On the pulse of change: the new beat of special education in higher education

Keeffe, Mary and De George-Walker, Linda (2010) On the pulse of change: the new beat of special education in higher education. In: AASE/ASEPA 2010 National Conference: At the Heart of the Matter: School and Classroom Leadership, 17-18 Jun 2010, Darwin, Australia.

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Abstract

The roles and responsibilities of special educators in both special and regular school settings are changing rapidly. More than two decades ago the move towards more inclusive practices disrupted the traditional, niche separatism of special educators to the extent that they are now an integral part of the regular school teaching staff. Today the broad agenda to facilitate access and participation for all students in education, not just students with disabilities, influences the roles and responsibilities of special educators. This article briefly identifies some of the generic pulses that are moving the special education profession from a focus on low incidence disabilities towards a more comprehensive approach to inclusion, school responsiveness and individualised learning pathways. From the foundation of inclusive practice, this paper will describe how a qualitative study was used to understand the changing roles and responsibilities of special educators. A case study analysis of 17 schools formed the basis of the investigation. Principals, lead teachers in special education and special education teachers were asked to identify trends and priorities in special education and also to identify rewards and challenges in their jobs. Further cross referencing with teacher and special educator standards, a focus group, a stakeholder group and research in the field increased the opportunity for academics and special educators to critically reflect on the emerging demands placed on special educators and the attributes that are needed to be professionally effective.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to paper due to publisher copyright policy.
Depositing User: Ms Melanie Cameron
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Education
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2011 01:06
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2013 00:09
Uncontrolled Keywords: special education; accreditation; diversity; school responsiveness; student autonomy
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 16 Studies in Human Society > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160506 Education Policy
13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130312 Special Education and Disability
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO2008): C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9304 School/Institution > 930402 School/Institution Community and Environment
Identification Number or DOI: doi: 10.1375/ajse.34.2.99
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/9268

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