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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 6: Attunement


Chapter 6 Attunement Introduction Evoking metaphor, if communicative routines are the fortified centre of the web of teachers’ constructions of inclusive practices, attunement is the spiral of threads that maintains the orb of that web intact. The focus of this chapter is the theme of attunement in resource teachers’ and class teachers’ enactment and constructions of inclusion. Regarding human development, the emergence of attachment is one of the milestones in the first year of life. Apart from increasing evidence to suggest that attachment is a strong evolutionary adaptive survival mecha- nism, a persuasive research base supports the shaping influence of early interactions with attachment figures on children’s continuing develop- ment, particularly in relation to cognition, social skills and a sense of self (Carlson, Sroufe & Egeland, 2004; Harter, 2006; Matas, Arend & Sroufe, 1978; Schneider, Atkinson & Tardif, 2001; Thompson, 2006). Attachment theory and specifically, ethological theory of attachment (Bowlby, 1958, 1969, 1973) emphasises the reciprocal nature of the attachment process, the active role in formation of attachment played by the infant’s early social signalling systems, the mutual bonding of partners, and the per- spective of attachment as a relationship rather than behaviours of either infant or carer (Ainsworth, Blehar, Waters & Wall, 1978; Bowlby, 1973; Sroufe, 2002; Thompson, 2006). A transactional aspect of attachment theory (Bell, 1968; Sameroff & Chandler, 1975) stresses the role played by the child in constructing his or her experiences by selecting activities but more significantly, by the influence his or her behaviour has on carers. 114 Chapter 6 Extending...

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