04 SES 04 B, Initial Teacher Education And Inclusion: Tales From The Field
As Artiles et al. (2006, 67) emphasize, inclusive education as “an ambitious and far-reaching notion” refers to transforming schools to increase “access (or presence)”, “school personnel's and students' acceptance”, “student participation” as well as “achievement of all students”. However, as a “slippery concept” (Artiles & Dyson 2005, 43), meanings of inclusive education vary “in different systemic, socio-economic and cultural contexts” (ibid.). While inclusive education “as a general principle can (and perhaps should) be advocated powerfully and simply” (Clark et al. 1999, 173), looking at “attempted realisation of inclusion in practice” requires “an engagement with the complexity and contradiction” (ibid.). Hence, it appears highly relevant to understand processes of inclusion and exclusion (Clark et al. 1999; Amstrong et al., 2011). This paper focusses on the German context. With regard to Germany, Powell et al. (2016, 224) state that “despite the legitimacy crisis of special schooling since ratification of the UN-CRPD […] the remarkable path-dependent persistence of segregated and stratified schooling” can be identified. Implementation of inclusion under school law is characterized by binary addressing pattern with regard to both students as well as special and general education teachers by referring to the distinction ‘with/without need for special support’ (Merl 2019). As in other contexts, inclusive education is highly linked to special education (Rix 2015) and appears to be “highly contestable” (Amstrong et al. 2011, 29). Referring to debates in the German media concerning the ‘failure of inclusion’, inclusive education can be regarded as being “’at risk’” (Werning 2018, 42). In this context, questions of relations of achievement and inclusive education in secondary schools arise. Especially within the above-mentioned stratified secondary school system which differentiates according to students’ achievement, inclusive education and achievement seem contradictory (Sturm 2015; Werning & Lütje-Klose 2016). Drawing on a social constructivist perspective (Bräu & Fuhrmann 2015) ‘achievement’ is not seen simply as a given, but socially constructed, while also being intertwined with social categories like e.g. gender. Based on group-discussions with teachers, Sturm (2019) compares teachers’ constructions of achievement in Germany, Norway and the United States. In contrast to the other contexts, Sturm (2019, 656) concludes that “German teachers construct ‘total identities’ based on achievement”. If students do not fulfil teachers’ expectations of achievement, German teachers “look for resources outside their classroom that support the student in compensating the difference between the expected goal and their current understanding of the taught topic” (Sturm, 2019, 667). Based on the joint research project “Reflection, Achievement and Inclusion”, funded by the German Ministry of Education and Science (BMBF), this paper focusses on these situations ‘outside’ the (regular) classroom. Previous research on collaboration between general and special education teachers and their division of tasks indicates a relevance of pull-situation in the German context (e.g. Moser & Kropp 2014). This, however, can vary between different schools (e.g. Idel et al. 2019) as well as within schools (Arndt & Werning 2013). Based on interviews with students, pull-out can be closely linked to categorization, for instance, as one student identifies students with special needs are the ones who always go ‘one floor down’ (Arndt & Gieschen 2013, 54). Taking into account students’ voices appears highly relevant for developing inclusive education (Messiou 2019). Based on interviews with students from case studies at two comprehensive schools and two advanced secondary schools (Gymnasien), this paper focuses on secondary students’ perspectives. We concentrate on the question how secondary students view pull-out situations. At the same time, we are interested in the ways these situations ‘outside’ are linked to constructions of (achievement-related) differences.
The joint research project “Reflection, Achievement and Inclusion” consists of a research phase and a development phase: Based on the research phase, cased-based materials for teacher pre-service as well as in-service education were developed. In this paper emphasis lies on results of the research phase concerning secondary students’ views on pull-out situations and (achievement-related) differences. Based on this, we refer to experiences from the development phase by discussion impulses for cased-based pre-service teacher education. Within the research phase, we conducted qualitative case studies at two comprehensive secondary schools and two advanced secondary schools (Gymnasien). By thus, our sample reflects two school types which differ in their traditional ideals and ways of dealing with achievement-related difference: Gymnasien are linked to a strong tradition of homogenous grouping in the national context, while the development of comprehensive schools reflected a critical response to this. Overall, we were interested in the ways ‘achievement’ and ‘(achievement- related) differences’ are constructed and dealt with in secondary classroom. The data collection took place at schools where students with and without special needs are educated together. Considering the different special need categories in the national context, our sampling focussed on special needs in the field of learning difficulties accompanied with a different curriculum as well as in the field of emotional and social development. Based on previous research both groups are highly vulnerable to marginalisation (Werning et al. 2008). While these special needs categorizing formed a starting point, we broaden our perspective within the data analysis. We are e.g. interested in ways SEN status becomes more or less relevant in different contexts (Walgenbach 2018). At each school data collection took place in two grades, from grade 6 to 9. By thus, intra-institutional differences are taken into account. In addition to participant observation in schools, Episodic Interviews according to Flick (2011) were conducted with teachers and students. This paper concentrates on the latter. All in all, 54 students were interviewed based on parents’ and students’ informed consent. Within data analysis we use Grounded Theory strategies (Strauss & Corbin 1990) and elements of Situational Analysis (Clarke, 2005). To engage with complexities (ibid.) of students’ perspectives on pull-out situations, our analysis draws on different comparisons, e.g. by exploring views of students who refer to other students as the ones taught in pull-out situations on the hand as well as views of students who belong to the group taught ‘outside’.
This paper focuses on pull-out situations linked to ability grouping and differentiation. Based on our results, the frequency of pull-out situations varies across the different school contexts: In one advanced secondary school students refer to two distinct groups – students with and without special needs. Here one student states that they are ‘normally taught separately’. While in one comprehensive school pull-out is used in certain (main) subjects, students of the other comprehensive school refer to pull-out as ‘sometimes’ happening. In this context, one student points out that she is sometimes pulled out, while staying within the classroom at other times. In our paper we look at different positions taken: For instance, student who are pulled out can prefer learning in this small group ‘outside’ or ‘in classroom’. Furthermore, ambivalent positions can be found: one student perceives the small group ‘outside’ as helpful while longing to belong to the ‘big’ (classroom) group who are the successful ones, also with regard to future secondary school qualifications. Overall, our results reflect fundamental dilemmas and tensions (Minow, 1990), especially as the afore-mentioned dimensions of presence, acceptance, participation and achievement (Artiles et al. 2006) appear to be complexly intertwined. With regard to inclusive teacher education (Forlin 2010), it appears highly relevant, as Slesaransky-Poe and Garcia (2014, 81) emphasize, to “explore the processes that construct and reinforce categories of difference so that we will better understand how they impact our and our students’ lives”. In this respect, we look at a cased-based (online) learning format in pre-service teacher education in which teacher trainees engaged with students’ views on pull-out situations. In their feedback, teacher trainees e.g. referred to an increased awareness of labelling. However, our experiences also raise questions of (re)producing categories (Gasterstädt & Urban 2016) while trying to critically reflect upon them.
Armstrong, D., Armstrong, A. C., & Spandagou, I. (2011). Inclusion: by choice or by chance? International Journal of Inclusive Education, 15, 29–39. Arndt, A.-K. & Gieschen, A. (2013). Kooperation von Regelschullehrkräften und Lehrkräften für Sonderpädagogik. In R. Werning & A.-K. Arndt (Eds), Inklusion: Kooperation und Unterricht entwickeln, 41–62. Artiles, A. J., & Dyson, A. (2005). Inclusive education in the globalization age. In D. R. Mitchell (Ed.), Contextualizing Inclusive Education, 37–62. Artiles, A.J., Kozleski, E.B., Dorn, S. & Christensen, C. (2006). Learning in inclusive education research. Review of Research in Education 30, 65–108. Bräu, K., & Fuhrmann, L. (2015). Die soziale Konstruktion von Leistung und Leistungsbewertung. In K. Bräu & C. Schlickum (Eds.), Soziale Konstruktionen in Schule und Unterricht, 49–64. Clark, C., Dyson, A., Millward, A. & Robson, S. (1999). Theories of Inclusion, Theories of Schools: deconstructing and reconstructing the ‘inclusive school‘. British Educational Research Journal, 25(2), 157–177. Gasterstädt, J. & Urban, M. (2016). Einstellung zu Inklusion? Empirische Sonderpädagogik 8, 54-66. Idel, T.-S., Lütje-Klose, B., Grüter, S., Mettin, C., Meyer, A., Neumann, P. et al. (2019). Inklusion im Bremer Schulsystem. In K. Maaz, M. Hasselhorn & T.-S. Idel (Hrsg.), Zweigliedrigkeit und Inklusion im empirischen Fokus, 121–161. Merl, T. (2019). Un/genügend fähig. Bad Heilbrunn. Messiou, K. (2019). The missing voices: students as a catalyst for promoting inclusive education. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 23(7-8), 768–781. Minow, M. (1990). Making all the difference: Inclusion, exclusion, and American law. Powell, J. J.W., Edelstein, B., & Blanck, J. M. (2016). Awareness-raising, legitimation or backlash? Globalisation, Societies and Education, 14(2), 227–250. Rix, J. (2015). Must Inclusion be Special? Rethinking educational support within a community of provision. Slesaransky-Poe, G. & Garcia, A. M. (2014). The Social Construction of Difference. In D. Lawrence-Brown & M. Sapon-Shevin (Eds.), Condition critical, 66–85. Sturm, T. (2019). Constructing and addressing differences in inclusive schooling – comparing cases from Germany, Norway and the United States. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 23(6), 656–669. Walgenbach, K. (2018). Replik. In O. Musenberg, J. Riegert & T. Sansour (Hrsg.), Dekategorisierung in der Pädagogik. Notwendig und riskant?, 143–155. Werning, R. (2018). Scheitert die inklusive Bildung? In A. Langner (Ed.), Perspektiven sonderpädagogischer Forschung., 42–55. Werning, R., Löser, J. M., & Urban, M. (2008). Cultural and social diversity: An analysis of minority groups in German schools. The Journal of Special Education, 42, 47–54
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