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The topic of this project is based on inclusion. The project looked at the training provided on inclusion, strategies and if people believe that inclusion works with children with Special Education Needs. The project looked at different people's work and saw what opinions and view that they had given towards inclusion. Also the questions were more directed towards teacher of different setting such as Primary schools.
Purpose and Aims
The project is about inclusion, and how it works and what the public feels about it. Inclusion is really not defined and there is really not a definition on what the term actually means. As many theorist have different meaning to the term inclusion However, in doing this work I will be able to find out what other people's views are, and do they believe that the inclusion works.
The reason why the topic inclusion was chosen it was an interesting topic, with many people not being able to identify the real meaning I wanted to see what the views people had on inclusion. Using this I would be able to see if people also prefer inclusion and if they believed it was working.
With this I will be able to see and identify my questions that I have chosen and will also be able to answer if inclusion works for children. I will use different methods of data and will be answer my question that I have chosen for my topic.
The three questions that are chosen for my topic are:
1. What training are provided for the teachers?
2. What stagiest do you Use?
3. Do you believe inclusion works with children with SEN?
For this project the possible user would be teacher, teaching assistant, Special Needs teachers and parents and children, there might be the possibility that student who do inclusion in schools and university may also be interested as well.
Possible key that may come across this project could be:
Inclusion: Topping and Maloney (2005) describes inclusion as the acceptance of all individuals by society; accepting them as individuals and members of the society who have made positive contribution.
Disability: The definition of 'disability' under the Equality Act 2010 In the Act, a person has a disability if: they have a physical or mental impairment, the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect onÂ their ability to perform normal day-to-day activities (direct gov 2010)
Special Education needs: It is the ambition of the special educational needs (SEN)Â and disability division that every child withÂ SEN reaches their full potential in school, andÂ can make a successful transition to adulthood and the world of further and higherÂ education, training or work. (Teachernet 2010)
Because of the new government there are many changes happening and some of the rules and regulation that had been before are changing, also there have been major cut backs which could affect some of the schools and the government.
So using the literature review, I will be able to find out some of the changes that may affect the schools and parents. This will help me to understand on where and how my results will look like as it will start to give me a general idea on what the views and expectations parents, schools and teachers have.
The hypothesis of the research is that people are more into inclusion and that there is no that will believe that inclusion does not work. Also people will only use rewards and punishment for their strategies and that there is training provided for the teachers for inclusion.
The literature reviews will focus on the questions aim for the project; however the major focus will be question one and two as question as three is mainly based on the opinions of people which may result better in the findings then the review.
The first question is about the training provided for the teachers.
Currently there is no training provided for the teacher, it is actually hands on training or a half day on inclusion. However, there are some places where there offer on training and here are some examples.
The Initial Teacher training is a website design for teacher to help provide training towards inclusion. It is government training that is given to all the teachers to help them with children with SEN (Special Education Needs).
The IDP (inclusion development programme) it is programming that is made for teachers so that they can help and understand how to help the children. It is really good as it helps the teacher to understand the importance and to help build confident with the children. Another point is that it can be done at schools during teacher training.
What is good is that it helps to understand what teachers need to improve partnership with the parents and children. It brings out communication with the other teachers as it helps build team management so that as groups everyone can understand the responsibility that they may have. However, it is quite time consuming and can become expensive to provide training for all the teachers. The issues that arise is that there are not enough teachers to provide one to one learning with the pupil and sometimes there can be too much pressure to give the child their full attention. Also another problem is that this training is web based which does save time but teachers cannot get the full guidance that they may need if they wanted to ask something. The gap that has been discovered is that the problem is that if the new coalition government decides to get some finance websites such as this could have a major impact as most of the training seems to come online.
With the results from the data, it will provide more answers on the training for teachers as will be able to explain how their personal training had happening in relation to inclusion, as before training for inclusion was more hands on approach compared to the training that the teacher are getting. Also it will the research more idea on how teachers are provided training and does it suit them or do they prefer a different kind of training and if they do what training would they like. This will then be expanded in to the conclusion in explain what improvement could be made to help children with special needs and what the teacher may want to do to improve on their situations as well.
Kate Wall is the author of the book called Special Education Needs a Practitioner's guide 3rd edition, explain that the training provided for special teachers should go around giving their expertise to the other teachers as well.
(Wall 2010) quotes that "many writer such as Gulliford (1981) felt it was important that all teachers should receive input regarding provision for children with special needs in their initial training and specialist knowledge should be available to everyone"
The knowledge that certain teacher has should go around, so that at least all the teachers know what they are doing in case of there not being a SENCO (Special Education Needs Coordinator) in the school. What the problem is teachers do not have time to go around giving out expertise as they are too busy with the paperwork or the responsibility that they may have. Although in an ideal setting this would benefit many teachers, this is not the case as time and money is one of the main factors that the teachers do not seem to have.
Because teacher have day trainings, SENCO, even if they want to cannot give all the information that the other teachers may want. This then cause problems because sometime teachers may want to move or expand their knowledge in hopping that they too could become a SENCO.
The researcher believes that with the new government deciding on budgets, factors on training provided could be a possibility cut down, with the possibility that they may cut the IDP, as this way the government could save some money. This might then cause issues in relation to the training that the teacher may have as they may not be able to perform to their best ability. However, this will not be known until the official day when the budget's report comes out and they will see if there is any cut backs towards training of the teachers.
Parents for inclusion are a charity which offers training on inclusion, this company offers to all different kinds of people, including parent and teachers which is benefits everyone would know what they are doing. They provide a one to one workshop which gives the opportunity for everyone to ask questions that they may want to ask.
What is good about this charity is that it offers personal training and once the course is completed they mentor the person to make sure that they are doing well and if they need help to help them. Also, as it's a charity organisation, it gives in the experiences of parents and children's view on what improvement is needed as it would be able to give teachers insight to know what can be done to improve inclusion at schools.
However, the issue that arises is that although this is a charity organisation, there are some parts of the charity that may consider making money from the schools and organisations, also what is to say that the training that they may have given might work, there are many problems that could arise.
Question two is about the strategies for inclusion
Strategies are use in order to improve the condition for the children to make it much better for them to work and feel more safe and feel part of the group. This gives teacher different methods that they can use to help and understand what can be done in order to improve on. It also gives the teacher a goal on how to improve a weakness that a child may have.
Lieberman and Wilson, (2002) published a book specific on inclusion. The book which is called 'strategies for INCLUSION' they propose the following idea for strategies that can be implemented on inclusion.
A strategy could be peer tutoring where they could get a friend/student to help those children that need help. This would help the children to understand what is happening and that they can help their friend. However, the problem could be is he child that is tutoring could feel that they do not want to help any more or feel left out thinking why are they giving all the attention to the other child and not them. The gaps for this strategy could be that the child may not feel that they want to talk to someone, the weakness to this there is no guarantee that it may work or that the child may feel safe.
Using the research it will be asked what strategies teacher would use and if peer tutoring comes, questions about whether it is working will be asked and what they can do to improve on them. The book gives the researcher guidance on what different kind of strategy is implementing on children with SEN.
Parents for inclusion 2010, has a programs which gives information on inclusion. Project Partnership 2010, is an American funded scheme for inclusion, although it is in America, the strategy that have are quite similar to the UK system. They provide material to help towards inclusion. One strategy that they use is call 'Listen and Share' this method is where everyone as a group talk to each other and ask everyone to share their problems that they may have and to then overcome them as a group. This strategy is good because sometime if the other children see peers talking about their problems it may help encourage them to speak and to understand that they are not alone and that discussing with them may help them to overcome any issues that they may have.
This approach is quite ideally as it can help bring confidence with the children and can help to encourage them that they are not alone and there are people to help them. However, what the disadvantage of this could be that similar to the other strategy this too could not work as the child may not want to speak in front of the other children/teachers. This then could create tension to then child and feel that they may not want to express their feelings.
Although this is in America, the issues could be that they could they could get their funding cut off and that the knowledge that they are currently sharing could be limited. Using this website will help the researcher to understand how different country use inclusion and will give be able to ask the public on their views on international perspective of inclusion.
Penny Tassoni 2003, wrote a book called 'Supporting Special Needs' one of the strategy that she explain is the IEP (Individual Education Plan) which is a document on the progression of how well the child is doing. It is not a statement but a process to help understand how to improve the child progression. In the IEP, there is a section called the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Bound) these set targets for the children and using this strategy helps them to achieve goals that that they may want to achieve. Using the SMART system helps to monitor the development of the children's skills and helps to understand what the child needs to improve and progress. This is useful as it help to understand where the child's weaknesses are and what can be done to improve on them.
However, the weakness to this is that it is a long term progress and that the children can find that they do not wish to work together or that they may not see any rewards giving to them. (Drifte 2010)
Using the questionnaire it could be asked if teachers use the IEP to help plan strategy in classroom for the children and if they see any benefits using this approach. This will also help with the research as the researcher will be able to understand what kind of methods teachers are using and how they would wish to improve on.
However, there is weakness to this as sometimes what the plan may purpose does not work or the child does not make progress as some of the target could be to over achievable or that the child's self esteem may have improved but the education still lacks a certain amount of progress.
(Cowne 2003) supports this idea by also stating that the IEP might hinder instead of helping in inclusion. She explains the IEP has a lot of paperwork for the teachers to do and is also time consuming, it also lack the ability to make everything work in the long term and the short term use. Also training as sometime there was lack of training provided to the teachers and that they did not know what to do. Using the results information about whether or not IEP work will give an idea on how effective they are and if they are a good strategy to use.
The third aim was if they believe that inclusion works with children with SEN? This will be a yes or a no answer as the researcher want to know the opinion of the public and to understand what their views are on inclusion.
However, looking at theorist currently, it seems that people are in generally view towards positive image on inclusion. Theorist such as (Topping and Maloney 2005) are in favour towards inclusion as they believe that evidence towards the education becoming more inclusion have improved to the system it was before. This is also supported by (Armstrong et al 2010), who also wrote that the education system is becoming more inclusive and that children with SEN are becoming more recognised and new laws are being made to help them. However the weakness to this is that not everyone thinks the same. (Armstrong et al 2010,) also believes that inclusion has its weakness as it is improving but it has not done enough compared to what it was asking.
Using the public's view, the researcher will be able to identify and form some conclusion on what the public think the matters and opinion's of inclusions and will be able to draw out a analysis on whether or not inclusion work with children with SEN.
Research methods are tools that are used to gather information on topic that people may have an interest in, they gather data and then are analysed to see the response of the questions that they may thought of.
There are different types of research methods that can be used during the project work. One kind of method could be qualitative method. This is one of the most common methods used in research to gather data. It is used to understand what people tend to feel and to collect in-depth information on is more common in smaller projects.
(Market research 2011,) explains how research is formed and explained. Quantitative research is number oriented, it requires a significant attention to the measurement of market and is more often involves statistical analysis. The most common market research is a survey. They could be face to face or thorough e-mail and telephones. Research of this sort is mostly done face-to-face. One of the best-known techniques is market focus groups. These are usually made up of 5to 9 targeted participants, a researcher whose role is to ask the required questions, to draw out answers and to encourage discussion, and are observed in an area where usually behind one way mirrors or video or audio taping facilities are.
However, in focus on the research qualitative method will be more appropriate as the researchers want to find information on inclusion and would not be likely to uses numerical data. The main focus will be interviews and questionnaires.
Unstructured Interviewing is one method that can be used when conducting the research. This method is when there is a direct interaction between the researcher and the response group. It is different from the structure interview; the people that are answering are freer to express their opinion, compared to the more formal approach where there is a limited on what they can reply to.
Semi Structured interview is the most common method use. This is where the researcher will ask questions which are more structure; however, the participant will be able to express themselves more freely yet at the same time the questions will be more open uses.
Structured Interview is where there is a limited to what the interview may say as they have to answer question on the specific topic they have been asked for. The interview does not have the possibility to express them self more in comparison to the semi-structured interview.
During the research project one of the method that will be used are interview. This is where the researcher will asked the serious of question and will request the interviewer to answer them to the best of their ability. The advantages to this are that they can think and answer the question to their best ability. However, the can get nervous and then decided not to go through the interview at all or another option could be is that the interviewer could lies to make up the answers that they may not know or may make them up for the answers that you may want to hear. Also when conducting an interview, it is important to note that they are kept short and interesting, if they are very long they participant could get bored.
Interviews can also be done through the telephone as well.
Another method that was used during the research was questionnaires. There are different types of questionnaires, which are also similar to the interviews.
There are two types of questionnaire. They are open and closed questions. Open question tends to slower administration; they also tend to be harder to record.
Also they cause to raise a new issue. However, the respondent may feel that they can express them self more. Sometimes, there could be the possibility of having a blank question left alone, which is harder to understand what they meant. Compared to closed question, it is easier to handle as there is specific information that can be administrated much quicker. It is much easier to record the data, they tend to be easy to code, there are fewer chances of new issues being raised, answers are more predictable, and also it is easier for the respondent to answer as a yes or a no answer.
Also when conducting a questionnaire, it is important to keep it simple and short, this is also the case for the interview as well.
The researcher handed them out via through e-mail and by giving them out. It is also understood that there will be some that may not want to answer the questionnaire and the researcher will not disclose any people that may not wish to answer.
Once the questioner was done, it would be collected and then used to analysis and find out the results.
Once the research is conducted it needs to be sure it the results are valid and that there is no information that may suggest that it is biased.
Sometimes this can cause problems, as the participants may want to write down what the researcher wants to hear and may then cause information to be un-valued. To make sure that information is not biased, the researcher will try and ask the participants to try and be honest and write and explain what they really think about the project.
To define ethics is to ask whether or not what you are conducting is it right or wrong. Ethic is there to make sure nobody is harm during any process of the research it is there as a guidance and to make sure that a person does not step out of boundaries.
There will be five participants in the projects. It will be a small sample and the data will be confidential.
There will teachers who the main participants will be asked on questions about inclusion. Children will not be used at all. Questionnaire and interview will be used and once the data has been collected, any private information will be destroyed. The participant will have the opportunity to withdraw any time that they wish to.
Informal consent is letting the participant to understand what is happening with the project and that if they feel that they do not want to continue, that they are able to with draw any time that they may wish. Also it is to let them know that no private information will be let out and if there are any names on the data, all private information will be destroyed.
The participant's consent will be obtained by writing them a letter explaining what is happening and that the researcher will be only asking their opinion on inclusion and if they want to have the copy of the project they will be more than welcome to. To get informal consent during the research, the researcher had handed out a letter explaining what was going on and if they wish to participate by answering the questions, the letter also told that if they wish to withdraw anytime that they wanted they were able to and that no names would be written in the data.
The term confidently and anonymity means when something is done in secret and that there are no names written anywhere during the research. To avoid that during the interview, the researcher did not put the name down at all and showed it to the interviewee as well. This indicated that the researcher did not wish any harm on the participants and wanted them to answer as truthfully as they cannot what the interview wanted. However, there was a slight indication on the interviewee being biased.
There will be no amount paid to the participants, however, a thank you letter will be sent along with the questionnaire. As the sample was quite small the researchers went personally and thank them for participating and helping to aid the researcher for the research.
It will note that no participant will be harm at any point during the research and that anything that they wish to tell will not be leaked out. Any evidence will be shredded and dispose of it right away.
The possible risk that could have happened could be the name of the interview being name in the project and that without them knowing they would have realised that their views could be seen and known what the researchers could have written about them. However, it did not happen as there are no names written anywhere that could indicate the interviews or the questionnaires name on the research, the only indication was that they were males and females.
It has been acknowledge that with the sample being small that it will not be an actual reference on what the majority of people think. Using the results, it will be analysed on what the people think on inclusion and what training they are given in regards towards inclusion. Also the results will give an indication on how inclusion is viewed and what people think about it and how people use it help them benefit for their work in classrooms.
Using the results there will be the explanation on how the results seem to match to the question that were chosen and will explain whether or not there was any link on what the results were showing.
There was five people selected, four people were given questionnaire and one person was interviewed.
The interview which was set at the school didn't take no longer then ten minutes of duration and for the consideration of privacy the author had decided not to include the name of the school as well. The interview was done in a small classroom with the permission of the teacher and the school. During the interview, the notes were being typed up and no name was written on top of it. Also it was printed of right there in front of the interviewee to indicated confidentiality so that they knew no name was written on the paper.
In the questionnaire the questions had no name so there was no indication of anyone having their names known. Also there was a letter of consent and information sheet attached so that the participants knew what they were doing.
Question one in the questionnaire asked what type of training they are given towards inclusion. Two people had chose IEP as training towards inclusion, one selected parent partnership, one selected mentoring and the last selected peer partnership. This shows that there are a variety of ways that people choose to train for inclusion. However with the sample being small it cannot be identified that the all teachers may use all of these methods, as they may have their own. In the interview the IEP was also chosen, which gave an indication that the IEP was a common choice that teachers and the school would prefer.
Question two was on the different types of strategies that were used in relation towards inclusion. People here answered, gave description on the strategies that they used. One person explained that they used the rewards and punishment system, which meant that if the children did well they got a reward; however, if they did not do well they got punished, also another wrote that they uses visual and kinetic motivations to help them with their studies, another person wrote that they used mentoring partnership, where they gave the child a mentor to help them with their work or any other to help them. Also one teacher replied that they got the children to give them feedback on what they were doing wrong and what improvements that they wish the teachers would do and what kind of methods of learning they would like the teachers to teach them. Looking at this, reward and punishment seems to be the most preferred methods that the teachers seem to use as it's quite effective, and simple to use. The interview showed that they used a variety of strategy; however they did not give the indication on what they exactly used.
Question three is about the beneficial of the strategies that they use, using the responses, it came to the conclusion that although, the teachers were quite happy with the strategies they were using that not all seemed to express themselves and give more negative, they were more positive results. The interview showed positive reaction in the way that the strategy was used.
Question four indicated the advantages and disadvantages on the strategies that they have selected, it shows that there a mixed of opinion on what the advantages and the disadvantage that they have selected. Most of these seem to be in belief that these strategies work as they indicated the responses they get from the children when they learn, they also believe that although it is quite beneficial it needs to be understood that different methods of strategies have different learning styles and that although it works there is the possibility of the strategies not working. Using the results of the interview it showed here that sometimes certain strategy work and sometimes it does not work, however it is the matter of opinion of the teachers.
Question five was the introduction of new strategies, most when answered replied that they do not know, however, one replied by indicating that they wanted a strategies where children told you where they needed helped without getting them becoming shy. This indicates that the teachers sometimes find it quite possible to help the teachers when they do not know how to help the children as the children sometimes feel too shy or embarrassed on whether or not they can ask the teachers for help. The interviewee suggestion was 'I believe that it is important that an inclusive ethos has to be developed across the organisation and this involves changing peoples' attitudes. I would like to work on developing this rather than just targeting the individual in question' (information available on the interview/ questionnaire sheet)
Question six was about inclusion working or not. Out of the response that was given, all had yes expected one who did not believe that inclusion worked. This may suggest that the person believed that inclusion does not seem to work for the children as they may not be getting the help that they may want, also there could be the matter of opinion as they may personal believed that for them that that inclusion is not working and that they may have a reason for explain, however since the questionnaire does not ask to expand people have the right to express their opinion.
Question seven was about the advantages and the disadvantages of inclusion. The responses that were given here also a mixed on the matter of opinions, it shows that there many advantages that people express on inclusion compared to the disadvantage that seem to be less. The person who wrote inclusion does not work indicates that they would prefer that one to one help and also thought that it is quite expensive. However there are the matters of opinion whereas the other responses that they wrote were indicating that inclusion worked and that people did find that it benefit children.
Using this it came to attention that inclusion seems to have mix views as some believe that they work and some do not. However, in regard to the question chosen, it seems that there although there is no real training given towards inclusion it seems that people are given into fact that the training is given through experience of colleagues that may not what to do or on specific topics and also on what they learn from their classrooms.
The issues that came when conducting this research was the interview, it seems that it was quite difficult to get hold of the person who the researcher was asking to be interviewed as they were taking the time and indicating that they were busy and that if the researcher would not minded waiting for couple of weeks to get their answer. This got delayed and the interview also got delayed, however, it then got finished, and the wait was worth it as the interview was an actual a male participant. Because all the questionnaire that were handed were filled by female participants and the researcher did not want to make the research gender bias so the interview was conducted for a male participant. During the interview process the interview asked the same questions that were asked in the questionnaire as they did not want to make a change or a shift of the research.
During the process of the interview information was recorded on a piece of paper and the details recorded. However, even though the interview was conducted, the researcher believes that there is the possibility of the research becoming bias, because the interview and the questions that were answered could be the possibility of them writing down what they believe would have beneficial the author and not what they really thought, however, this cannot be proven and the answers could really be what people's opinion on inclusion could be.
However, the reason for suggesting that the interview could be biased is that during the process of the interview, the interview was unsure on a certain question, it was their opinion on inclusion, it seemed that that they wanted to say that they did not believe that inclusion was working however they said yes, it suggest and looked like they wanted to make a good impression during the interview however when asked the opinion on inclusion their face expression changes for a second before replying the answer. However, this could be something that the researcher may believe and that it could not be true as well.
The finding has come to the attention that the questions which were on inclusion have been answered to a certain extent, the results have shown that people believe that inclusion works to a certain extent and that it does provide information on how to help the children, also although there is no training given in regards to inclusion, it seems that experience and in class training are still quite effective and if given time it help with the cost of schools as schools do not really have to pay teachers to know how inclusion works where they learn from experience. Another discover that the researcher made is that most teachers prefer the method of reward and punishment, as it is one of the most effective system that the children seem to understand. Although this is one of the popular methods the downside to this is that children when they find out will stop behaving or if other children see will adapt to behaving bad as they will see that if they work well they are ignored and if they behave they will get some kind of recognition. Also they prefer when the student try to tell them what they need help on instead of then doing all the work, they try to use different methods so that it will encourage the children to express themselves and will encourage them to become independent and help them to learn.
The project had the researcher realise that inclusion is a matter of opinion, that there are some who believe that inclusion works and there are some who believe that inclusion does not work, those that believe have shown the researcher by expressing their views on the questionnaire.
Also with the matter of opinions it has come to the attention that the results have indication that inclusion needs work, that there are some who believe that inclusion does not works indicates, however those are a matter of opinion as there are some who believe that it works.
In conclusion, it seems that the project was quite successful in comparison to what the researcher had expected. Also the researcher had founded new information and views on inclusion in relation to the literature review as well. The results had shown that people have different views and opinions on inclusion and that the researcher could say that the questions that were put in the aims have been answered to and that the results were not what the researcher had expected. However that indicated that the researcher had thought that people were actually more toward inclusion, when in fact it is both.
From the hypothesis it seem that the predication that the researcher conducted was quite far off, it was predicted that everyone would prefer inclusion, where in fact there was one that did not, also it was also predicted that there would be reward and punishment as the only strategies where in fact there are quite different methods and the final predication was that the training provided, this predication came true however, the main training are usually given to them in the schools and from other teacher as there are not actually training given to any teacher, however there are some courses which may be beneficial to the teachers.
The benefit of the research was that it showed the views of inclusion to the society to people and that people are able to express their views and opinions. Also it showed training the teachers are given towards inclusion and that if someone wished to follow a career towards Special Needs they knew what they had to expect.
The research help build the knowledge on how people think inclusion works and also that people needed more training towards inclusion, also it showed the different types of strategies that the teachers use to teach in the class and what methods they prefer as well and how beneficial they find it and what they don't like about it and using this information what improvements they can do.
The validity of the research is most reliable however, as explain earlier, that there is the possibility that during the interview that the results could have become bias, but the researcher cannot prove this. However the only explanation that the researcher could give is that maybe the researcher may think that the interviewee looked like changing the mind but that could be a possibility.
During the conducting of the research what went well was that the questionnaire were answered as soon as possible and that information that the researcher was looking at in regards to inclusion the researcher found it quite quickly, and found information on different types of strategies that people and teacher prefer to use and how they feel about it.
If the project had to redone, the improvements would be use a bigger sample as using more teachers will indication on how well inclusion is used, also in selecting the sample it would be good to use more male teachers as most of the one that were filled were female and one male for the interview. This will give males the chance to also give out their opinions as well as most of the time it seems that the common targets are female and that males seem to be the least common choice.
Recommendation that could be done to improve the way the inclusion is used as a better improvement could be that teachers could find way to improve on encouraging the children to express themselves and to ask for help and also encourage them so that they can tell the teachers what they want so that the teachers can help them that way.
Also another thing that they could do to improve on is to help other teachers by giving out advice on how inclusion works and where and what they need to look out for, also this will encourage the teachers to work with each other and in combination will be able to find new ideas and will also find new methods to work on.