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ERIC Number: ED542516
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Dec
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 66
ISSN: ISSN-1324-9320
Learning Support Policy in Australia (New South Wales) and New Zealand; Discourses of Influence
Tearle, Kerri; Spandagou, Ilektra
Australian Association for Research in Education (NJ1), Paper presented at the Joint Australian Association for Research in Education and Asia-Pacific Educational Research Association Conference (AARE-APERA 2012) World Education Research Association (WERA) Focal Meeting (Sydney, New South Wales, Dec 2-6, 2012)
This paper presents a comparative discourse analysis of the learning support policy in New South Wales, Australia and New Zealand. The dominant discourses in both policies are identified and analysed in terms of how they determine the manner in which students experiencing difficulties with learning are included in schools. It is argued that the possibilities of inclusion are constrained by constructions of learning difficulties which in turn justify the models of support provided. Three types of discourses were identified in the two policy documents; "inclusion discourses" related to placement, rights and needs; "historical discourses," that refer to a deficit model of disability, professionalism and human capital in education, and "other discourses in education" referring to external but implicit discourses of managerialism, marketisation and academic excellence. The analysis revealed that the policies not only construct students experiencing difficulties as "deficit" in comparison to other "normal" students but in constraining support to remediation they ultimately put forward powerful constructions of classroom teachers, "normal" students, support teachers and school executive. The study concludes that possibilities for inclusion under the current policy regimes in both countries are limited without reform at both a broad systemic level concurrently with localised solutions. (Contains 1 figure and 1 footnote.)
Australian Association for Research in Education. AARE Secretariat, One Geils Court, Deakin ACT 2600, Australia. Tel: +61-2-6285-8388; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE)
Identifiers - Location: Australia; New Zealand