Dr. Mona Tawakkul Elsayed

Associate Prof. of Mental Health and Special Education

Schooling:


Schooling:


1.a. What is needed to help schools succeed?


An attitude which welcomes disabled students and encourages them to achieve their academic and functional skills potential, whatever that may be.


We need:


  • Significantly more resourcing going directly into schools for classroom and learning support of disabled students with high, medium and low support needs.

  • Better and coordinated leadership focusing on lifting the performance of young disabled people in education and employment.

  • To identify and overcome barriers that limit the educational and employment achievement of disabled people.

  • To develop an inclusive education policy, rather than a special education policy, that drives the education of young disabled people in special schools, mainstream special units and classroom settings.

  • A disability philosophy driving the education of young disabled people that is more of a strengths-based model, rather than a deficit model, with particularly emphasis on developing academic potential and functional skills and overcoming barriers to learning support.

  • To set national standards to measure and increase the achievement of young disabled people with National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA). This should include having targets for the academic achievement of disabled students in school charters for special and mainstream schools.

  • Ongoing training for educators so teachers challenge their own beliefs and raise their expectations of disabled learners.

  • The development of a nationally recognised and consistent transition planning process for young disabled people.

  • Transition staff in all schools and Ministry of Social Development (MSD) funded services receiving consistent transition training.

  • To develop strategies to increase and improve work experience and after school and holiday work for young disabled people.

  • Appropriate access to information about learning options and career choices for young disabled people and their families/whanau.


 


Journey to Work - Background Information and Questions:

 

Starting early

Feedback from CCS Disability Action staff in 2004 suggests that families of disabled children often do not have the same expectations for their child as other people when it comes to accessing and participating in early childhood education. Extended family and other people who usually have contact with children are often less connected, and families do not seek support until they are under stress. [i]

 

It is important that families new to the disability journey are linked to a support service that is knowledgeable in disability, community development, inclusion and the strengths model of practice. The family can then develop a positive future for themselves and the disabled family member. This includes an expectation of their child contributing to and benefiting from society like everyone else.

 

Assisting young disabled people to achieve better education outcomes at school

‘Getting a quality education and the ability to live well in the community are two essential preconditions for achieving a non-disabling society. When it comes to education, schools are where the rubber hits the road. If disabled children and their families struggle to get resources and responsive teachers, schools will remain an area of real concern … schools need to be brought into the New Zealand Disability Strategy implementation and reporting process. Until they are, progress in schools will remain unaccounted for.' (DPA, 2006)[ii]

 

Young disabled people are almost twice as likely as young non-disabled people to leave school without a qualification. Our national statistics also show high levels of post-school unemployment for young disabled adults.

 

Despite this, some disabled people do successfully transition from school to post secondary education and work. This report provides evidence of the need to have further discussion on:

·         How to develop solutions to improve the journey to work of young disabled people.

·         Why some disabled people are successful in education and employment and what we can learn from this.

 

This discussion should involve young disabled people, other disabled people who have successfully transitioned from education into employment, their family/whanau, key Ministers and officials from the State Sector and non-government organisations. Initiatives for young people, forums and meetings also need to draw from the voice of young disabled people.

 

Planning for the transition to adult life needs to begin early and be integrated into the curriculum and classroom teaching (Bray, 2003; Mirfin-Veitch, 2003; Robinson et al, 2000; cited in McArthur, 2009).[iii]

 

Special education versus inclusive education

The New Zealand Education Act 1989[iv] [v] legislates for people with special educational needs, including those with disability or impairment, to have the same rights to enrol and receive education in state schools as people who do not have these needs.

 

Government special education policies generally emphasise that the primary focus of special education is to meet the individual learning and developmental needs of the learner. What is not clear is how special education is evaluated in terms of students’ needs and outcomes.

 

This Special Education Review needs to consider how to improve education outcomes for young disabled people, with particular emphasis on the development of social, functional and academic skills that prepare young disabled people for their journey to work.

 

IHC believes that New Zealand needs to develop a national inclusive education policy, rather than a special education policy, so disabled students can go to their local schools and teachers receive support around inclusive education practice.

 

IHC launched ‘Learning Better Together’[vi] in 2009. Written by Dr Jude MacArthur, this research was commissioned by IHC to argue the case for inclusive education. It examines current thinking about inclusive education and advocates that disabled students should be in regular classrooms. Dr MacArthur says that an examination of research here and overseas shows that school students do better when they learn together:

 

‘Disabled children and young people are advantaged socially and academically when they attend regular classes … The advantages are even more obvious when school staff work at including all students.’

 

Some believe that special schools still have a role to play, particularly for disabled students with high and very high support needs. Colin Gladstone is the Manager of Lead School Transition Service in Christchurch, which is located at the Allenvale Special School and is regarded by the MoE as an example of best practice for the transition of disabled students. He has this to say about special schools:

 

‘We should be concentrating not perhaps on historical conclusions about the value of special schools that in the past have perpetuated the ‘specialness’ of disabled students … Instead we should focus on a new way of viewing special schools as specialist resource centres that promote flexible pathways and arguably are providing practical solutions to the systemic and attitudinal barriers to disabled students’ meaningful participation in the wider community and life.

 

We need to be very clear about the particular supports that those young people with profound and complex disabilities desire and require from the community. We need to remember that true inclusion is the celebration of the unique difference of all people.’

 

Professor Garry Hornby and Roger Kidd wrote the journal article ‘Transfer from Special to Mainstream – Ten Years Later’ (2001).[vii] This essentially states that whatever setting a disabled student is in, the focus should be on helping them become independent and fully included in society as adults.

 

Therefore, disabled students in mainstream and special school settings need:

·         Functional curricula which teach them the skills they need.

·         Comprehensive, well-supervised work experience.

·         Effective transition planning which involves parents and the young people.

·         Support networks of agencies to provide guidance to parents and the young people themselves before and after they leave school.

 

Hornby and Kidd indicate that if disabled students with high support needs are to be successfully included in mainstream schools then these schools need to develop the ethos, resources and procedures necessary to provide appropriately for such pupils. This includes transferring all that is best about special schools and units into mainstream schools. They warn that if this doesn’t occur young disabled people will be included in mainstream schools for their school lives, only to be excluded from the mainstream of society as adults.

 

Colin Gladstone (2009) believes that the education sector needs to look at creating meaningful accreditation pathways for disabled students within the NCEA qualifications framework, rather than perpetuating difference by having discrete or alternative programmes like the Award Scheme Development and Accreditation Network  (ASDAN) and South Pacific Education Courses (SPEC) that arguably do not allow progression to post secondary education and employment. He also believes that we need a more situational approach to curriculum development and the framing of goals and content in schools, particularly around vocational education. [viii]

 

‘Ka Hikitia: The Maori Education Strategy’ recognises that the prerequisite for young people’s ongoing engagement in education is a strong learning foundation in early schooling and meaningful and relevant learning as they progress into secondary school and beyond.

 

This strategy found that while Maori students are well represented in tertiary foundation-level courses, and gain certificates and diplomas, their study is often concentrated in areas that they could have achieved during their compulsory schooling.

 

Many of the barriers and solutions identified in this strategy are relevant to young disabled people and would also improve education outcomes for young disabled people:

·         Collaborative planning across government agencies and schools.

·         Quality teaching and higher expectations for achievement.

·         Support for Year 9 and 10 students to make decisions about future pathways.

·         Strengthening school planning and reporting processes by expecting schools to set goals in charters for improving student presence, engagement, and achievement.

·         Piloting new approaches to support Maori students and their family/whanau to make decisions about future education choices.

·         Using consistent and well-researched evaluation strategies to make sure initiatives are working for Maori students.

 

·         Increasing student, parental and family/whanau understanding of the NCEA and the choices necessary for building useful qualifications.

 

This section indicates that:

·         Inclusion is not just about a ‘setting’. It is also about creating pathways for disabled students in whatever setting they are in - special school, mainstream special unit or classroom.

·         We need to develop an inclusive education policy, rather than a special education policy, that drives the education of young disabled people in special schools, mainstream special units and classrooms.

·         The disability philosophy driving the education of all young disabled people needs to be a strengths-based model rather than a deficit model, with particular emphasis on developing academic potential and functional skills and overcoming barriers to learning support.

·         We need to set national standards to measure and increase the achievement of young disabled people with NCEA and at post secondary level. This should include having targets for the academic achievement of disabled students in school charters for special and mainstream schools.




[i] CCS Internal National Survey 2004

[ii] Minister for Disability Issues. (2006). Work in Progress: 2004-05, 2006 – NZ Disability Strategy Progress Report.

[iii] MacArthur, J. (2009). Learning Better Together Working towards Inclusive Education in New Zealand Schools. Wellington: IHC.

[iv] Statistics New Zealand. (2008). Disability and Education in New Zealand in 2006. Wellington, New Zealand: Statistics New Zealand. pp. 11.

[v] Ministry of Education. (2008). What is special education? Ministry of Education website. http://www.minedu.govt.nz

[vi] MacArthur, J. (2009). Learning Better Together Working towards Inclusive Education in New Zealand Schools. Wellington: IHC.

[vii] Hornby, Professor G. & Kidd, R. (March 2001). Transfer From Special To Mainstream – Ten Years Later’. British Journal of Special Education Volume 28, No. 1.

[viii] Colin Gladstone (2009)


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التعلم القائم على النواتج (المخرجات)

التعلم القائم على المخرجات يركز على تعلم الطالب خلال استخدام عبارات نواتج التعلم التي تصف ما هو متوقع من المتعلم معرفته، وفهمه، والقدرة على أدائه بعد الانتهاء من موقف تعليمي، وتقديم أنشطة التعلم التي تساعد الطالب على اكتساب تلك النواتج، وتقويم مدى اكتساب الطالب لتلك النواتج من خلال استخدام محكات تقويم محدودة.

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