Differentiation and the Secondary Curriculum: Debates and Dilemmas

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Of the 12 participants, three were men and nine were women. Below is a brief description of the profile of the interviewees based on the data they gave us in their enrolment cards, given to them at the start of the activity, and on their statements during the ongoing focus group process. The group is very heterogeneous, made up of recently qualified professionals as well as others with a broad teaching experience, from a range of curriculum areas, working in the first and second segments of primary school, as well as secondary school, reinforcement education for young people and adults, and in higher education.

Four had up to 10 years' experience, five had from 11 to 20 years, and three had been teachers for more than 20 years, one of whom was a female teacher who declared she had had a year teaching career. Three possessed a teacher training qualification in History, three in Physical Education, two in Biological Sciences, two in Geography, one in Pedagogy, and another in Portuguese Letras - language and literature ; one teacher said she had taken the high-school-level primary-school teacher-training course formerly known as "ensino normal".

Several postgraduate courses were mentioned: specialization courses such as Media, and Sports Training and Master's level courses History - two, Education - one. Extension and further training courses were also mentioned in topics such as teaching literacy, and art education. Virtually all 11 had had experience in public schools, in the education systems of a range of cities, in the state and in the federal systems, and many had also taught or were teaching in private schools.

Only one, a relatively inexperienced teacher four years' teaching experience when the focus group was held , had only had experience in a private school. A significant number of the participants in the focus group are teaching or have taught in public or private schools with an excellent academic reputation in municipalities of greater Rio de Janeiro, as well as in public schools without such a reputation. In terms of race, three female teachers identified themselves during the discussions as black.

We would like to highlight another particularly important aspect besides the heterogeneity of training and experience in formal education: most of the participants had been or were still active in a range of social organizations 3 , which enables us to raise the hypothesis that integration in a range of social movements and in formal education practices, where the issue of difference is more visible, because of the ideal of social justice and transformation that drives them, may have led these focus group participants to be more sensitive to the whole issue of cultural difference in society and in schools.

After this profile of the participants we now set forth our analysis of the meanings of difference identified in the statements recorded in the focus group. The concept of language that we work with in Gecec made it essential to identify and analyze the meanings ascribed to the word "difference". In the current scene, the intercultural perspective is marked by the linguistic gaze in some of its most recent theoretical developments:. In organizing the script for the debate with the focus group, we were particularly concerned with recognition of the constitutive dimension of language justifying the pursuit of the different meanings attributed to the term "difference", aiming to find clues to understand the multiple effects of reality that impact everyday life in school.

However, before advancing in our analysis of the meanings recorded in the focus group, we must clarify the meaning we give to two core terms in our approach: intercultural perspective and difference. The polysemy of the words multiculturalism and interculturalism seems to match the complexity of the social issues to which they refer.

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There have been many texts published in an attempt to organize the range of ways in which these issues may be approached 7 , both at the level of academic theory, and at the level of practices in public policies and social mobilization. It would not make sense to expose these taxonomies once more, but this abundance of classifications entails a need to qualify, however briefly, the perspective that we have chosen in our study.

Among other possible interlocutors, we shall cite French theorist Jean Claude Forquin , , who makes an important distinction between two basic meanings for multiculturalism: it may merely describe a situation in which different cultural backgrounds come into contact, without polemicizing the content of this interaction; and it may also refer to proposals for an approach to this cultural multiplicity - and this is obviously the meaning which interests us. Taking this second meaning, and returning to the educational field, Forquin presents another, equally fundamental, distinction: unitarists privilege the construction of a common curriculum, to be built on the basis of a plurality of cultural traditions integrated in the context where the school is located; whereas differentialists would emphasize the need to preserve the different cultures, which would mean setting up separate institutions for these groups.

We diverge with this author from the unitarist trend, because they play down the issues of power and hierarchy that are involved in the contact between different sociocultural traditions, but we also disagree with differentialists because we refuse all segregationalist solutions to this problem. We have thus chosen the expression "interculturalism", which points up, even in its prefix, the open and interactive character we believe is of the utmost importance in addressing cultural difference within the school environment.

However, this proposal becomes more complex when we assume the contributions of poststructuralism to consider who actually are these "different cultural groups" that are interacting - at this point we must clarify what we are talking about when we refer to "difference" and also to "cultural identity".

To synthesize the dialogue we have established with a number of authors within this perspective BHABHA, , HALL, , a, LACLAU, MOUFFE, , among others , we highlight aspects we deem central in the concept of difference and cultural identity with which we are working: the radical criticism of identitary essentialism, recognizing the provisional, fragmentary and hybrid nature of cultural identifications - aspects that mark the very "differences" they characterize. In fact this perspective emphasizes the acknowledgement of the close links between identity - in this conception, better named "identification" - and difference: cultural identification is understood to be made by an endless chain of negations, in other words, what one is, is not defined by the assertion of a positive content, but by a succession of distinctions from other contents.

Cultural difference never "is", but always "is being". Therefore, when we talk of intercultural dialogue, we are not presupposing a meeting of fixed cultures and identifications: the dialogue we advocate occurs at fleeting moments of fixation which are contingent upon cultural meanings and identities and marked by unpredictability and tentativeness, by the impossibility of full translation, by hurdles that multiple power struggles place in its way.

However it is marked also by recognition of its absolute necessity: we know that life is provisional and this does not make it less important. By defending intercultural dialogue we aim to act on the transformation of the contingency we actually experience - we act where we can act. In the following section, therefore, we analyze the meanings of the expression "difference" arising in the debate that took place within the focus group, as well as the relations between difference and inequality that are explicit or underlying to such movements of signification, with the intercultural perspective as a benchmark and the concept of difference that we have tried to synthesize in preceding paragraphs.

In the introductory debate - on the statement "Being different is normal" - there is an early reference to biodiversity, in the following affirmation: " If everyone was equal it would be very boring! Cultural plurality is celebrated, making the instability of its content and the issues of power that pervade it secondary.

However, this perspective was the minority in that particular discussion space, and neither the teacher herself nor the other participants return to it. In fact, the acceptance of difference by society was immediately questioned: "I think that being different is normal, but I think that these posters bear the mark of a difference that was not normal, that was not seen as normal" Marta.

The "normative character" of the content of the poster was highlighted by a statement that showed a more systematized reflection: "This issue of difference, we mustn't think of placing it within the norm, but within the philosophy of difference" Isabel. After this initial characterization of difference, it could be seen that the interviewees brought not only their own representations to the discussion, but also "representations of social representations" of difference: several said they presupposed but criticized the existence of a "trend to a hierarchy of differences", something which also appeared at other moments of the meeting, although not necessarily aligned with the targets of acceptance or refusal.

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There was something demarcated there. Not talking about "difference", but talking about a specific difference. Another level of hierarchization of differences in the school space was also highlighted by the participants: the issue of visibility. Differences of physical and mental capacity were more easily identified, according to them, as well as those that "disturb" the school. The thing that bothered me, before all of this, and when the girl was put into that class was: who sic are these differences? Is it only that deaf student who is the difference, or are all the students different?

I want to go back to what everyone was saying about the cognitive. That is the difference that appears often in private schools, for instance, it's a difference that bothers teachers, and bothers coordination, and bothers the school - students that give you trouble, who have cognitive problems, ADHD, all those acronyms, that give you trouble. Something else that struck us was the recurrent linking of difference to the issue of "prejudice", even before the moderator had located that discussion in the school space. In some cases difference and prejudice were even equated, as in the following statement: "You [moderator] asked how prejudice appears and how we deal with it" Elisa.

Actually the moderator had put the question as follows, without uttering the word "prejudice", but saying "difference" instead: "In this scenario that you are all describing, how do you perceive difference, what types of difference strike you immediately? That was not the only moment when participants worked with that meaning, and - added to the analysis of other references to prejudice and discrimination in everyday school life, such as those we will reproduce below - this may be interpreted as an indication that the words are taken as synonyms because the issue of difference is so serious and arises so frequently in the daily life of schools.

What we see is that prejudice appeared in two main forms: the way students address each other verbally was so aggressive, you're black, you're a negro, you had that in the municipal school, I didn't hear it in the communities, but I also heard it about religion too, so-and-so practices macumba , so-and-so is black, or gay, and this really stood out verbally, like a standard everyone internalized, the standard you see everywhere, it's in the students, and it's in us to a certain extent There's also an issue of self-esteem, how students feel Right, so however assertive, or aggressive, or whatever, they feel inferior, they don't expect much of themselves, they don't invest much, because they don't think they're going to make it.

It goes straight to this idea of lack of ability, this concept of difference leads to the idea of lack of ability. Thinking of difference in education, for many interviewees, means thinking of prejudice and discrimination, which lead to violence 9 and low expectations 10 v in everyday school life. Another link between prejudice and difference came out in the report of an activity by Clara:. Laclau proposes recognizing two simultaneous modes of building the social, through the logic of difference and through the logic of equivalence:. The latter - equivalence - presupposes "the drawing of an antagonistic frontier".

This proposal signals the possibility of a counterposition to the frequently denounced tendency towards the fragmentation of social movements for the recognition and rights of differences. Prejudice and discrimination, according to the quote selected, may constitute the antagonistic frontier that will somehow bring together the "different differences". In several utterances an "epistemological dimension" can also be seen to be attributed to the problem of cultural difference:. I think that we teachers have a great deal of knowledge and so on, but I think that we're also in a constant learning process, and we have to be open all the time to receive information, but also to exchange experiences I think that the students also have a lot to give us, don't they?

So this exchange is extremely important. As with the discussion of the issues of prejudice, this was a recurrent theme - except that it was located in distinct discoursal contextualizations: while prejudice was mainly referred to in accounts of pedagogical activities or in situations that occurred in the school space, the alternative types of knowledge were mentioned through a generic reference, not linking back to specific moments of the daily life of schools.

This may reveal an approach to such issues which is more theoretical than practical: although this discussion is relatively consolidated in the educational environment - Paulo Freire addressed the topic early on in his work - the incorporation of types of knowledge other than that traditionally chosen as legitimate by the school still seems far-removed from more usual school practices. Other movements to establish significations were less frequent and less well developed in the interactions, although they were present in the debate: the "essentialization of difference" and "cultural hybridization".

In this view, cultural identification is based on blood ties. Indirectly, however, cultural identification was explored, although not in these terms, or as a counter-argument to the last statement. You [in a dialogue with Clara] posed a question that left me a little You said: in my school everyone is black. And I was thinking: is this in your eyes or in their eyes? This boy wasn't one of them. So I realized very strongly that nobody saw themselves as black, and that being black was bad and wearing your hair up - the girls all said that I was wearing my hair up, and I said my hair sticks up, and I like wearing it up.

The brown pencils started coming out of the pencil cases. Caroline learned Libras Brazilian sign language in the first grade with a deaf teacher, and she started seeing herself as deaf, because there was a deaf adult accompanying her, who has a deaf culture. In the quote by the first teacher, the students' identity is narrated as relational and procedural: she asks who it is that determines identity - "is this in your eyes or in their eyes?

In the other example, the teacher Alice once again makes explicit the relational dimension of this process: Caroline's identification of herself as deaf depended on her interaction with a deaf adult. As to cultural hybridization 11 , one of the participants gave an example - albeit without using this terminology - of a dance activity that included the question of religion:.

However, this statement was made in the final moments of the meeting, and there is no recording of anyone developing it further. Nonetheless, we should be cautious in drawing conclusions from the fact that this and other arguments were not developed further: it is important to point out that the recurrence of certain articulations and meanings ascribed to the word "difference" certainly places special attention on such movements in signification; however, this does not mean that what was unique and found no similar repercussion was irrelevant. The very dynamics of this focus group - with a time limit and a relatively high number of participants - may have restricted the possibility of certain issues being discussed.

It should be noted, therefore, that essentialist concepts of belonging and cultural identification emerged simultaneously with the recognition of their unstable and hybrid nature, without the conflict between these perspectives being confronted explicitly. One of the interests of the focus group was to explore participants' representations of the relationship between difference and inequality.

In the previous individual interviews, understanding of the synonymy prevailed, and there was greater emphasis given to questions of inequality than to issues of cultural difference, which raised questions within Gecec: why were we asking about cultural difference and the teachers we interviewed answering about inequality?

The same semantic slippage was identified within the focus group; however, in this case, it was possible to broaden the discussion and build some clues as to its interpretation. A preliminary elucidation has to do with Gecec's own understanding of this relationship, which can be summed up in the well-known formulation by Portuguese sociologist Boaventura de Sousa Santos , p.

This is known to be a very difficult imperative to attain and to maintain". The surveys we have conducted arise from the need to question standardization in general, which goes toward making the different socio-educational practices, and to combat the inequality, the prejudices and the discrimination that strongly characterize society and schools.

It is about acknowledging the basic rights of all while remembering that these "all" are not "the same": valuing their differences is inherent to our conception of equality. However, this is undoubtedly a terrain fraught with difficulties and "traps" One of the traps is the possibility of taking inequality for granted within the discourse of difference. However, by highlighting issues of power that pervade the cultural dimension of education and by advocating intercultural dialogue, we assert that it is possible to meet these difficulties and traps head-on.

In several of the statements made in the focus group it was clear that the meaning we attribute to the expression 'cultural difference' was familiar to the participants. However, only three teachers kept to this line of signification throughout the discussion. The others switched back and forth between the meaning of inequality, which makes the opening question "why were we asking about cultural difference and the teachers we interviewed answering about inequality? The problematic equation of difference versus inequality was addressed by one of the teachers without specific elicitation by the mediator, providing the first clues of a possible interpretation of the motivations behind this semantic overlapping:.

It is interesting to see that in the only teaching activity that addressed the relationship between difference and inequality, the students had produced an important key to understanding the semantic slippage that we are now questioning: the school itself often turns cultural differences into inequalities. Albeit not made explicit in so many words, there were several reports of school situations that could be described as personal and institutional movements to produce inequalities from cultural differences.

What we ought to be discussing is what is this curriculum that we have in schools and that these kids probably aren't in 4, 64, or 13 , which are the largest ones and they can't, they haven't And then there's the social issue. In my case we see it a lot, this social question, this financial issue. You have this kid who lives in an at-risk community and has a family You wonder about it but you don't have an answer for it.

The language of school, the curriculum contents, the prejudices which lead to low self-esteem and low expectations among students and teachers were mentioned as products of the school that, in our view, lead to the conversion of difference into inequality and justify the identification between difference and inequality by the teachers. It is also clear that these products are not strictly local, rather they correspond to broader values and adjustments within society: in other words, society often informs the school that "difference is inequality".

The issue of school performance was also a highlight and seems likewise to bear the mark of social impositions. Several comments referred back to inequalities of cognitive ability being identified as difference, reminding us of the controversial declaration by British sociologist Basil Bernstein:. Indeed, if we have class, we have inequality, but it makes a lot of sense to think that society is not monolithic and that school does not need to reproduce these inequalities, or at least does not need to do it continuously.

Even in contexts where there is political commitment to the rights of difference, the strength of social significations and hierarchizations in many cases very likely outweighs such efforts at transformation. As to the possibilities of learning, it has to be acknowledged that the historical option of schools for lettered culture - in our view unquestionable in the sociocultural context in which we live - imposes some level of inequality upon students from social backgrounds in which orality is more present than written expression.

However, the focus group participants showed that the institution of school does not always remain passive in the face of such processes: the school may also reverse the processes of turning difference into inequality. From a UK perspective, Dyson, has also used a dilemmatic perspective to make sense of special education policy and practice historically drawing on Norwich and Artiles They found tensions between widespread expressions of support for the principle of inclusion and the continuing level of support for separate school provision.

These authors also found a clear expression of the educational ideal of individual care in the views of their respondents. This is an interesting study from several perspectives. First, its focus on tensions in professional views and so has similarities to an earlier study Norwich, , which will be discussed below. Secondly, though Croll and Moses make no reference to dilemmas of difference, their findings can be interpreted in these terms.

Thirdly, they do interpret their findings in terms of contemporary ideas about utopian thinking and the social and personal functions of such thinking. In a recent US paper Ho has identified a dilemma about labelling children as having a learning disability Ho, Her proposed resolution to the dilemma of disability labels is to adopt the assumption that all children learn in unique ways and to apply this in how we design and manage our educational system. This paper is very relevant to this study as one of the dilemmas which was studied across the three countries was this identification dilemma.

By capabilities, Sen means the real freedoms that people have to achieve their own well-being.

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It is clear that this focus on capabilities requires an analysis of the interaction between individuals and their social circumstances. Terzi uses this interactionist assumption to argue against the false opposition between individual and social causal accounts of disability, what are often called the medical versus the social model. By talking about equality of capabilities, she explains that this is about the freedom to achieve valued functioning.

This links equality to the freedom to choose and distinguishes between valued functionings reading, walking eating etc and capabilities potential functionings. So in this approach, what is key is what people are actually able to do or be, even if they choose not to use these freedoms. For Sen, there is diversity in 3 basic ways: i. What matters is not the causes of the disabilities, but that disabilities are limitations on relevant capabilities.

The capability approach does provide justifications for differential resources to those with disabilities, but how it relates to the implications of this differential allocation is not addressed. It can be argued that by providing a justification for differential resources and provision for children with disabilities that the capability approach promotes a more positive image of disability. In this sense the capability approach presents a framework that treats all children alike in terms of common allocation principles that take account of different requirements and so supports a balance between common and different aspects.

This is an interesting and original framework, but it is one thing to conceptualise difference in positive terms, it is another to deal with the reality of stigma and devaluation associated with exceptional areas of difference. The precursor to the studied reported in this paper was a study into ideological dilemmas in special needs education Norwich, In that study I explored the idea that key policy issues in special needs education took the form of ideological dilemmas.

Its aim was to investigate how educators responded to the possibility that there might be dilemmas in various areas of special education and how they might resolve the dilemmas if recognised. The focus was on the sense made of the negative consequences of alternatives to each dilemma and how they deliberated about the nature of these difficulties and ways of resolving them. These areas were:. The findings indicated that the identification, curriculum and integration dilemmas were seen most frequently as at least a significant dilemma in both countries.

In the USA, the identification dilemma was seen most frequently as a considerable dilemma and there were many more participants who saw a significant curriculum dilemma than in the England. However, in both countries the presented parent-professional dilemma was not seen most frequently as a dilemma. As regards resolutions, most participants, who recognised the dilemma to some extent, also saw a significant resolution in all four areas. For the integration dilemma almost twice as many English participants saw a significant resolution as US participants.

The reasons for their responses to recognising dilemmas or not and ways of resolving them were also similar across the two country groups, though there were some themes which were specific to each country group. So this earlier study was taken as showing that a sample of professional educators in different national systems not only recognised the contrary aspects to some key issues in the field, but resolved the dilemmas in similar ways, despite differences in national contexts.

The primary aim of this study was to examine the perspectives of education practitioners and policy makers in specific school systems in the UK England , USA and the Netherlands about recognising and resolving dilemmas of difference in relation to special and inclusive education. Data relevant to the second of the secondary aims cannot be reported in this paper. A similar research orientation was used in this study as 13 years before for the same reasons that applied then.

This involved an exploratory semi-structured interview to generate both quantitative and qualitative data. The aim was to engage participants in explanations and justifications of their positions and perspectives and to see how they responded to contrary positions, in what can be called an argumentative model. The plan was to interview 50 participants in each country from each of these levels. This was done for the USA and England, but for the Netherlands it was only possible to interview 4 participants in the rural area. There were two reasons for this, first, that the rural area selected was very small and second, that it was very much more difficult to arrange access to interviewing in the Netherlands and this reduced the number of interviews in the time available.

This table shows that the plan to cover the range of roles was successfully implemented. An exploratory semi-structured interview method was used in which general statements of the 3 dilemmas were presented. There were several reasons for using general statements. One was that this approach had been used in the study and using a similar one this time would assist in comparing the results. Second, it enabled participants to structure their own responses and third it made it possible to use the same presentation across the 3 countries with minor changes for local terms.

As in that earlier study this put much emphasis on the methods of interviewing, in particular to engage participants in considering various perspectives that differed from their own perspectives. See appendix for the formulation of the 3 dilemmas Figure 1. Participants were provided with a booklet which set out the dilemmas in written form. In the Netherlands, where the interviews were all conducted in English, participants were provided with a Dutch and English version of the dilemmas.

Following each dilemma statement in the booklets, participants were provided with two rating scales for them to give their rating of the degree of recognition of the dilemma and degree of resolution, only if they had recognised it. See appendix for rating scales Figure 2. This was done because of the pressure of time. All participants consented to the interviews on the basis of an explanation of the purposes of the study and what would happen to the interviews.

Confidentiality and anonymity were assured. It was explained that this meant that there would be no reference to themselves as individuals, their service or school or their authority, district or State. They were promised a report on the findings before any publications about the study. These conditions have all been fulfilled. Participants also consented to tape recordings, except in 3 cases in the USA when hand written notes of their responses had to be taken.

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At the start of the interviews participants were shown the first page of the booklet which set out the form of the dilemmas. This was used to explain what was meant by a dilemma in the study see appendix for Figure 3. Dilemma recognition and resolution ratings were transferred from the interview transcripts to a SPPS data file and then analysed in terms of their distributions and some simple bi-variate relationships.

The qualitative data, which constituted about , words or about 1, pages of single spaced transcribed interview text across the 3 countries, were analysed at several levels using the NVIVO programme. For each country the transcriptions were analysed in terms of 6 areas, made up of 3 dilemma areas x 2 recognition and resolution responses.

The US interviews were the first to be analysed for first level themes using a grounded style of comparing responses in each of the 6 areas to identify distinct themes which applied across the responses of the range of participants. Drisko, Table 3 shows the number of distinct first level themes that were identified for the 6 areas across the 3 countries.

For the English transcriptions relevant US and Netherlands themes were used, otherwise new ones were generated. Table 3 shows that the numbers of themes across the 6 areas were similar for the USA and Netherlands data, but there were consistently more themes in the English data. This could be due to the much greater length of the English , words than the US , words and Netherlands , words transcripts. The first level coding of the data then made it possible to derive the frequencies with which these themes were used in the 6 areas across the 3 countries.

This was done by setting up SPSS data files for each of the 6 areas across each country 18 files to cross reference the themes used by each of the participants. From these data files it was possible to identify not only the overall frequency of use of the first level themes, but the frequency of use of themes for different levels of dilemma recognition and resolution. Given the extensive range of distinct themes used to explain and justify recognition and resolutions of these dilemmas, it was decided to develop a 2nd level of thematic analysis.

The aim was to identify commonalities across the first level themes within each area, which might also relate to a conceptual analysis of the kinds of possible responses to these dilemmas. Second level themes were generated by comparing first level themes and relating these to this conceptual analysis. The conceptual analysis of responses to dilemmas is illustrated below in Figure 4. Figure 4: Map of conceptual analysis of different responses to a dilemma in form presented in study.

Four broad alternative responses can be identified to a dilemma in the form of the one used in this study. The third alternative questions the validity of the dilemma through questioning the link between option and negative outcome. The 2nd level thematic analysis integrated this conceptual analysis with the emergent analysis of the first level recognition themes. The theoretical input into the derivation of the 2 nd level themes for resolving the dilemmas also followed from dilemmatic assumptions.

First, it was assumed that there would be some recognition of the persistence of issues in the resolutions. Second, it was assumed that some resolutions would take the form of either balancing or trading off between options or giving priority to certain options.


Table 4 shows the 2 nd level themes across the 3 dilemmas. Table 4: Breakdown of second level themes for recognition and resolution of dilemmas across the 3 countries. Limited space means that only a selection of the findings will be presented in this section. The selected findings will set out the following: i. The detailed breakdown of the ratings for recognising and resolving the 3 dilemmas across the 3 countries Tables are in the appendix. Table 11 and 12 summarise some key aspects of the 6 tables. Table 11 shows some lower recognition of the dilemmas in the USA for the identification dilemmas modal rating as marginal compared to the curriculum and location dilemmas modal rating as significant.

For the Netherlands all 3 dilemmas the modal rating was significant. This was also found for the English participants, except that for the identification dilemma, there were two modal ratings, significant and not at all.

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In the US sample, for the marginal modal rating of the identification dilemma there was a significant modal resolution level. But, for the curriculum dilemma, which had a significant modal recognition rating, the resolution was marginal. In the Netherlands sample the modal resolution ratings were significant in the identification and curriculum areas, but only marginal in the location area. In the English sample the modal resolution level was significant for all 3 dilemma areas. Split responses, where participants distinguished between two aspects for example, mild v.

The majority of participants across the 3 countries recognised the 3 dilemmas to some extent, either marginally, significantly or considerably. Table 12 also shows the summary data for resolving the dilemmas with percentages worked out in terms of those who recognised the dilemmas. Table Summary of percentage of participants for all dilemmas with a no rating , some degree rating, uncertain and split ratings.

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Tables 13 and 14 summarise the percentage use of the 2 nd level themes only for recognising and resolving the location dilemmas. There was not enough space to show the similar data for the other 2 dilemmas. Two aspects of these data need to be noted. However, most 2 nd level themes were indicated by more than one 1 st level theme, so in this analysis no distinction was made between those using only one 1 st level theme and those using several 1 st level themes related to a particular 2 nd level theme. This theme represents the various policies and practices which were reported as ways of dealing with the issues raised in this dilemma.

The themes that questioned the consequences of the options presented in the location dilemma reduced specialist provision and feeling excluded were hardly used by Netherlands participants. Table Comparison of second level themes for recognising location dilemma across the 3 countries. Table Comparison of second level themes for resolving location dilemma across the 3 countries. Here are 2 examples of this 1 st level theme:. I think specialist services would be a problem, in terms mostly of health services. I would say that for children with moderate and severe disabilities in mainstream school there is the issue of access to higher expectations and specialist services in terms of the specialist services that a skilled teacher brings in to every classroom.

I think a skilled teacher in every classroom is a very specialist service in many ways. Having said that I think the skilled teacher feels very de-skilled at the point of meeting a child with moderate and severe disabilities and that I believe the inclusion support service is going on a journey with that teacher to support the teacher in developing the skills, and I would like to see longer with individual teachers who are really trying to include children.

What do you want to know? Can we brainstorm that together? Absolutely, yes, I mean my major dilemma is getting them in to school to begin with because that is limited and I know that we do have a lot of children that we believe firmly, and the Head will talk about this, and it works very much when you have that package that comes with the child.

But I would agree that if they're not taught in general classrooms then they do feel excluded, they do feel not accepted, but there's a huge amount of work to be done around social skills and acceptance to allow this to happen for them to be in class. So if you spoke to a class teacher they would have very different views to mine. Here are examples of both themes:. Here is an example of this theme. Here are two examples of this theme:. SEN advisory teacher, urban area. Here are two 1 st level theme which indicate this 2 nd level theme:.

For example we are expecting our mainstream schools to educate children with moderate learning difficulties and it needs a high level of training and understanding for them to be able to do that. Well I think, I mean certainly our experience so far going into it is that actually we are already working in some of those areas looking at an integrated disabled children's service which would include health.

Part of it is the bit about, that we do have in our mainstream schools some children with severe physical difficulties and some of the tension there is actually about how do we get the occupational therapy, physiotherapy etc in within that mainstream setting. Here is an example of this theme:. We have two satellite classes, as you know, here, and they are struggling so hard to get any integration into the other classes. I think there is a group who are pleased to be there separate setting and they are very happy and I think it's very important to interview the children themselves and study how the children feel when they were in the regular school and in special education.

And, I think the most important thing is that the child is happy of course, the parents will be happy as well when the child is happy in the school and he is learning. And I think it's a hard choice, it's a hard decision. Yeah I think, but of course it's a dilemma all the time, what's the best place for this child to learn, in a special school or a regular school in a special class?

It depends, if the school can cope with the children with severe learning difficulties I would prefer to keep it in a regular school, but if in the IEP the goals that are there can only be reached by placing outside the classroom, then what's the difference between a regular school and a special school? Here is an example of this 1st level theme:. Yeah, and there is also this solidarity between the pupils here because when they are in a regular setting they are always the exception, and here they see everybody is an exception so that makes them normal, being surrounded with, everybody has this problem and they can relate to each other with this being different.

I think that in the regular field which I come from we also see this and you see the unhappiness and you feel your own inability to help, and I think also what we, pupils who are coming here, they are, sometimes they are so happy to come here, they can't wait because it's a relief. Here is an example of this 1 st level theme:. We did have some research on this subject and in the Netherlands it's not that if a child with a handicap is within a mainstream school or a mainstream class it's more accepted by his co pupils.

What was found was that they were feeling more excluded if they were in the regular classroom. I think it's mostly to do with multiple handicaps and the mental handicaps, yes because blind and deaf children, they are accepted quite well There is inclusion, in fact there is effective inclusion but the question is what type of children can we involve and how far can we go?

So full inclusion in Holland is not an option. Here are examples of these 1 st level themes:. I think that's a difficult question because what do we do with all the people? Put them in a house! And so are we prepared to accept people that are different and do we want to have them in our society or do we pretend that we want it and people pretend that we want it, so we put all the children in the classroom and nothing happens.