04 SES 14 B, Discourses
Differentiated pedagogy has been considered as a promising tool to tackle with the barriers of homogenized curricula and traditional teaching approaches (Perrennoud, 1997; Meirieu, 1996; Zoniou-Sideri, 2004; Hart, 1996). In this vein, it has been rendered possible to respond to individual differences in learning and the right of all children to curriculum entitlement. However, resonating with the discourses of inclusive education and education for all as well as with the heritage of segregated provision, adaptive teaching and compensatory education, differentiation appears as an equivocal and multifaceted endeavour (Prud’ homme, et. al, 2006). To this extent, different terminologies, such as differentiation, differentiated instruction, curriculum differentiation, differentiated pedagogy; different learning theories, from mastery learning to social constructivism; and different attributions to the teacher as facilitator, coordinator or mediator of pupils’ learning are merged into a proliferated field of changing teaching practices in the national and international context of curriculum reforms for the learning society and education for all. Approaching these issues from an inclusive education perspective, we intend to explore differentiated pedagogy from an ethical and political point of view. Having taken under consideration certain suggestions in the relevant literature, at national and international level, about inclusive education’s twisted shift from a radical to a conservative discourse that, at different levels of policy making (Fulcher, 1989), seeks to maintain the status quo of discrimination and injustice (Slee, 2008, Armstrong et. al, 2009, Graham & Slee, 2008, Zoniou-Sideri, 2004), we argue that issues about pedagogy should not be examined as merely technical or strictly methodological but, primarily, as ethical and political ones. Drawing upon critical approaches (Allan, 2008) that attempt to challenge the subordination of pedagogy to a form governmentality (Foucault, 1982), differentiated pedagogy is critically examined, with a particular focus on its reduction to a method of one-dimensional individualized teaching and learning that serves the purposes of education’s adaptation to the ‘world of enterprise culture’ and the free market (Thompson & Barton, 1992:13). In this theoretical context and in the background of two recent curriculum reforms in Greece, we intend to examine differentiated pedagogy’s historical development in the Greek context. Moreover, two of us having been involved in the development of differentiated curricula for pupils with disabilities in the context of 2002-2004 curriculum reform, and all of us having been members in a team assigned with the task of composing a guide for differentiated pedagogy in the most recent one, which at the time of submitting this abstract is still underway, we intend to engage in a critical reflection upon differentiated pedagogy’s limits and possibilities in terms of compromising with or transgressing the boundaries of normalizing pedagogic discourse. In this background, this presentation intends to focus upon the following research questions:
- Is there a way through for differentiated pedagogy to be conceived in terms of empowering teachers and pupils’ learning experience?
- Are there possible approaches to encapsulate such a call for empowerment?
Allan, J. (2008). Rethinking inclusive education: The philosophers of difference in practice. Springer. Armstrong, A.C., Armstrong, D. & Spandagou, I. (2009). Inclusive Education: International Policy & Practice. London: Sage Publications. Foucault, M. (1982). The subject and power. In: H. Dreyfus, & P. Rabinow (Eds.), Michel Foucault: Beyond structuralism and hermeneutics. Fulcher, G. (1989) Disabling Policies? A Comparative Approach to Education Policy and Disability (London, Falmer). Graham, L. & Slee, R. (2008). An Illusory interiority: Interrogating the discourse/s of inclusion. Educational Philoshophy and Theory, 40, I2, 277-293. Hart, S. (ed) (1996). Differentiation and the secondary curriculum: debates and dilemmas. London: Routledge. Meirieu, P. (1996). Itinéraire des pédagogies de groupe: apprendre en groupe—1. Lyon : Chronique sociale. Perrenoud, P. (1997). Pédagogie différenciée : Des intentions à l’action. Issy-les-Moulineaux: ESF éditeur. Prud’ Homme, L., Dolbec, A. Brodeur, M., Presseau, A. & Martineau, St. (2006). Building an island of rationality around the concept of educational differentiation. Journal of the Canadian Association of Curriculum Studies, 4, 1, 129-151. Slee, R. (2008). Beyond Special and Regular Schooling? An inclusive education reform agenda. International Studies in Sociology of Education, 18, 2, 99-116. Thompson, D. & Barton, L. (1992). The wider context: A free market. British Journal of Special Education, 19, 1, 13-15. Zoniou-Sideri, A. (2004). Inclusive education in Greece: a 20 year course. In: A. Zoniou-Sideri & I. Spandagou (eds). Education and blindness. Athens: Ellinika Grammata (in Greek).
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