A case study of inclusion and diversity: a whole school approach using the social model of disability

Agius Ferrante, Charmaine (2012) A case study of inclusion and diversity: a whole school approach using the social model of disability. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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Abstract

This thesis evaluates the experiences of a Maltese school that decided to embrace the philosophy of inclusion. It provides a synthesis of knowledge about the processes of inclusive education, derived from the experience of the main stakeholders in the school. The main research question being: “What changes does the implementation of the Social Model of Disability that focuses on abilities and skills rather than labelling and deficit have on a school population?” Specifically, the study investigated:
· The practices within the school that enable inclusion.
· The experience of students, students’ parents, teachers, learning support assistants (LSAs) and administrators.
· Whether or not, and if so, how disabled students are participating, active members of the school.
· The effect of inclusion on the school community/culture.
A case study approach is used in order to evaluate this school’s process of inclusion and its ramifications on stakeholders. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used, along with a triangulation of questionnaires, focus groups, semi-structure interviews and observations. A thematic analysis supported by descriptive statistics was used within an interpretative approach of hermeneutic phenomenology. This research contributes theory to the following three areas in:
1. Offering a different model for an inclusive school.
2. The use of innovative structures in school management.
3. The changes brought about by valuing the education of disabled students.
The findings show a general positive attitude towards inclusive education and suggest that inclusive education heightens the awareness of each interrelated aspect of the school as a community, challenges stereotypes, and promotes contextually relevant research. The work concludes with a series of possible future directions for research and a critical reflection that is needed to help educators achieve progress towards philosophical and practical ideals of a socially and academically just education.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: evaluation, equity, education, mixed method approach, boys' school
Subjects: X200 Research and Study Skills in Education
X300 Academic studies in Education
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > School of Health, Community and Education Studies > Education and Lifelong Learning
University Services > Research and Innovation Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Ellen Cole
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2012 15:59
Last Modified: 08 May 2017 15:14
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/8772

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