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Inclusion in Context

Policy, Practice and Pedagogy

Órla Ní Bhroin

Recent years have seen a rapid policy transformation from segregation to inclusion in the education of children with special educational needs in Ireland. This book investigates how resource teachers and class teachers interpret the policy and principles of inclusion and enact these in their practice. Based on a study of nine resource teachers and nine class teachers, each paired in a particular school, it includes material from both interviews and observations of practice, providing a detailed qualitative account of the actions and interactions of teaching/learning experiences. The findings provide valuable insights into how inclusion is understood, interpreted and experienced in the classroom. They will be of interest to all those who are active in the field of education for inclusion, particularly teachers and policymakers.

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Chapter 3: Teachers’ Practices and Pedagogy for Inclusion

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Chapter 3 Teachers’ Practices and Pedagogy for Inclusion Introduction Devising policy through the formulation of legislation, directives and guidelines, defining inclusion and identifying principles of inclusive education are part of the process of educating people with special educa- tional needs. An equally significant part of that process are the practices that provide appropriate education for the diversity of learners and it is to teachers’ constructions of such practices that this chapter turns. The purpose of the chapter is to present a review of the research on teachers’ practices of inclusion for teaching children with special educational needs in mainstream settings. As such, the focus progresses from the what, how and why of policies, concepts and principles of inclusion to the what, how and why of teaching practices for inclusion. The chapter is structured in five sections to reflect key and interrelated aspects of teachers’ practices and pedagogy as follows: special education specific pedagogies; co-teaching; teaching for collaborative learning; differentiation; and, pedagogy for inclu- sion. Although each of these sections is discussed separately, their impact is intended to be cumulative in articulating perspectives from which the data garnered in the study relating to teachers’ interpretations, intentions and enactments of inclusion might be analysed. A final section provides a brief account of the methodology employed in the study. 38 Chapter 3 Special Education Specific Pedagogies Regarding the pedagogical repertoire required by teachers to teach children with special educational needs in the mainstream setting, a synthesis of cri- tiques provided by leading experts...

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