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Inclusive education reform in Queensland: Implications for policy and practice

By Patricia E. Bourke

Abstract

In Queensland, Australia, the school system is being reformed to be more 'inclusive'. However the enthusiasm for 'inclusive education' in Queensland seems to be waning amongst practitioners, and the 'confusion, frustration, guilt and exhaustion' that has emerged with teachers and support practitioners in the UK, is emerging amongst support practitioners and teachers in Queensland. This article argues that this is happening because inclusive education reforms that intend to provide an equitable education for all students regardless of cultural, physical, social/emotional and behavioural differences, are being introduced, but these policies, procedures and stuructures continue to label, isolate and segregate students within schools in the way in which segregated special education facilities did in the past. As well, new policies and structures are being introduced without practitioners having the time and support to critically examine the underlying assumptions about disability, difference and inclusion that underpin their practices. \ud These reforms need to be reviewed in terms of their effectiveness in achieving their 'inclusive' goals, i.e. in terms of the impacts that these reforms are having on the students themselves, and on the educational practitioners who support the students

Topics: 130105 Primary Education (excl. Maori), 130304 Educational Administration Management and Leadership, 130312 Special Education and Disability, Inclusive education, Education policy, Support personnel, Professional development
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1080/13603110802504200
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.qut.edu.au:14158

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