ERIC Number: EJ1095064
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Modelling Inclusive Special Needs Education: Insights from Dutch Secondary Schools
Van der Bij, T.; Geijsel, F. P.; Garst, G. J. A.; Ten Dam, G. T. M.
European Journal of Special Needs Education, v31 n2 p220-235 2016
Inclusive special needs education is prominent on the international education agenda. Research on the characteristics of inclusive education for students with special needs and schools providing this is scarce, however. Our aim in the present study was therefore to further theory-building with regard to inclusive special needs education. On the basis of the relevant literature, we identified three core aspects of inclusivity: the learning environment, the guidance provided by teachers and the general care structure. With the help of exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses conducted on data obtained from school professionals in 79 secondary schools in the Netherlands, we were able to identify 12 underlying characteristics for a conceptual framework to further research on the inclusive nature of schools and education. Multilevel structural equation modelling of the judgments of school professionals at the level of the school also showed that the inclusive special needs education in at least secondary schools can be characterised by two main factors: (1) learning environment and (2) guidance and care. The analyses showed considerable agreement on the important aspects of inclusivity for schools and thus how differences between schools can be explained. The results further showed the work of the care coordinator--which includes cooperation with external partners and teachers with mentoring roles--to be the clearest indicator of the extent of the inclusive special needs education within schools. This finding is interpreted as suggesting that the recommended teaching practices and student care for adequate included special needs education have not yet been integrated into teachers' thinking and acting. Follow-up research drawing upon the developed framework is therefore called for to not only more generally validate the framework but also determine if the situation in school has changed, now that the policy and practices for inclusive education have become more familiar.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Special Needs Students, Special Education, Models, Inclusion, Secondary Schools, Secondary Education, Secondary School Students, Educational Environment, Guidance, Caring, Educational Practices, Self Evaluation (Individuals), Questionnaires, Structural Equation Models, Correlation, Factor Analysis, Scores, Validity, Reliability
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Netherlands