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This chapter aims to provide a critical analysis of special needs education within the United Kingdom today. Central to such an analysis is an understanding of the rapidly…
This chapter aims to provide a critical analysis of special needs education within the United Kingdom today. Central to such an analysis is an understanding of the rapidly changing social and political milieu within which special needs education is embedded, including the rapidly changing demographics of schooling, and the devolution of political power into four separate but linked countries – England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Following a discussion of such wider social, political and educational issues, the authors explore the convergences and divergences in policy and practice across the four devolved administrations. The authors describe a plethora of contemporary policy developments within each of the four administrations that speak to the need for special needs education to change in response to 21st century concerns about the problems of access to, and equity in, education for all children. Despite this, the authors remain extremely circumspect about the potential of many of these developments to lead to successful inclusive practices and developments on the ground – and explain why. The analysis in the concluding section focuses on the issue of teacher education for inclusion and some very innovate UK research and development projects that have been reported to successfully engage teachers with new paradigm thinking and practice in the field of inclusive special needs education.
This chapter explores some of the complexities involved when undertaking research at an international level in the area of “inclusive” education and “special needs”…
This chapter explores some of the complexities involved when undertaking research at an international level in the area of “inclusive” education and “special needs” education. The complexities encountered by researchers working in these fields, mirror many of the challenges that comparativists in education studies find themselves addressing. Drawing from earlier investigations and from reports by international organizations, this chapter highlights some of the dilemmas and challenges that researchers face when considering inclusion and special needs education in different countries. Differing interpretations of “inclusion” are discussed and then contrasted with thinking around “special needs” practices. The chapter moves forward to analyze how the adoption of differing theoretical frameworks can influence the way that “disability” is conceptualized and therefore how inclusive and special needs education are interpreted and then put into practice. The chapter argues that cross-cultural work opens up opportunities for further development and learning in this field. We further argue that such cross-cultural work can become a mechanism to instigate fundamental change in education.
The legislative progress in India to make education inclusive has shown promise over the past few years. However, the process of implementation does not match up to it…
The legislative progress in India to make education inclusive has shown promise over the past few years. However, the process of implementation does not match up to it. The objective of education is to include students with special needs in regular schools where required preparation and support is not enough. Inclusive practices are seen in physical infrastructure as well as in the curriculum and educational activities. Support means not only financial assistance but also preparing schools, heads of schools, teachers, students, and communities to be inclusive in their minds and actions. In addition, it should be reflected in student outcomes in terms of academic and social participation. To begin with, several positive sparks could be seen in schools in having a special educator, resource rooms, and adaptations in curriculum, teaching methods, evaluations, and an alternative education. Visibility and attendance of students with special needs in schools has increased which is a huge change. However, the question remains about their sustainability and outcomes. This chapter presents insights and practical aspects of inclusive practices, their implementation, and challenges for students with special needs in India.
Large-Scale Assessments in Germany have shown that language-minority students as well as students with special educational needs (SEN) perform significantly less well than…
Large-Scale Assessments in Germany have shown that language-minority students as well as students with special educational needs (SEN) perform significantly less well than language-majority students or students without SEN. This performance gap may be related to a limited accessibility of the tests. One way to test whether assessments allow all students to demonstrate their knowledge in a comparable way is the analysis of differential item functioning (DIF). In this chapter, we evaluate DIF coefficients in order to examine group-specific difficulties in reading comprehension for language-minority students and students with SEN in the German National Educational Assessment.
In the first study, we investigate the assessment of reading literacy of language-minority learners and German monolinguals from low-SES families. We found only a few items with moderate DIF and no items with large DIF. This indicates that the reading assessment was equally valid for second-language learners and German monolingual students.
In our second study, we report about the psychometrically successful development of easy and more accessible reading tasks for students with SEN. Further analyses showed that DIF predominantly occurred in items that captured contents that are not necessarily covered in literacy instruction targeted at students with SEN.
This paper outlines some of the recent changes in the pattern of provision for pupils with special educational needs (SEN), with particular emphasis on incidence, prevalence and placement. Statistics relating to some specific areas of SEN, including severe learning difficulties (SLD), are not readily available, and so information is derived from a number of sources: national surveys into the pupil population of special and mainstream schools, recent findings from the Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education (CSIE), and statistical information from the Department for Education and Employment (DfEE). A brief historical overview of special educational provision is also provided. Key points which emerge from the summary are the increased inclusion in mainstream schools of pupils with SEN, the concomitant downward trend in the number of pupils being placed in special schools, the apparent trend towards a more multiply‐disabled special school population, and a sharp increase in the number of pupils being excluded from mainstream education. In addition, there are indications that the most severely intellectually disabled are the least likely to be included in mainstream school provision.
This chapter highlights aspects that are high on the agenda of the financing inclusive education debate: the need to re-think resource allocation mechanisms, the issue of…
This chapter highlights aspects that are high on the agenda of the financing inclusive education debate: the need to re-think resource allocation mechanisms, the issue of empowerment, the way funding mechanisms support inclusive education, and the importance of appropriate governance and accountability mechanisms. It focuses on critical factors of financing that support the right to education, as outlined in Article 24 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) (United Nations, 2006), in a context of financial constraints and explores issues in the policy-practice gap in relation to both national- and European-level policy priorities and objectives. It draws on existing literature on modes of funding, on past research conducted by the European Agency and on the conceptual framework developed within a new European Agency study on current policy and practice in this field.
The focus of special education around the globe may be to provide specialized instruction to meet unique needs of children to help them achieve their full potential…
The focus of special education around the globe may be to provide specialized instruction to meet unique needs of children to help them achieve their full potential. However, each country around the globe may also have its own unique issues, barriers, legal frames, policies, and practices, as well as a history of its origin and evolution of policies and practices that govern special education in that country. This chapter describes how special education in Spain originated and evolved to its current state. It includes the following chapter sections: origins of special education in Spain; legislative acts; prevalence and incidence of various recognized disability areas; an overview of Spain’s education system including special needs education; current assessment and intervention practices; teacher education practices; family involvement considerations; and future challenges to special education.
This chapter is a presentation of Mexico’s efforts in advancing inclusive education as a vehicle to provide children with special needs a quality and equitable education…
This chapter is a presentation of Mexico’s efforts in advancing inclusive education as a vehicle to provide children with special needs a quality and equitable education. It provides a detailed description of the development, realignment of educational practices, and polices necessary to allow inclusive education to succeed. The chapter begins with the origins of special education in Mexico via four stages. Next, the chapter provides a comprehensive classification of disability and the prevalence rates in Mexico. Then, the chapter delineates legislation and public policy that are essential components in providing a quality and equitable special education system. Next, a comprehensive description of special education intervention models follows along with how these models are incorporated in current teacher preparation endeavors. The chapter concludes with a summary of the progress that Mexico has attained in moving toward inclusive education as well as challenges to inclusive education.
There is widespread awareness that evidenced-based policy-making is critical for the long-term development of inclusive education systems. Policy-makers, data collection…
There is widespread awareness that evidenced-based policy-making is critical for the long-term development of inclusive education systems. Policy-makers, data collection experts and researchers are aware of the need for data collection at national level that not only meets the requirements of international policy guidelines, but also works within a shared approach so as to promote a synergy of efforts at national and international levels.
Monitoring inclusive education at the system level is increasingly seen as a priority for country and EU level decision-makers. However, what form this monitoring should take and what issues it should focus upon are less clear.
This chapter looks across a number of recent European Agency studies in order to highlight and consider key issues and questions in relation to monitoring the implementation of inclusive education in terms of a system’s efficiency, effectiveness and ability to be equitable for all learners.
By drawing upon the findings of European Agency work considering a range of policy priority areas, it is possible to highlight a number of common factors that apply to monitoring the dimensions of efficiency, effectiveness and equity in different educational contexts or systems.
Few people with special educational needs (SEN) had access to higher education in Brazil until the 1980s, mainly due to their lack of access to basic education and a lack…
Few people with special educational needs (SEN) had access to higher education in Brazil until the 1980s, mainly due to their lack of access to basic education and a lack of specific public policies for this population. It was only in 2003 that the Brazilian government implemented strategies for the dissemination of the factors referring to inclusive education. The objective was one of the support for the transformation of educational systems into inclusive educational systems. As these policies are recent; few studies have been carried out in Brazil. According to Brazilian statistical data, the number of enrollments connected to special education in regular basic education classes, in 2015, was almost 751,000 students, while in higher education in diverse graduation courses the number was 38,000. In this sense, this chapter aims to unveil and discuss Brazilian public policies for the access and permanence of SEN students in higher education. Reflections will also be presented related to the evolution of the number of enrollments of students with specific SEN (visual, physical, hearing, and intellectual) in basic and higher education, as well as the implementation of public policies focused on this population in a Brazilian context.