An exploration of inclusive practices in schools: case studies of two primary schools
Ekins, A. 2010. An exploration of inclusive practices in schools: case studies of two primary schools. PhD Thesis University of Kent
This thesis uses the accounts of teachers and senior leaders from two case study schools to explore issues impacting upon the development of inclusive practices within schools. The notion of inclusion is a complex and problematic one, and this study illuminates that complexity through the accounts and experiences of two ‘ordinary’ schools mediating the challenges of developing inclusive practices within the current educational system.
The study purposefully focuses upon the perspectives of the teachers and senior leaders. Other voices, including those of the pupils, parents and support staff within the school, have not been included, in order to retain the focus upon gaining greater depth of understanding of the complex issue of inclusion through the eyes and voices of the professionals (teachers and senior leaders) engaging in the decision making and day to day planning for meeting the needs of all pupils.
The study uses an ethnographic case study approach to gather data through semi-structured interviews, observation (including classroom visits), learning conversations and strategic focus group discussions. A three phase research approach has been developed to reflect ongoing engagement with the complex issue of researching perspectives towards developing inclusive practices within schools. A non-judgemental and non-evaluative research approach has been utilized, which moves away from the researchers’ usual role working with schools in a collaborative or advisory capacity, and models the need to create interruptions in thinking and practice to be able to fully understand the complex factors impacting upon the development of inclusive practices within schools.
The perspectives and accounts of the teachers and senior leaders enable tensions existing within policy, literature, research and practice to be identified. The study argues that attention needs to be paid more to the emotional aspects of the experience of developing inclusive practices, and the impact that that has upon staff groups, rather than a narrow focus upon specific actions and outcomes. The centrality of values and principles which are shared and continually discussed and re-negotiated to produce an embedded inclusive school culture is acknowledged, as well as the impact of positive, supportive and inclusive staff relationships within this process.
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||22 Jul 2013|
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