04 SES 11 A, Basic Rights
Education is considered a basic right for all children and in Europe it is compulsory for all school-aged children to attend school. This represents a rise and diversification of the school population, which until a few decades did not involve for instance children with disabilities, children from lower socio-economic backgrounds or children whose first language is not the language used in school. The change of the school population is accentuated in cities. This situation poses difficulties to institutions such as schools that have complex bureaucracies (Skrtic, 1991) and have been developed based on principles of homogenization, organising students in classes and assuming a hierarchic progression depending on the acquisition of knowledge and progress towards the desired norm (Roldão, 2003).
The way individuals, schools and countries respond to increasing student diversity in schools appears to be based on education system characteristics and socio-cultural constructs of difference. The latter raise deeper issues of educational and social equity, which are related to how difference is perceived and how schools establish ‘who the norm students are’. As ‘to be different is to be different in relationship to someone or something else’ (Minow, 1990) this process is situated.
In this study, the way to focus on these constructs is by exploring who is perceived as needing some form of individual planning. Individual planning in this case refers to all forms of written formal plan for provision on a regular basis, which can be performed individually or in a group, but is different from the one planned for the majority of the students.
Portugal and England were selected for this comparative study for two main reasons. On one hand these countries have some similarities in the way educational systems are organised, for example the existence of a national curriculum. On the other hand, the way these countries construct and respond to student diversity appears to be quite different.
A “societal approach” was used for the cross-national comparisons, this encompasses the interaction and relationship between micro and macro factors that influence social phenomena and organisations (Hantrais and Mangen, 2007). Additionally, a comparative analytical cultural historical framework (Artiles and Dyson, 2005) was a useful resource in the analysis of the data. This takes into account four main perspectives: participants, culture, temporal or historical, and outcomes.
- Which students are identified as needing individual planning in a mainstream classroom? What criteria are used?
- To study the mechanisms of construction and management of difference in education, through the perceived need for individual planning and provision for some students.
- To compare processes and underlying assumptions in schools in two countries, exploring cultural aspects and system characteristics.
ARTILES, A. J. & DYSON, A. 2005. Inclusive education in the globalization age: The promise of comparative cultural-historical analysis. In: MITCHELL, D. (ed.) Contextualizing Inclusive Education: Evaluating old and new international persectives. Abingdon: Routledge. HANTRAIS, L. & MANGEN, S. (eds.) 2007. Cross-National Research Methodology & Practice, Abingdon: Routledge. MINOW, M. 1990. Making all the difference: Inclusion, Exclusion and American Law, Ithaca, Cornell University. ROLDÃO, M. D. C. 2003. Diferenciação curricular e inclusão. In: RODRIGUES, D. (ed.) Perspectivas sobre a Inclusão - Da Educação à Sociedade. Porto: Porto Editora. SKRTIC, T. M. 1991. Students with Special Educational Needs: Artifacts of the traditional curriculum. In: AINSCOW, M. (ed.) Effective schools for all. London: David Fulton Publishers.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
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Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
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