A little learning is a dangerous thing: Factors influencing the increased identification of special educational needs from the perspective of education policymakers and school practitioners

Graham, Linda J. (2015) A little learning is a dangerous thing: Factors influencing the increased identification of special educational needs from the perspective of education policymakers and school practitioners. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 62(1), pp. 116-132.

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Abstract

This article considers the increased identification of special educational needs in Australia’s largest education system from the perspectives of senior public servants, regional directors, principals, school counsellors, classroom teachers, support class teachers, learning support teachers and teaching assistants (n = 30). While their perceptions of an increase generally align with the story told by official statistics, participants’ narratives reveal that school-based identification of special educational needs is neither art nor science. This research finds that rather than an objective indication of the number and nature of children with SEN, official statistics may be more appropriately viewed as a product of funding eligibility and the assumptions of the adults who teach, refer and assess children who experience difficulties in school and with learning.

Impact and interest:

4 citations in Scopus
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4 citations in Web of Science®

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19 since deposited on 27 Oct 2014
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ID Code: 78048
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: special needs identification, special education funding policy, teacher education and professional learning, attitudes towards inclusion, students with disability
DOI: 10.1080/1034912X.2014.955791
ISSN: 1465-346X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Special Education and Disability (130312)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION (160500) > Education Policy (160506)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Cultural & Professional Learning
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Funding:
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Taylor & Francis
Deposited On: 27 Oct 2014 22:52
Last Modified: 07 May 2016 12:49

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