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Published on February 29, 2008

Author: Rachele


Legislation, Policy, and Practices that Support Inclusive Education within the European Union (work in progress):  Legislation, Policy, and Practices that Support Inclusive Education within the European Union (work in progress) Evangelia Zaimi, ABD ( Janet S. Gaffney, Ph.D. ( University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA  For further information or permission to cite, please contact either author. Background:  Background Quality citizenship for people with disabilities Barrier-free educational opportunities 2003 European Year for People with Disabilities (EYPD) Activities in Member and Candidate States Media and Communication products Events ⁙Research Training ⁙Advocacy Inclusive educational practices Inclusive Educational Practices:  Inclusive Educational Practices They are evident through: The environment in which education takes place The academic and social activities in which students engage The interactions among teachers and peers Influences on Inclusive Educational Practices:  Influences on Inclusive Educational Practices EU-related factors policy, recommendations, initiatives State-related factors culture and history, legislation, policy, funding, advocacy groups, decentralization, and globalization School-related factors school organization, policies, rules, resources, curricula, peer- and colleague-relations Classroom-related factors teachers’ knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and dispositions, and collaboration Purpose of the Study:  Purpose of the Study Understand teachers’ interpretations of layers of legislation and policies Filtered through EU, Ministry of Education, Education Department, school, and teacher education Identify educational practices illustrative of inclusive education in schools Study Settings France (Member State) Malta (Candidate State) Method and Procedures:  Method and Procedures In-classroom observations Interviews with teachers, school administrators, governmental and non-governmental officials, university professors involved in research and teacher-education programs, and EU professionals Document analyses Qualitative Analysis with Nvivo based on framework of factors which affect inclusive educational practices Trustworthiness:  Trustworthiness Multiple sources of information Triangulation of information Primary data: transcripts and fieldnotes Educational practices weighted against school/state/EU recommendations and policies Member checks: reflections on narratives summaries/lists of major points Composite portraits of inclusive edu. practices Preliminary Findings: France:  Preliminary Findings: France Special schools: the Feeders General education schools: the Satellites Prerequisite: student’s ability to access curriculum Special ed. teachers: Responsible for inclusion Reform in 2004 because of the EYPD: Schools: inclusive towards everyone Teachers’ attitudes and preparedness Align law, teacher education, and school practices Decentralization -> “Distant Proximity” Professionals in large/member states: well-settled in their practices Preliminary Findings: Malta:  Preliminary Findings: Malta General edu. schools > special edu. schools Special education facilitators (1:1) Material adaptation/instructional methods/awareness of legislation, policies, and practices Teacher/student dependence on facilitators Focus Group on Inclusive Education Leadership in inclusive education Evaluation of inclusive environments based on indicators Accountability/responsibility Centralized ed. practices -> “Proximal Distance” Small/Candidate States look out towards the EU and international trends for legislation/policy/practice Implications for Inclusion:  Implications for Inclusion Implementation of Inclusion  Interpretation, Preparation, & Experiences Range of attitudes, efforts, perceptions, feelings Consistency among countries Teacher preparation vs. teacher reflexivity Collaboration: Shared Responsibility Ability to negotiate policy into practice and vice versa Relationships among and between teachers and policy makers -> Bi-directionality Inclusive Education = Personal Education Implications for Research:  Implications for Research Internationalization of research Cross-fertilization of ideas and practices Cooperation of insiders/outsiders to educational systems Language, context, culture enhance understandings of educational practices Flexibility in data collection Incorporate emerging sources of information Reshape inapplicable data collection procedures Illustrations of effective inclusive education are universal Selected Bibliography:  Selected Bibliography Armstrong, F. (1995). Special education France: ‘Passé historic’ or ‘futur simple’. In C. O’Hanlon (Ed.), Inclusive education in Europe (pp. 24-38). London: David Fulton. Bartolo, P. A. (2001). Recent developments in inclusive education in Malta. Mediterranean Journal of Educational Studies, 6(2), 65-91. Daunt, P. (1995). Introduction: Integration practice and policy for children with special needs in Europe. In C. O’ Hanlon (Ed.), Inclusive education in Europe (pp. 1-8). London: David Fulton. Diamantopoulou, A. (2003). “Getting on board: Official opening of the European Year of People with Disabilities 2003”. Retrieved July 25, 2003, from European Agency for Development in Special Needs Education (2003). Inclusive education and classroom practices: Summary Report. Brussels, Belgium: Author. Ministry of Education and Research in France (2003). L' enseignement pour les élèves à besoins éducatifs spécifiques. Retrieved July 27, 2003, from Ollikainen, A. (2001). European education, European citizenship? European education, 32(2), 6-21. Taylor, S., Rizvi, F., Lingard, B., & Henry, M. (1997). Educational policy and the politics of education. London: Routledge.

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