04 SES 12 F, Looking To The Future: Inclusion As Conjecture And Prediction
One of the main tasks of school is to prepare students for their private and working lives after school. During the last decades, megatrends have initiated a profound change in economic sectors, occupational structures and forms of knowledge, as well as living environments. This development requires modernization at all levels of education. (VBW-Gutachten 2017) Competences and skills must be fostered that prepare children to deal with current and future challenges and risks. The OECD calls for “agency” that implies a sense of responsibility to participate in the world and, in so doing, to influence people, events and circumstances for the better.” (OECD 2018)
Children should be able to act as empowered citizens and consumers, should make reflected decisions, for example in the field of working, living and managing their home economics. But how do we include students with mental disabilities? For what kind of post-school life do we prepare them? Currently, most still work in special craft workshops rather than in the normal labour market. Many of them still live in special houses and are separated from inclusive leisure time activities. And is it possible to empower them to deal with their own money and take economical decisions? The increasing focus on knowledge leads to new exclusion mechanisms for people with low social, cultural and economic capital and for people with low or missing school qualifications (Rützel 2013, p. 3 ff.).
In Germany the school subject “Wirtschaft-Arbeit-Technik (WAT)” deals with the described topics and could be a best-practice example for worldwide education. The subject could be translated as “business and work studies” and includes vocational education, work studies and empowerment for everyday life. It is based on the science of economy, technology, household, and consumption. Therefore, the subject can contribute in a very effective way to integrate the young generation in the world of work, vocation and social life and helps them to develop sustainable professional biographies (Friese 2018 S. 41f.). WAT is generally established in secondary education. The implementation of the subject differs throughout the 16 federal states of Germany as do the existing names, goals and contents.
Even in schools for children with a supportive focus on metal development WAT is part of the time-table and teachers are defining the topics and methods of their classes by writing school concepts. In contrast to the prominence and common use WAT in classrooms, there is a surprising lack of research on the subject. Subject-matter education was, for a long time, only an unimportant issue of special education. Traditionally for subject-matter teacher, the didactic needs of special education students played only a very marginal role in their teaching approach (Ratz 2011, S. 9). The school subject WAT in education for mental disabilities was, so far, rarely and minimally addressed and investigated (Fischer/Pfriem 2011, S. 332). An exception is the comprehensive, but now somewhat long-in-the-tooth work of Mertes (1984). There are no theoretical concepts nor empirical studies for the subject WAT in an inclusive teaching setting (Knab/Wachtel 2015, S. 449). However, all schools are directed to teach WAT. Data of the practical concepts should be collected and be used for the scientific course, that must be intensified. Therefore, this empirical study focuses on the following questions:
- What contribution does the subject WAT (that includes occupational, technical and economic education) make to the education of pupils with a focus on mental development?
- Which competences are promoted?
- Which topics are addressed?
- Which teaching settings are suitable?
- How can the subject WAT help to reduce the risks of exclusion?
- Which didactic implications can be derived?
- Which best-practice examples exist that are transferable to other countries?
A theoretical reference framework will be developed as a basis for the development of the empirical research design. Key findings are gathered through critical analysis of the literature on subject-matter education in WAT in general as well as in relation to the target group of people with mental disabilities. Research results are included in the analysis in the same way as conceptual works. In order to get initial insight into the practical execution of the subject WAT within the context of special education, it is necessary to do qualitative research on the subject. The research design contains the following components: - Document analysis of curricula for the subject “WAT” (N 2) - Qualitative sampling plan with targeted contrasting of each case - Document analysis of school concepts (N 10) - Data analysis with the qualitative content analysis according to Mayring (Mayring 2015) - Software-based data analysis using atlas.ti software A systematic comparison of empirical results with the theoretical framework is necessary to discuss the findings and answer research question No 2. Didactic implications will be derived and best practice examples identified. The data is collected in the German states of Berlin and Brandenburg. To be able to compare the general curricula with the school concepts, it is necessary to choose a common basis. We do not have this shared basis throughout the 16 federal states of Germany because nearly all of them have their specific curricula for the subject WAT. The author recognizes this reality as an methodological issue for the research. However the specific findings developed in these two states, under their specific curricula, can enrich the global discussion how we need to prepare the students with mental disabilities for an uncertain future. In contrast to quantitative research, the question of quality in qualitative research is a topic being discussed. For this study, the "core criteria" formulated by Steinke will be used. (cf. Steinke 2012). Steinke is not transferring quantitative quality criteria to qualitative research. Instead, she formulates new criteria adapted to the specificity of qualitative research. The following three criteria are considered particularly important for this research project and will be discussed: intersubjective traceability, indication of the research process, empirical anchoring. The presentation will describe the theoretical framework, outline the findings, present a qualitative analysis of the data using describing categories and discuss the quality of the research and the implications for an inclusion at risk.
The expected results will lead to a deeper understanding about the school subject “business and work studies” for students with mental disabilities. The question how this subject will help the students to deal with an uncertain future and how the subject contributes to include students in work, work, vocation and social life will be discussed. The findings help to get a first insight at the topic through an empirical approach. Therefore, the results can be used to foster the worldwide discussion and to derive further research. This paper is an article “in the making”. The theoretical framework is already finished, the documents along the data sampling plan collected, and the data analysis started. The results are intended to be published as an article by the end of the year.
Fischer, E./ Pfriem, P. (2011): Arbeitslehre und der Übergang zum Beruf. In: Ratz, Ch. (Hrsg.): Unterricht im Förderschwerpunkt geistige Entwicklung. Fachorientierung und Inklusion als didaktische Herausforderungen. Oberhausen: Athena. S. 329-353. Friese, Marianne (2018): Modernisierung der Arbeitslehre. Entwicklungen, Handlungsfelder und Zukunftsgestaltung. In: Marianne Friese (Hg.): Arbeitslehre und Berufsorientierung modernisieren. Analyse und Konzepte im Wandel von Arbeit, Beruf und Lebenswelt. 1. Auflage. Bielefeld: wbv Media (Berufsbildung, Arbeit und Innovation, 49), S. 21–47. Knab, S./ Wachtel, G. (2015): Wirtschaft-Arbeit-Technik – Lernen im inklusiven Fachunterricht. In: Riegert, J./ Musenberg, O. (Hrsg.): Inklusiver Fachunterricht in der Sekundarstufe. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer. S.438-458. Mertes, J. P. (1984): Arbeitslehre in der Schule für Geistigbehinderte. Heidelberg: Edition Schindele. Mayring, Philipp (2015): Qualitative Inhaltsanalyse. Grundlagen und Techniken. 12., überarb. Aufl. Weinheim: Beltz (Beltz Pädagogik). Online verfügbar OECD (Hg.) (2018): The future of education and skills. Education 2030. Online access: http://www.oecd.org/education/2030/E2030%20Position%20Paper%20(05.04.2018).pdf. Penning, Isabelle; Wachtel, Grit (in press): Wirtschaft-Arbeit-Technik. In: Holger Schäfer (Hg.): Handbuch. Förderschwerpunkt geistige Entwicklung: Beltz. Ratz, Ch. (2011): Zur Bedeutung einer Fächerorientierung. In: Ratz, Ch. (Hrsg.): Unterricht im Förderschwerpunkt geistige Entwicklung. Fachorientierung und Inklusion als didaktische Herausforderungen. Oberhausen: Athena. S.9-38. Rützel, Josef: Inklusion als Perspektive einer zukunftsorientierten Berufsbildung und die Bewältigung des demographischen Wandels. In: bwp@ Spezial 6 – Hochschultage Berufliche Bildung 2013 Workshop 22, hrsg. v. MÜNK, D., S. 1–19. Online access: http://www.bwpat.de/ht2013/ws22/ruetzel_ws22-ht2013.pdf. Steinke, Ines (2012): Gütekriterien qualitativer Forschung. In: Uwe Flick (Hg.): Qualitative Forschung. Ein Handbuch. 9. Aufl. Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowohlt, S. 319–331.
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