Educational Psychology and Inclusion Dr Nathan Lambert Academic and Professional Tutor – University of Nottingham Educational Psychologist – Birmingham EPS University of Nottingham Spring 2008
Aims of Session • To explore definitions of Inclusion • To examine the reasons behind the move towards inclusive education • To review research into the efficacy of inclusive education • To consider the contribution that psychological theory has made, and could make, to inclusive education
Primary Reference: Frederickson, Miller and Cline (2008) Educational Psychology: Topics in Applied Psychology Chapter 4 – Is Inclusion for children with special needs psychologically defensible?
Educational Psychology and Inclusion Part One: A review of the research into the efficacy of inclusive education
Context Past experience and present understanding
What is ‘Inclusion’? The education of all children –including those with special educational needs- in mainstream schools with their chronological peer group
What is ‘Inclusion’? • It is different to “mainstreaming” - it is not a one off decision about placement i.e. mainstream as opposed to special provision. It refers to an ongoing process. • It is different to “integration” - where the child and their support systems are expected to change.
A Historical Perspective • First UK special schools – 1850s • HI - VI • Great expansion into the 20th century • Until the mid 1960s, educational settings were not considered appropriate for children with severe learning difficulties, and instead of schools these children attended local health authority ‘training centres’.
A Historical Perspective • In 1970 the distinction between those who were and were not ‘educable’ was removed in the Education (Handicapped Children) Act. • Children experiencing particular difficulties continued to be placed with other children with similar difficulties – and hence away from their ‘typically developing’ peer group
A Historical Perspective • It was argued that this allowed special facilities, alternative curricula, and specially trained staff to be made available to the children who needed them • However, it was also argued that this could be stigmatising for the child, and represented a restriction on access to educational and social opportunities
Salamanca World Statement In 1994, 92 countries signed up to the Salamanca Statement which called on governments to: “…adopt the principle of inclusive education, enrolling all children in regular schools unless there are compelling reasons for doing otherwise” (UNESCO 1994) “Inclusion and participation are essential to human dignity and to the enjoyment and exercise of human rights.” (UNESCO 1994)
SEN and Disability Act (2001) The Special Educational Needs and Disability Act (2001) stated that children who have a statement of SEN must be educated in a mainstream school unless this is incompatible with parental wishes or with the provision of efficient education for other children (DFEE 2001 S324)
BPS position • Rejecting segregation or exclusion of learners for whatever reasons – ability, gender, language, care status, family income, disability, sexuality, colour, religion or ethnic origin. • Maximising the participation of all learners in the community schools of their choice • Making learning more meaningful and relevant for all, particularly those learners most vulnerable to exclusionary pressure • Rethinking and restructuring policies, curricula, culture and practices in schools and learning environments so that diverse learning needs can be met, whatever the origin or nature of those needs (BPS Inclusive Education Position Paper 2002:2)
The Inclusive ‘Movement’ • Human Rights? • Good Education? • Social Sense?
Inclusion and the EP • Educational Psychologist are frequently involved in the assessment of individual pupils, and hence with their placement and provision. • Educational Psychologists are also heavily involved with researching, developing and evaluating inclusive initiatives
Case Study • Y2 (6-7) • ASD • Currently attending mainstream • Placement under consideration • Why is it so hard to come to a consensus on where best to place this child?
Dilemma 1 • What outcomes are we aiming for? In this instance… • some are focusing on academic attainment and developing language/ communication skills, whilst others are focusing on him becoming a part of his community and improving emotional well-being. • Different objectives suggest different approaches!
Dilemma 2 • Do outcomes even matter? If the issue of inclusion is one of human rights – maybe efficacy is an irrelevance? (See Lindsay 2003) In this instance… • some see this as an issue of the child’s right to go to his local school – and to receive whatever specialist support is needed there – and the parents right to a choice of education for their son. • conflict has arisen where other parties insist on there being evidence of success
Dilemma 3 • If inclusion IS a matter of human rights… then who’s rights take precedence? In this instance… • The parent’s assertion of their child’s right to an education with his sibling and peers? • The child’s rights to the most effective education available? • The child’s (mainstream) classmates rights to an uninterrupted education?
Farrell 2000 “A parent may feel that their child has a right to be educated in a mainstream school but an objective assessment of the child might indicate that his/her rights to a good education could only be met in a special school. Whose rights should take preference in cases like this, the parents or the child? In addition, what if placing a child with SEN in a mainstream school seriously disrupts the education of the other pupils? Surely they have a right to a good education as well?”
The Purpose of Efficacy Research • “Data can be used to evaluate progress towards the goals established by values, but data cannot alter the value itself” (McLeskey et al 1990 in Frederickson and Cline 2002) • “The rationale for policies depends on an interplay of moral/ political and scientific reasoning. Broadly speaking decisions about whether to advocate a policy depend primarily on moral or political reasons and knowledge about how to achieve a desired policy change may involve detailed factual considerations” (Booth 1986 in Frederickson and Cline 2002)
Psychological Research into Inclusion • Typically, research takes the form of comparative studies in which two groups – included and excluded- are compared on the basis of outcomes such as: • Educational attainment • Affective measures – self-esteem, social integration, ‘adjustment’
Research Problems • Difficulties specifying the independent variable – many different views of what inclusion is • Poor matching of participants – children with SEN typically have additional problems • Mainstream and special settings tend to have different objectives and therefore different curricula emphasis • Differences between teacher experience and qualification between and within settings (Frederickson et al 2008)
Efficacy Research Findings ‘Headline’ • Reviews of Efficacy Research have tended to come down marginally in favour of inclusion, with some qualifications (Frederickson et al 2008 – see, for example, Baker, Wang and Walberg 1994-5)
Efficacy Research Findings A review of recent research… demonstrates the variability of research in this field and the need for caution when considering the conclusions drawn
Hegarty (1993) • Summarised a Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) review of international research literature on integration efficacy studies across countries and different SEN • Reported results were generally inconclusive • Argued that this makes it difficult to justify continued segregated education
Lindsay 2007 • Lindsay (2007) reported on a review of efficacy studies published in SEN journals between 2000 and 2005 • 1373 ‘inclusion’ papers were considered, with only 1% addressing efficacy issues (comparing the performance of children with SEN in mainstream and special, or comparing the performance of children with SEN in mainstream settings with their typically developing peers). • The weight of evidence was marginally in favour of inclusion.
Dyson et al 2004 • Research for the DfES • Utilising the National Pupil Database (a database bringing together the attainments scores of 500,000 pupils and their education-relevant statistics (inc. SEN and school setting). It was reported that: • There was no real evidence of a relationship between the ‘inclusivity’ of an LA and overall LA attainment, or between the ‘inclusivity’ of a school and school level attainment • There was some evidence that inclusion can have positive effects on the wider achievement of all pupils, such as social skills and understanding (-though this was based chiefly on the the views of teachers and pupils) • Other factors – socio-economic status, gender, ethnicity and home language – appear to be much more significant in their impact on attainment
Staub and Peck (1994) • Review of USA studies into the effect of increasingly inclusive classrooms on children without additional needs • None of the studies found a deceleration of academic progress for the mainstream students • Children did not ‘pick up’ undesirable behaviour • Teacher time was not reduced for children without additional needs
Nowicki and Sandieson (2002) • Meta-analysis of publications between 1990 and 2000 • Investigated children’s attitudes to children with SEN Inclusive classrooms had a medium sized effect on facilitating positive attitudes
Manset and Semmel (1997) Included MLD pupils were compared with MLD pupils in special settings Learning outcomes from various inclusion programmes were reviewed Results very variable: • 2 programmes, included pupils showed better progress in literacy – no diff in maths • In 2 others pupils showed better progress in maths – no diff in literacy • In 1 programme better progress in both literacy and maths • In 1 programme no diff in both literacy and maths • In 1 programme no diff in literacy and slower progress in maths • However, in all 7 studies, the progress of pupils without additional needs in inclusive classrooms appeared to be better than that made by pupils in non inclusive classrooms. • “This suggests that efforts to transform the mainstream classroom into an effective environment for students with disabilities may also have a positive impact on normally achieving students, at least on measures of basic skills”
Gresham and MacMillan (1997) • A particular focus on social and affective outcomes (an early objective) • suggested children with SEN placed in mainstream settings are less socially accepted and more rejected by their mainstream peers than children without additional need
In Summary • One cannot point to a robust research basis for inclusive education, although the research broadly points to a neutral or slightly positive overall effect, for those seen to be ‘included’, and their ‘normally developing’ peers • Whilst research evidence remains somewhat inconclusive, the Human Rights debate ensures that increasing funds are put towards inclusive education
Educational Psychology and Inclusion Part Two: The contribution that psychological theory has made, and could make, to inclusive education
So far, we have seen that EPs have a significant role to play in researching the efficacy of inclusive educational settings In other lectures, you will considerer the part educational psychologists, and psychological theory can play in developing optimal learning experiences for pupils However, educational psychologists, and psychological theory, also has a significant part to play specifically in developingoptimal inclusive environments
We will focus on four psychological theories that have been applied to understanding and changing children's attitudes and behaviour towards peers who have SEN, as outlined in Frederickson et al (2008) • Theory of Planned Behaviour • Contact Theory • Labelling and Attribution Theory • Social Exchange Theory
We will consider: • How these four theories have influenced research • How research drawing on these four theories might influence practice
Theory of Planned Behaviour Three major influences on behaviour: • One’s own attitude towards the behaviour (+/-) • One’s perception of the subjective norm (-what will others think?) • One’s perception of behavioural control i.e. self-efficacy [and actual opportunity to engage in the behaviour] (Ajzen 1991) A pupils interaction to a child with SEN can be viewed in light of this model
Theory of Planned Behaviour • Roberts and Lindsell (1997) 8-12 year old children’s attitudes to peers with physical disabilities strongly predicted their intention to interact with them. Their attitudes correlated significantly with the attitudes of their teachers and mothers (the subjective norm) • Roberts and Smith (1999) Children’s attitudesand their perceived behavioural control were significant [predictors of their intention to interact with children with physical disabilities].
Theory of Planned Behaviour Implications for practice
Contact Theory Contact Theory holds that contact between groups can change the attitudes of in-group members towards out-groups (i.e. children with SEN) and can reduce stereotyping and prejudice. Four conditions are necessary: • Equal status • Common goals • No competition between groups • Authority sanctioning the contact (Allport 1954)
Contact Theory Maras and Brown (1996) Primary aged children in contact with children from a (Severe Learning Difficulties) Special School developed more positive social orientation to the pupils than a control group who didn’t have contact with them and who demonstrated little attitudinal change
Contact Theory Marom, Cohen and Naon (2007)designed an intervention to improve the disability related attitudes of 10-12 year olds –as well as their self efficacy for interacting with children with disabilities (i.e. drawing on both Contact Theory and Theory of Planned Behaviour) The Intervention was in two phases: • Provide information re. the children and their disabilities, and re. people with disabilities in general • Facilitate contact between the two groups via joint, non-competitive activities. They reported improvements in the attitude and self efficacy of students, with no change in the control group
Contact Theory Two models are proposed to explain how contact might best alter attitudes of the in-group The decategorisation model (Brewer and Miller 1984) - Children with SEN would not be clearly identified as being part of a wider group of ‘SEN children’ The intergroup model (Hewstone and Brown 1986) - Children with SEN would be clearly identified as being part of an out- group of ‘SEN children’
Contact Theory Cameron and Rutland (2006) investigated the effects of ‘extended contact’ – i.e. children having vicarious experiences of friendship with children with SEN (e.g. hearing about in-group members friendships with out-group members) Once a week, 5-10 year olds heard stories of disabled-non-disabled friendships. In some stories the protagonists membership of an out-group of children with disabilities was emphasised (intergroup model), in others it was de-emphasised (decategorisation model).
Cameron and Rutland (2006) cont. Intended behaviour showed positive change in both conditions – suggesting extended contact can have an effect (-very useful in situations where direct contact is difficult to achieve) Attitudes were seen to change where out-group membership was emphasised (intergroup model)
Contact Theory Newberry and Parish (1987) 8-10 year olds scouts engaging in social interaction with children with disabilities fostered more favourable attitudes, where the disabilities were very apparent
Contact Theory Labelling has long been assumed to have a negative effect – serving as a self fulfilling prophecy. Research drawing on Contact Theory, however, suggests that stressing difference may be beneficial in the creation of optimal inclusive environments… Could labelling therefore have a positive effect…?
Labelling and Attribution Theory Bak and Siperstein (1986) Reported that children aged 9-12 years held less negative attitudes towards a child observed to be withdrawn, when the child was also described as being ‘mentally retarded’ Only a weak effect was seen, however, when the child was observed to be aggressive.
Labelling and Attribution Theory Law, Sinclair and Fraser (2007) Attitudes of 11-12 year olds to children with ADHD diagnoses were assessed through the use of vignettes. Attitudes were mainly negative, and a diagnostic label was found to have no additional influence on the attitude or behavioural intention. The child’s behaviours, not the label, have the greatest impact.