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Welfare Reform on the Web (May 2006): Education - Overseas

J. Bevan-Brown

International Journal of Inclusive Education, vol.10, 2006, p.221-234

Article examines the overt and covert barriers to school inclusion faced by Maori children with special educational needs and suggests ways in which these barriers can be removed. The main barriers to access to special education services faced by Maori students are a shortage of culturally appropriate services, programmes, assessment measures and resources and societal beliefs, attitudes and practices that are detrimental to Maori children. Initiatives to overcome these barriers include: strategies for encouraging greater Maori involvement in special education; compulsory bicultural training for all special education personnel; an increase in the bicultural, multicultural and social justice components of the national curriculum; and the devolution to Maori of decision-making powers in all areas that affect their lives.

Ka Ho Mok

London: Routledge, 2006

The book assesses the impact of globalization on the education systems of key East Asian countries, examining how the increasingly interdependent economic system has driven policy change and education reform. It discusses how policymakers have responded to changes required in educational outcomes in order to equip their societies for new global conditions; it explores the impact of new approaches and ideologies related to globalization; and it makes comparisons across the region. The countries covered are China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore.

A. Stuart

International Journal of Inclusive Education, vol.10, 2006, p.235-250

Under the Equal Educational Opportunity Act 1974, bilingual education programmes were adopted throughout the USA for children whose first language was other than English. These enabled children to receive instruction in their own language while learning English. Article traces the popular backlash against such programmes which led to their eventual abolition in California and Arizona. It is argued that the backlash was provoked by fears of Quebec-style Black and Latino separatism unless their languages (Spanish and African-American vernacular English) were suppressed. There may also have been an element of fear among the White middle classes that bilingual instruction and the legitimating of minority languages would facilitate the assimilation of black and brown Americans and so undermine White middle-class privileges

Inclusive education policy in New Zealand: reality or ruse?

A. Kearney and R. Kane

International Journal of Inclusive Education, vol.10, 2006, p.201-219

New Zealand is at the beginning of a journey towards inclusive education. However, in order to reach this goal it will need to jettison current beliefs, values and assumptions of traditional special education and replace them with a different way of thinking based on a different knowledge base. This change must be based on a recognition of the exclusionary forces within schools and societies and the purposes these are serving. The change must also involve a different view of disability; one not based on individual pathology and deficit, but that views disability as a social and political construction.

A. Zoniou-Sideri and others

International Journal of Inclusive Education, vol.10, 2006, p.279-291

Using the examples of disability and special education, the authors highlight the ways in which the rhetoric of social inclusion is translated into weak practices which cannot challenge existing inequalities. The article begins with a general picture of how disability is portrayed in the Greek media in order to provide an overview of the inclusive discourse in Greece. In the second section, the educational inclusive discourse is examined. In spite of lip service to inclusion, there is an underlying unwillingness and inability in the education system to implement inclusion due to: 1) an inflexible national curriculum; 2) emphasis on competition between children for good exam results; and 3) the rapid growth of separate special education services over the past 20 years.

N. Longworth

London: Routledge, 2006

Local and regional authorities around the world are re-inventing themselves as Learning Cities, Towns and Regions, where the development of human and social potential takes first priority. This book explores the mental and social landscape of the city of today and tomorrow; the way in which organisations and people act, interact, learn and live with and among each other; and the crucial role of local administrations, learning providers, workplaces and other stakeholders in creating a better vision of the future.

D. Stewart

Education and the Law, vol.17, 2005, p.127-136

One area in which head teachers must demonstrate sound leadership and management skills is in ensuring that systems are put in place that reflect the increased demand for accountability in the range of legal matters that now impact on schools. It is argued that they need to develop a preventative law culture in their schools. Such a culture is proactive, identifies possible risks of legal challenge, and heads them off by putting preventative programmes in place.

R. Wills

International Journal of Inclusive Education, vol.10, 2006, p.189-199

The Education Act 1989 gave all children with special needs the right to be educated at their local mainstream school. The subsequent Special Education 2000 reform programme shifted the management of funding for the majority of students with special educational needs to schools and made their Boards of Trustees responsible for developing local policies. Boards of trustees and school principals were made accountable for special education provision. Bulk funding was provided for schools to use in delivery of support to children with low to moderate levels of need, and a new national mechanism was introduced to target funding onto the smaller proportion of students with high levels of need. Unfortunately principals needed to keep up a level of student enrolment sufficient to secure funds to cover the costs of operating the school; this acted as a disincentive to accepting children with special needs. There was also much disquiet among parents at reduced support for children classified as having low and moderate levels of special needs.

L. Ware

International Journal of Inclusive Education, vol.10, 2006, p.149-168

In a move away from an exclusively clinical approach to disability, the City College New York master’s degree in special education was recently widened to include: 1) humanities based disability studies; 2) educational and curriculum theorists who extend and integrate disability studies content; 3) insights from the social sciences; and 4) classroom-based research that has a dual focus on raising awareness of disability studies scholarship and curriculum development.

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