Beyond knowledge : an insight into the practice of a learning support teacher

Burnett, Ruth Cynthia (2004) Beyond knowledge : an insight into the practice of a learning support teacher. Professional Doctorate thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Increasingly, schools are being asked to meet the challenges of providing inclusive classrooms for all children. Inclusion is no longer about special education for a special group of students. It is about school improvement in order to bring about the changes that are needed to classroom practices to ensure the improvement of student learning outcomes. Inclusion is no longer a policy initiative. Rather it has been transformed to become a process that moves a school towards inclusive practices that will result in school improvement, heightened student learning outcomes and greater opportunities for all students to gain equal access to education.

This study focuses on the challenge of diversity as it translates into implementing inclusive practices across two secondary school contexts. I have undertaken this research in my role as a Learning Support Teacher over a period of five years. Central to my research is a constructivist ontology and a practice epistemology that aligns with a practitioner research methodology of action research.

Seven generalisable propositions have emerged from this research that inform the strategies I am using to more easily accommodate legislated inclusivitiy. These propositions include:

  1. School communities need to share a common understanding of equity.

  2. The school principal must provide overt leadership in moving towards an inclusive school culture.

  3. A whole-school approach is needed to narrow the gap between inclusion rhetoric and classroom practice.

  4. Pedagogical reform is the most effective strategy for catering for diverse student learning needs.

  5. Differentiating curriculum is achieved when collaborative planning teams develop appropriate units of work.

  6. School communities need to make a commitment to gather, share and manage relevant information concerning students.

  7. The Learning Support Teacher needs to be repositioned within a curriculum planning team.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 60097
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Professional Doctorate)
Supervisor: Aspland, Tanya
Keywords: learning support teachers, special needs education
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 17 May 2013 07:31
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2014 02:53

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