04 SES 13 A, What is Special? Implications and Case Studies From a Review of 55 Countries
Norwich (2008) poses four questions when considering how we can increase participation in mainstream, focussing upon identification, placement, curriculum and level of governance about educational provision. This paper considers the use of a vignette method to explore issues of school placement in 11 countries, in order to yield insights into how inclusive education is constructed and enacted. A comparative exploration of the provision for children with specific special educational needs was carried out across 11 countries using vignettes studies. This method has been used as a way of enhancing research into cross-country differences in educational decision making (Blömeke et al, 2008). Selected experts from 11 countries responded to 7 vignettes, each of which contained a description of a child and their situation followed by a set of questions. The vignettes elicited a range of responses to the placement of the children described in the vignettes. The influence of local funding and geographical factors were pervasive significant influences on a child’s placement. Although different categories were used to specificity children’s needs across the countries, a medicalised language was universally understood. The strength of children’s voice within placement decisions was problematised. The use of vignettes to enhance international research is critiqued.
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