ERIC Number: EJ1052075
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
The Psychology of Containment: (Mis) Representing Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties in Australian Schools
Van Bergen, Penny; Graham, Linda J.; Sweller, Naomi; Dodd, Helen F.
Emotional & Behavioural Difficulties, v20 n1 p64-81 2015
The number of students in special schools has increased at a rapid rate in some Australian states, due in part to increased enrolment under the categories of emotional disturbance (ED) and behaviour disorder (BD). Nonetheless, diagnostic distinctions between ED and BD are unclear. Moreover, despite international findings that students with particular backgrounds are over-represented in special schools, little is known about the backgrounds of students entering such settings in Australia. This study examined the government school enrolment data from New South Wales, the most populous of the Australian states. Linear and quadratic trends were used to describe the numbers and ages of students enrolled in special schools in the ED and BD categories. Changes between 1997 and 2007 were observed. Results showed an over-representation of boys that increased across the decade and a different pattern across age for boys and girls. Consistent with international findings, these results indicate that trends in special school placements are unrelated to disability prevalence in the population. Rather, it is suggested that schools act to preserve time and resources for others by removing their more challenging students: most typically, boys.
Descriptors: Special Schools, Gender Differences, Foreign Countries, Enrollment Trends, Emotional Disturbances, Behavior Disorders, Data Analysis, Disproportionate Representation, Student Placement, Trend Analysis, Educational Trends, Disabilities, Males, Special Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A