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.
Japanese lesson study (LS) is a professional development (PD) approach in which teachers collaboratively plan a lesson, observe it being taught and then discuss what they…
Japanese lesson study (LS) is a professional development (PD) approach in which teachers collaboratively plan a lesson, observe it being taught and then discuss what they have learned. LS's popularity as an approach to teacher PD in the UK is growing, and it is used in both special and mainstream settings. This study explores whether LS is perceived and operationalized in the same way across special and mainstream settings.
This study arose as a result of collaboration between UCL Institute of Education academics (principle investigators) and three special school leaders using LS in their own schools (practitioner co-investigators), who together formed the research team. The team first explored the literature base for LS in special education. They then investigated special and mainstream schools using LS for teacher PD. Research tools included semi-structured interviews and an online survey. Participants were obtained through opportunistic sampling via the networks of schools available to the researchers.
There were several key differences between LS in special and mainstream settings. Special teachers felt LS had a more positive impact on subject knowledge than mainstream teachers, and this impact extended to support staff. Special teachers were more likely to carry out multiple research cycles than mainstream colleagues and to quickly build LS into the existing timetable. Mainstream teachers focused on individual pupils in LS to seek learning about pedagogy more generally, whereas general learning about pedagogy was seen as a secondary benefit to special teachers.
One of the limitations of the research is that participants are more positively inclined toward LS than the general population of their school, since those not interested in LS would be unlikely to take the time to engage with the research. It will be important to conduct more research into the use of LS in mainstream schools, as this study is one of very few exploring LS in this special context.
The ease with which special schools can align LS to current practice due to greater flexibility of timetables and larger staff teams seems to result in a greater appreciation and “valuing” of the process in mainstream schools, where teachers seemed to feel their senior leadership teams had gone to extra lengths to enable LS to happen. LS seems to offer a framework within which senior leaders can prioritize such learning experiences for teachers, leading to positive benefits for pupils, teachers and the school, and is therefore a process worth considering both for special and mainstream school leaders.
The literature review found a limited number of studies of LS in a special educational needs and disability (SEND) context, all of which took place in the UK and focused on the impact of teacher participation in LS on teacher practice and pupil learning. All three studies show a positive impact and suggest that LS might have wider applications for both special schools and mainstream schools supporting SEND pupils. There has been no exploration of the different ways in which mainstream and special school teachers and pupils might experience or construct LS in their own contexts.
This chapter provides an overview of special education in Canada, with specific reference to historical and modern trends and practices. Information regarding demographic trends, legislation and policy, contentious issues, Provincial differences, school and classroom practices, teacher education and professional development, and family involvement are outlined. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the ongoing challenges faced by education jurisdictions in Canada with respect to special education.
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 provides a comprehensive presentation and discussion of special education in Sweden. The presentation and discussion are tied deeply to the country’s general…
This chapter provides a comprehensive presentation and discussion of special education in Sweden. The presentation and discussion are tied deeply to the country’s general education system which incorporates social and political aspects as well as beliefs in equity for all.
The municipalities in Sweden have a large degree of independence as such special education can be organized in different ways. Yet, within each municipality’s educational structure is the common theme that students are different therefore teaching cannot be the same for everyone. The following chapter sections provide the reader with a better understanding of Sweden’s general special education system today: legislative acts that ensure equal access to education; the special education context; the history of special education and service in Sweden; the expansion of special education starting in the 1960s and early 1970s; current prevalence data; a clarification of differentiation, inclusion and categorization; teacher preparation advances; problems in schools and student’s difficulties; a description of inclusive education; and current challenges to inclusive education.
The purpose of the chapter is to give an overview of special education in Iceland, historically and with reference to modern use of terms, research, policy, legal trends and funding. Recent data is provided on demographic developments amongst children in Iceland and detailed account is given of practices in schools, including collaboration with parents and teacher education. Finally some issues and challenges are discussed that still remain to be solved with respect to meeting the special needs of students in school. One of the findings is that only 1.3% of students attend special schools and special classes and that the term special education has outlived its usefulness except perhaps in the context of the three segregated special schools that still remain in the country. Official papers have replaced it with the term special support. Despite a diversity of views and practices the main implication is that a new model of education is required, in line with that proposed by Slee where the needs of individuals are served in all schools and the binary thinking related to regular versus special education is no longer necessary.
The chapter on special education in South Africa initiates with a very comprehensive historical account of the origins of special education making reference to the inequalities linked to its colonial and racist past to a democratic society. This intriguing section ends with the most recent development in the new democracy form special needs education to inclusive education. Next, the chapter provides prevalence and incidence data followed by trends in legislation and litigation. Following these sections, detailed educational interventions are discussed in terms of policies, standards and research as well as working with families. Then information is provided on regular and special education teacher roles, expectations and training. Lastly, the chapter comprehensively discusses South Africa’s special education progress and challenges related to budgetary support, staff turnover, and a lack of prioritizing over the number of pressing education goals in the country’s provinces.
This chapter describes the status of past and current special education, inclusive education, and Low-Incidence Disabilities (LID) in South Korea by introducing historical…
This chapter describes the status of past and current special education, inclusive education, and Low-Incidence Disabilities (LID) in South Korea by introducing historical background, legal development, and current trend. Four main areas related to special education in South Korea are highlighted: the historical background and legal development of special education; current laws relating to special education; inclusive education and LID; and the future of LID support in South Korea. This chapter will provide valuable information for those who want to become more knowledgeable about the current status of special education and inclusive education for learners with LID in South Korea.
This chapter focuses on the special education system of education in Poland since the transformation of the political system in the late 1980s. The move from segregated…
This chapter focuses on the special education system of education in Poland since the transformation of the political system in the late 1980s. The move from segregated settings toward more integrated settings for students with low-incidence disabilities is described along with the new structure of special education identification and classroom settings. Current strategies and support for students with high-incidence disabilities in Poland who are placed in general education and special education are discussed. Ideas on how to improve the existing system are outlined and solutions are presented. Overall, the implementation of educational reforms brought about positive changes in educational settings for most students identified with special needs in Poland. Due to this emphasis on inclusion, more students with high-incidence disabilities have the chance to succeed in integrated schools with adequate support.
Special education in China has lagged behind regular education for many years, however, the past few decades, the government has made considerable efforts to develop and improve the special education system. While the citizens of China have had a generic moral interest in disability since ancient times, the development of special education schools did not occur until American and European missionaries started schools for the visually and hearing impaired in the 19th century. The next major influence in the development of the special education system occurred with China’s Cultural Revolution in 1978. Interestingly, there is not any exclusive legislation on special education but in the 1980s, the government started Learning in Regular Classrooms (LRC), which is China’s version of inclusion. LRC has progressed rapidly the past two decades; however, the quality of instruction is low due to a lack of specialists, a shortage of personnel, inadequate funding, and limited technology as well as other barriers that are delineated in the chapter. The chapter emphasizes the government’s recent efforts in in-service teacher training, the preparation of preservice teachers, working with families, developing community rehabilitation training programs, and implementing evidence-based practices. Special education in China today is at a good place but it has quite a way from the ideal situation.