04 SES 14 D, Teaching and Learning in Inclusive Settings
The focus of this paper is on the organisation of inclusive educational provision for pupils with disabilities and special educational needs in mainstream schools. In relation to theoretical context, it outlines the challenges of defining inclusive education, it explores the ideological tensions that characterise the area, including those evident between the Psychology and Sociology paradigms, often reflected in tensions between special education and inclusive education. The paper proposes Organisational Psychology as the obvious meeting point between these conflicting, but also possibly complementary, paradigms. It thus reports the core findings of a study that was informed by the Organisational Psychology paradigm. A combined action research, case study methodology was employed, involving four second-level schools in the Republic of Ireland. The aim of the study was to explore, with school personnel, the issues, opportunities and challenges involved in developing more inclusive policies and practices in schools. A conceptual model of inclusion was developed which was informed by systems thinking, which is at the core of Organisational Psychology, and which emphasises core processes that are essential for the development of inclusive schools. Some implications for teacher education arising from inclusive education are also discussed.
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