Beyond disabilities: broadening the view of special needs and the inclusive education challenges facing primary teachers

Fields, Barry A. (2007) Beyond disabilities: broadening the view of special needs and the inclusive education challenges facing primary teachers. In: International Conference of the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE 2006): Engaging Pedagogies, 27-30 Nov 2006, Adelaide, Australia.


Previous research on teacher attitudes and responses to inclusion has focused predominantly on the pedagogical challenges posed by students with disabilities in regular classrooms. The special education literature has been slow to recognise the significance of the impact of student diversity on the work of teachers and the reality that classrooms are populated with children who, while they may not have a recognised disability, nevertheless have a wide variety of special educational needs. This paper reports the findings of a study of the relative inclusive education challenges posed to primary teachers of a diverse group of students. Teachers were presented with 14 case descriptions of students in the form of vignettes. The students depicted where characterised has having special needs associated with such factors as disability, cultural background, dysfunctional family background, emotional/psychiatric condition, socio-economic disadvantage, mobility, homelessness etc. The teachers were asked to rate the students depicted in the vignettes on the level of difficulty they would have in providing an inclusive education for them and to identify what specific characteristics or attributes of the students they would find most challenging. This paper reports the findings of this survey and discusses the implications of the findings for both pre-service and in-service professional development

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Paper is copyright © by the individual author or authors and may not be reproduced without permission of the author or authors.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Education
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2010 23:49
Last Modified: 13 Aug 2014 04:08
Uncontrolled Keywords: inclusive education; special education; disability; primary school
Fields of Research : 16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160809 Sociology of Education
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130307 Ethnic Education (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Maori and Pacific Peoples)
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130312 Special Education and Disability
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930103 Learner Development

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