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Parental Involvement in Individual Education Planning for Students with Mental Disabilities A Lithuanian Experience. by Jonas Ruškus School of Social Work, Vytautas Magnus University LITHUANIA. 2012 Joint World Conference on Social Work and Social Development

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By jonas ru kus school of social work vytautas magnus university lithuania

Parental Involvement

in Individual Education Planning

for Students with Mental Disabilities

A Lithuanian Experience

by Jonas Ruškus

School of Social Work, Vytautas Magnus University LITHUANIA

2012 Joint World Conference on Social Work and Social Development

8012 July, 2012 STOCKHOLM


Research context

Researchcontext

  • The law of Education in Lithuania: parents should play an active role in the education of their child.

  • Butthe collaboration “school – parents” is formal.

  • Different participants has a verydifferent expectations and interests regarding the education of pupils having special needs

  • The roles ofparticipantsare not defined.

  • School-dominated relationship is viewed as natural.


A ppeal for aid

Appealforaid

Šiauliai City’s J. Laužikas Special Education School (90childrenhavingmentaldisabilities)

The appeal for help to build a cooperation between school and children's’ families

Firstobservation: Problemorientedapproachused at school: childrenisdefinedfromtheproblemperspective, familiesdonotparticipateinmeetingsanddiscussionsbecauseofsentiment to be blamed

School’sverygoodwillingsbutfallinginthetrapofproblemorientedapproach


Research questions

Researchquestions

  • What are patterns of prental non-participation in the school life regarding their children having mental disabilities?

  • What kind of strategies has to be applied seeking to change the relation of explicit avoidance (parents) and implicit blaming (teachers) to relation of dialog, reciprocity in addressing special educational needs of the child?

  • How do we create a system in which all participantsare cooperating, contributingandresonding to theallneeds andexpectationsoftheparticipants?


Study 1

Study1

  • Pilot study:

  • 18 non-structured interviews with parents and 11 non-structured interviews with teachers

  • Group non-structured interview with teachers staff


Observed ruptures and needs

Observedrupturesandneeds

  • A priori delegation of education initiatives in the school: Silent and active discourses

  • Closed safety or challenges for openness? The need for enlargement of the school–family chain.

  • A lot of limitations of the negotiation / coherence of the participants’ interests

  • From recognition of the different competencies of all participants toward the applying of these competencies

  • Need for cooperative and creative problem-solving methodology and skills.

  • Transition from an individual action oriented model to a community oriented model

  • Project-based activities as a mission conceived by participants, but not developed or implemented


Assumpion the individual education planning

AssumpionTHE INDIVIDUAL EDUCATION PLANNING

  • coordination of all participants’ expectations, interests, and needs related to the situation;

  • agreement on the purpose and aim of the child’s individual education plans;

  • sharing of responsibilities by all participants in striving to meet the child’s educational aims;

  • application of all participants’ internal (competencies) and external (environmental) resources/strenghts;

  • evaluation of and reflection on the experience of developing the child’s individual education plan, undertaken both individually and collectively.


Conceptual framework social participation

Conceptual framework SOCIAL PARTICIPATION

  • strategies through which equal cooperation systems, taking into account inter-individual dynamics as well as organizational logic, can be created (Ebersold, 2003)

  • Individual education plan (project) as a means of empowerment, based on the idea of cooperation among parent, child, and teacher discourses and construction of new knowledge (Ebersold and Detraux, 2003)


Conceptual framework bientraitance

Conceptual framework BIENTRAITANCE

(Detraux, Di Duca, 2006)

The interaction of three dimensions:

  • a project, foreseeing an explicit confrontation and negotiation of the needs and interests of the participants in a concrete situation

  • exploitation of identified resources depending on the representation of their roles and functions (social network, competences of each participant, and the knowledge circulating among them are considered as resources)

  • explicit concrete actions of every participant, which qualify existing interactions


Methodology participatory action research

MethodologyPARTICIPATORY ACTION RESEARCH

  • understanding, mutual involvement, change, and a process that promotes personal growth; and

  • focusing on empowerment and with researchers’ and participants’ values both being central to the planning process (Kidd, Krall, 2005)

  • empowerment through consciousness raising (Reason, 1994)

  • participants and researchers co-generate knowledge, using collaborative communicative processes in which all participants’ contributions are taken seriously; and

  • it treats the diversity of experience and capacities within the local group as an opportunity for enrichment of the research action process (Greenwood & Levin, 1998).


Study 2

Study 2

  • 5 case study groups children, parents, teachers and, in the implementation, university students in each group


Equal cooperation system based on individual education planning

TEACHER

·

·

N

eeds,

N

eeds,

·

·

E

xpectations,

E

xpectations,

·

·

C

apacities,

C

apacities,

·

·

Commitments and responsibilities,

Commitments and responsibilities,

·

·

Meaningfulness of actions

Meaningfulness of actions

INDIVIDUAL PLANNING

III STAGE

I STAGE

II STAGE

IV STAGE

Initiation and

Coherence of

Definition of aims,

Individual and group

implementation of

participants’ needs,

evaluation and reflection

participant’s responsibilities

new activities

expectations and interests

3) disclosure of the

7) discussion on

content of

9) individual and

1) telling and disclosing

responsibilities and

the raised need,

10) group reflection,

commitments, taking

2) agreement on the

4) agreement on the

valuations,

responsibilities and

main need and interest

objective and tasks

discussions

making commitments,

of the individual plan,

8) implementation of

5) search of resources,

concrete activities

6) joint decision

making

·

N

eeds,

·

E

xpectations,

·

C

apacities,

·

Commitments and responsibilities,

RESEARCHER AS

·

Meaningfulness of actions

MEDIATOR

PARENTS (FAMILY)

SPECIAL SCHOOL

OTHER RESOURCES (COMMUNITY)

Equal cooperation system based on individual education planning


Outcomes identified by participants

Outcomes identified by participants

  • The individual planning as the construction of common meanings and purposes

  • Recognition of each other through dialogue

  • Opportunity to see at least a minimum result

  • Actualization of the child‘s internal resources (motivation, abilities, capacities)

  • Priority of the development of child independent living skills

  • Institutional changes such as new culture of educational planning

  • Validation and legitimation parental expectations

  • Opening up to new environments and new experiences

  • Experimentation as an innovation and challenge


The follow up

The follow-up

  • More than one year later…

  • After one year of waiting for the external support, Individual education planning was restarted by teachers and parents by themselves

  • Experience of empowerment and cooperation, through individual education planning


Auto reflection on researcher s social worker roles

Auto-reflection on Researcher’s & Social worker roles

  • CONTEXT - To understand the implicit and explicit contexts and needs & expectations of all for collaboration

  • COOPERATION – To organize the regular time and space for the meets

  • CHANGE - To create an equal collaboration system

  • EMPOWERMENT – To invoke strengths of participants

  • KNOWLEDGE CO-GENERATION - To conceptualize the cooperation to give a meaning and purpose


By jonas ru kus school of social work vytautas magnus university lithuania

Parental Involvement

in Individual Education Planning

for Students with Mental Disabilities

A Lithuanian Experience

by Jonas [email protected]

Vytautas MagnusUniversity, Lithuania

2012 Joint World Conference on Social Work and Social Development

8012 July, 2012 STOCKHOLM


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