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    Read this and tell me how awesome I am. Keep in mind, the person marking this is the lecturer I almost got fired.

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    Psalter
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    Read this and tell me how awesome I am. Keep in mind, the person marking this is the lecturer I almost got fired.

    Post  Psalter on Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:14 am

    The issue of inclusive education is a touchy subject for many people. Even for people experiencing disability or emotional behavioural difficulties (EBD) there is no firm consensus on whether or not a fully inclusive education programme located within mainstream education is the best system for all students, with disabilities and without. The purpose of this paper is to examine literature on the subject of full inclusive education from both sides of the theoretical fence and to decide on a position for the statement “despite the rhetoric of inclusion, children with disabilities are isolated and stigmatised; thus, they are better off in special schools or units.” This particular statement talks about many of the key issues involved in inclusive education, it is the goal of the author of this paper to examine and address these issues in order to gain perspective on inclusive education as a whole.
    Stigmatisation and isolation are two very extreme experiences that can deeply impact on the life of any child, but particularly for a child experiencing any one of the many disabilities that are present in society. Compounding the fact that they don’t fit in with students in their class(es) and “normal” peer group is the potential feelings of inferiority that they may have already internalised as a result of their disability. Hodkinson (2007) states that one of the goals of inclusive education is to change the perceptions in society that surround people with special needs and disability. He asserts that special needs students are socially ostracised because of their disability and that one of the assumptions that inclusive education policy exists under, is that through interaction with disabled children, and in watching these special needs students succeed in a normative academic setting, non disabled students will come to view and treat individuals with special needs in society with more respect. Hodkinson (2007) argues that this may be an “idealistic assumption” that does not take in to account the children’s pre-existent attitudes toward disability.
    Hodkinson (2007) undertook the task of interviewing non disabled children regarding their attitudes to, and understanding of, inclusive education. These attitudes become the crux of the matter regarding inclusive education, stigmatisation, isolation, and social ostracisation; for, it matters little if the attitudes of teachers, parents, and support staff are pro inclusion in a regular educational setting, if there is an innate student rejection of the concept. Hodkinson, at great length, defines disability as a social situation that arises out of a hegemony that pervades society that effectively, disability exists where society has not made adequate allowances for people to exist and function in a way that is not exclusionary. He goes on to query whether children have the sane notions and attitudes toward disability and whether the currently accepted socio-ecological model of disability has any effect on the formation of children’s conceptualisation of disability. Hodkinson’s research into this area produced inconclusive results that he poses may be heavily influenced by the attitudes and values held by parents, siblings, and other socially constructive influences in the children’s lives. What he did find is that some students held no bias and acted with no prejudice toward children with disability, while others held views that were exclusionary and potentially emotionally harmful to people with disabilities.
    The secondary stigmatisation and isolation is one which is imposed on person via the exclusionary practice of mistaking equitable and equal as interchangeable synonyms. Lloyd (2007) asserts that current inclusive education policy makes this exact mistake; that by placing children with special needs or disability in a regular, normatively assessed and crafted educational setting, policy is disadvantaging these children further by not crafting specialised learning programmes for them. Central to this problem is the idea that inclusive, equal education is actually exclusionary in practice. Lloyd makes the assertion that current inclusive education is social by nature, that it deals with altering perceptions of disabled people and students with special educational needs without addressing, specifically, the educational needs themselves. The danger with this practice lies with the possibility of the teacher enacting a form of symbolic violence upon the student. Symbolic violence, as coined by Bordieau (2002) is the internalisation of a flaw, real or otherwise, by a person in possession of low power, based upon the perception of said flaw by the person with possession of greater power. In a typical classroom setting that involves people with special educational needs, it is possible that this symbolic violence can be enacted upon the child with disability, simply through the existence of norm referenced assessment in which the child may not achieve as well as his or her peers. The child with special needs may well see that they are not achieving based on the results of a particular assessment, or even through comparing his or her quality of work to other students’ work and internalise their failings based on this. This has potential to create within one’s self a feeling of inadequacy or (seemingly) self-imposed stigmatisation and isolation.
    The obvious remedy for this is for the classroom programme and assessment methods to be changed to accommodate the special needs of the child with disability. However, Lloyd (2007) asserts that this is an exclusionary practice of its own, that a system of limited resources is naturally hostile to an outside influence that requires extra resources to meet specific, extra needs. Further, Lloyd (2007) argues that the creation of specialist learning programmes, the dedication of resources for special needs education, and other “compensatory measures of support” reinforces the failure that the student already feels. This only leads to further stigmatisation and emotional isolation.
    Having dealt with the concepts of isolation and segregation being a possible result of inclusive models of education, it becomes necessary to address the issue of whether children with disability are likely to be “better off” in a segregated model. Angelides and Aravi (2006) write that there is a need to take not of the student voice when it comes to comparing mainstream education with special school education. So that they could examine the effects of special education against the contrasting mainstream education, they took the time to interview twenty students that had attended one or the other and compared their experiences. The results are mixed. It was found that those hearing impaired and Deaf individuals that attended mainstream schools felt that they were often forced to the outside and often felt very alone in the mainstream education. Contrasted against hearing impaired and Deaf students who attended special schools and were better able to socialise and integrate because of communication advantages, this is not surprising.
    Angelides and Aravi reference several studies showing that the isolation that can occur in these “inclusive schools” can have profound effects on the Deaf and hearing impaired students’ psychological development. Further, within these studies, it is reported that students in these integration schools frequently described feelings of isolation, rejection, and loneliness. These feelings were apparently not as frequent in the segregated models of education.




    Bourdieu, P. (2002). Language and Symbolic Power. Harvard University Press.

    Marom M; Cohen D and Naon D. Changing disability-related attitudes and self-efficacy of Israeli children via the 'Partners to Inclusion Programme'. [online]. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education; v.54 n.1 p.113-127; March 2007.
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    KeriAnne
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    Re: Read this and tell me how awesome I am. Keep in mind, the person marking this is the lecturer I almost got fired.

    Post  KeriAnne on Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:17 am

    You are awesome. (I didn’t get past the first paragrath.) afro
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    Goat
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    Re: Read this and tell me how awesome I am. Keep in mind, the person marking this is the lecturer I almost got fired.

    Post  Goat on Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:17 am

    mean
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    superarmy
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    Re: Read this and tell me how awesome I am. Keep in mind, the person marking this is the lecturer I almost got fired.

    Post  superarmy on Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:22 am

    Wow, very very good. Surprising depth for a relatively short piece.
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    Waireka
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    Re: Read this and tell me how awesome I am. Keep in mind, the person marking this is the lecturer I almost got fired.

    Post  Waireka on Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:24 am

    superarmy wrote:Wow, very very good. Surprising depth for a relatively short piece.


    Agreed, just change sane to same and finish it.

    I like Lloyd.
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    Psalter
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    Re: Read this and tell me how awesome I am. Keep in mind, the person marking this is the lecturer I almost got fired.

    Post  Psalter on Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:24 am

    Half way through, hitting the positive parts of Inc ed right now.
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    Psalter
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    Next part.... read plox.

    Post  Psalter on Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:05 pm

    The statement has two distinct parts to it, the first is concerned with the social challenges faced by children with disabilities when entering mainstream education, the second simply states “thus, they are better off in special schools or units”. It is the author’s belief that to completely address this issue, one must examine the true purpose of education and, particularly, inclusive education. MacArthur, Kelly, and Higgins (2005) clearly communicate that students with disability have greater academic success in mainstream, regular schooling situations, than in special schools. Angelides and Aravi (2006) also makes this point abundantly clear with the statement “research has shown that the environment of mainstream schools has higher goals and requirements and a richer curriculum than that of special schools, and thus it provides students more opportunities for their learning” (p5).
    Angus Macfarlane (2007) frequently supports the perspective that students that are experiencing behavioural or learning difficulties do so as a result of a relationship issue between the environment and themselves. He states that the environment (in an educational setting) is comprised of the teacher, the physical environment, the rules, conventions, and individuals associated with the school. Macfarlane (2007) goes on to say that, therefore, if there is any problem arising out of disability that it is a result of the school environment and a responsibility of the school to fix for the student and all others affected. This becomes particularly pertinent when dealing with the issues of stigmatisation and social isolation. The ministry of education curriculum document (2007) outlines some key pedagogies for teachers to aim to adhere to. Central to these pedagogies is the theme of leadership; a teacher is a facilitator and leader of learning and is required to lead the class in a supportive, non discriminatory, safe learning environment. Therefore, if the learning environment is one where isolation and stigmatisation occurs, it is a problem for the school to address, not for the student to bear. The implications of this particular view point lies strongly opposed to the initial statement; according to Macfarlane (2007), if a student is operating in an inclusive school, the issues of stigmatisation and isolation do not occur, this is what defines an inclusive school, not policy.
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    Waireka
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    Re: Read this and tell me how awesome I am. Keep in mind, the person marking this is the lecturer I almost got fired.

    Post  Waireka on Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:09 pm

    Good.
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    Psalter
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    Re: Read this and tell me how awesome I am. Keep in mind, the person marking this is the lecturer I almost got fired.

    Post  Psalter on Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:22 pm

    Just want to post with my new avatar
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    Psalter
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    Re: Read this and tell me how awesome I am. Keep in mind, the person marking this is the lecturer I almost got fired.

    Post  Psalter on Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:38 pm

    As mentioned earlier, there can be a sort of internal stigmatisation that can occur when students are treated differently in regards to learning programmes, teacher attitudes, and the stereotyping of people with special educational needs. This need not occur. Nieto (2002) writes about inclusion and diversity from the point of view of racism and cultural hegemony, but the principles are readily transferable to the issues surrounding special needs in mainstream classrooms. Nieto (2002) states that teacher checklists requiring a teacher to teach to a specific guideline based on the culture (or special need) of a child only promote the hegemonic bias and stereotypes that teachers are aiming to negate. She makes it very clear that a truly inclusive education policy is one that addresses a student’s needs not based on the appearance or label the child carries. To teach to these checklists would only be teaching to a deficit model and would not be inclusive at all. Nieto (2002) advocates that a teacher should, instead; take the time to understand the individual, to take the time to cater specifically to the needs of the child. It is this reflective, personalised model of teaching that underpins good teaching practice for “normal” or “regular” students, so in order to be completely and naturally inclusive, a teacher must do so for all. Once this is achieved, and noticeably achieved for all students in the class, there is no longer any stigmatisation or emotional isolation worries for the child, they are treated the same.
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    master5o1
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    Re: Read this and tell me how awesome I am. Keep in mind, the person marking this is the lecturer I almost got fired.

    Post  master5o1 on Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:03 pm

    tl;dr

    although i will blindly agree that you are awesome
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    Tikva
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    Re: Read this and tell me how awesome I am. Keep in mind, the person marking this is the lecturer I almost got fired.

    Post  Tikva on Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:39 pm

    Shit - what was all that which flew way over my head????

    Sorry, but me a simpleton. Still think you're awesome, and wish you success in what you're doing!
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    relict
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    Re: Read this and tell me how awesome I am. Keep in mind, the person marking this is the lecturer I almost got fired.

    Post  relict on Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:27 am

    I've met some of authors your quote! Smile
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    Psalter
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    Re: Read this and tell me how awesome I am. Keep in mind, the person marking this is the lecturer I almost got fired.

    Post  Psalter on Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:36 am

    I derpa derp.

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    Re: Read this and tell me how awesome I am. Keep in mind, the person marking this is the lecturer I almost got fired.

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