn, M., & Mc Guckin, C. (2005). Growing up Irish: Life perspectives among young people in the Republic of Ireland. Youth in Europe, 1, 151-164. McCarthy, P. Quirke, M. & Treanor, D. (2018) The Role of the Disability Officer and the Disability Service in Higher Education in Ireland: A Vision for Future Development. Dublin: AHEAD Education Press Oliver, M. and C. Barnes (2010). "Disability studies, disabled people and the struggle for inclusion." British Journal of Sociology of Education 31(5): 547-560. Pugach, M. C. (2001). The stories we choose to tell: Fulfilling the promise of qualitative research for special education. Exceptional Children, 67(4), 439-453. Preece, J. (1995) Disability and adult education –the consumer view, Disability and Society, 10, pp. 87-102. Quirke, M; McCarthy, P; MC Guckin, C. (2018) “I can see what you mean”: Encouraging higher education educators to seek support from “outside agencies” to aid their work with visually impaired learners.. AISHE-J: The All Ireland Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, [S.l.], v. 10, n. 1, Feb. 2018. ISSN 2009-3160. Rose, D. H., & Meyer, A. (2002). Teaching every student in the digital age: Universal design for learning. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1703 N. Beauregard St., Alexandria, VA 22311-1714. United Nations. (2006). Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. Retrieved from https://www.un.org/disabilities/convention/conventionfull.shtml
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