EECERA 2007 PRAGUE. Inclusion in Early Years Childhood Education: A rich tapestry of diversity clouded by considerable challenge. Kathleen Clark Frances Ross-Watt Senior Lecturer Lecturer University of Strathclyde University of Strathclyde. Legislative Background.
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Inclusion in Early Years Childhood Education: A rich tapestry of diversity clouded by considerable challenge
Kathleen Clark Frances Ross-Watt
University of Strathclyde University of Strathclyde
Broadened the range of pupils who require additional support
for their learning.
SEN sits within the range
No longer ‘special’ but individual needs (Corbett, 2002)
Choice of schools
Rights/Duties of education authorities and parents
Scottish schools in compliance with the Disability Discrimination Act
Education authorities must have Accessibility Strategies Plans
Presumption of mainstream for all children.
Collectively these bands of legislation provide a robust framework for 21st Century education in Scotland.
Equality of opportunity
(Thomas& Vaughn, 2004)
Four capacities for learning: confident individuals; effective contributors; responsible citizens; successful learners
Policy and guidance + practical support “responsible inclusion” (Vaughn & Schumm, 1995)
staff understanding of and views on inclusion
insights about schools’ support systems and strategies
perceived needs in terms of project materials
good inclusive practice
17 schools – geographical spread: large/small; (primary and nursery) urban/rural; varying socio-economic factors.
All staff – promoted staff, class teachers, support assistants, nursery nurses etc.
Ownership:- Awareness of Researchacross the authority.
Additional good inclusive practice identified via Educational Psychologists and Cluster Heads based on knowledge of good practice for pupils requiring additional support.
“Bottom –up” model as discussed by Lunt (2002)
Quantitative and Qualitative data from the survey.
12 schools responded (111 questionnaires)
Responses from: headteachers, depute headteachers, principal teachers, class teachers, learning support teachers, nursery teachers, classroom assistants, nursery nurses, support assistants and auxiliaries.
Self-selecting sample views expressed both pro-and anti-inclusion
Outcome - 3 of the 12 schools overall appeared to have staff with a collective, clear understanding of inclusion based on the definition above.
The same 3 schools’ staff identified many of the factors already identified by: Lipsky & Gartner, (1996); Giangrero, (1997) and Visser, Cole & Daniels, (2003). These factors relate to the three dimensions that, according to Booth & Ainscow, (2002) promote inclusion.
dissatisfaction based on experience?
concern for pupils with no identification?
principle sound, practice problematic?
Quality of experience
Support staff comments
No shared vision of process
Feasible and to be considered
Resources: Extra staff
More Special Schools
Reduce Class Sizes
Better School Building
Permanent Contracts for all Support StaffThe Suggestions: Wish List
“It’s not material we need it’s staff!” (support teacher)
“I suggest the authority produces more special schools and teachers” (early years class teacher C)
These sentiments express strength of feeling about the changes demanded of staff. As stated by Hamill and Clark (2005) “The financing of inclusion cannot be underestimated”. (Page 35).
Audit Curriculum framework West Lothian’s Continuum of (3-18) Support
Ensuring quality responses to individual needs within the culture of supportive,
inclusive classrooms and schools, whose staff have a shared understanding and vision of inclusion.
Staff development and evaluation to be key factors in the desired changes.
( Representing Levels 1- 4 on the Continuum of Support)
Outreach Support to Mainstream
Pupils on split placements
All qualities listed in the quality indicators (HMIe, 2007 )
Evidence of Vygotsky’s philosophy embedded in practice
Sharing Good Practice within an authority that is operating a model of “responsible inclusion”
( Vaughn & Schumm, 1995 )