04 SES 01 B, Teacher Views
Inclusive education is an issue which has attracted relatively strong attention during the past twenty years, both regarding policy and practice, especially after the release of the United Nations’ so-called Salamanca Statement (UNESCO 1994). While the premise of inclusive education relates to human rights, this issue is, nevertheless, also a matter of controversy among researchers and teachers alike (Allan 2008; Jóhannesson 2006; Slee 2011). It seems to us, however, that the actual debates on the vision of inclusive education have mainly taken place within the academic field (Ainscow et al. 2006; Allan 2008; Slee 2011; Tetler 2005).We are interested in exploring whether teachers’ discourse in Iceland might give some insights into the concerns raised. We use interviews with compulsory school teachers and media articles written by them. Furthermore, we investigate how the teachers’ discourse relates to the policy as expressed in official documents. By using the approach of historical discourse analysis, we seek to answer the following three questions:
- What characterises and legitimises teachers´ discourse on inclusive education?
- What are the contradictions in teachers´ discourse on inclusive education as well as those occurring in official dialogue?
- How have teachers involved themselves in the discourse?
The aim is to examine the discourse of Icelandic compulsory school teachers on inclusive education. From 1974 and onwards the education policy in Iceland has been towards inclusion and Iceland is considered to be an example of a highly inclusive education system with few segregated resources for students with special educational needs. In particular the paper focuses on what characterises and legitimises teachers’ discourse on inclusive education, the contradictions in the discourse and how teachers have involved themselves in the discourse.
Allan, J. 2008. Rethinking Inclusive Education. The philosophers of difference in practice. Dordrecht: Springer. Ainscow, M., T. Booth, A. Dyson, P. Farrell, J. Frankham, F. Gallannaugh, A. Howes, and R. Smith. 2006. Improving schools, developing inclusion. London: Routledge. Armstrong, A.C., D. Armstrong and I. Spandagou. 2011. Inclusion: by choice or by chance? International Journal of Inclusive Education 15, no. 1: 29–39. DOI: 10.1080/13603116.2010.496192 Dunne, L. 2009. Discourses of Inclusion: a critique, Power and Education, 1, no. 1: 42–56. http://dx.doi.org/10.2304/power.2009.1.1.42 Foucault, M. 1979b. What is an author?. In Textual strategies: Perspectives in post-structural criticism, ed Josué V. Harari, 141—160. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Jóhannesson, I.Á. 2010. The politics of historical discourse analysis: A qualitative research method? Discourse: Studies in the cultural politics of education 31(2), 251–264. Jóhannesson, I.Á. 2006. “Strong, independent, able to learn more …”: Inclusion and the construction of school students in Iceland as diagnosable subjects. Discourse: Studies in the cultural politics of education 27, no. 1: 103–119. Lee, A. 2000. Discourse analysis and cultural (re)writing. In Culture and text. Discourse and methodology in social research and cultural studies, ed. Cate Poynton and Alison Lee, 188–202. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Sharp, L., and T. Richardson. 2001. Reflections on Foucauldian discourse analysis in planning and environmental policy research. Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning 3, no.3: 193–209. Slee, R. 2011. The irregular school. Exclusion, schooling and inclusive education. London and New York: Routledge. Tetler, S. 2005. Tensions and dilemmas in the field of inclusive education. In Resistance, reflection and change. Nordic disability research, ed. Anders Gustavsson, Johans Sandvin, Rannveig Traustadóttir and Jan Tøssebro, 265–276. Lund: Studentlitteratur. UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation). 1994. The Salamanca statement and framework for action on special needs education. Paris: UNESCO. Youdell, D. 2006. Diversity, inequality and a post-structural politics for education. Discourse: studies in the cultural politics of education 27, no.1: 33-42. DOI: 10.1080/01596300500510252
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