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Patterns of Educational Integration
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Patterns of Educational Integration

international perspectives on mainstreaming children with special educational needs


1992 paperback 182 pages, £24.00, ISBN 978-1-873927-01-4

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About the book

The integration of children with special educational needs was a crucial issue for the 1990s. Many countries were reassessing and reorganising their systems of provision in the light of legislation to provide entitlement for all. There was noticeable worldwide trend away from entirely separate provision for learners with special educational needs. At the same time there was no agreement on how exactly they should be integrated with other students.

The reader will gain a clear understanding of educational provision, the societal forces that push for greater integration and the attitudes that promote or hinder educational success.




Segregation or Integration?

Towards Integration

Attitudes and Integrating


Whose Problem Is It Anyway?

Resources for Disabled Pupils in the Mainstream Class

Integration and the Specialist Unit: problems of balance

Opening Doors: changes of policy

Mayfield Park: developing an enrichment programme

Working Together: interschool integration

The Support Team: in-school support

Educational Programmes: planning for the individual

Continuity of Care: mainstreaming whole persons through their school years

A Parent’s Perspective


Ways Forward: implications and practical strategies for successful integration


Patterns are essential to processes of careful construction. We have described patterns in this book because we attach maximum importance to the careful construction of school policy for integrating children with special needs into mainstream education. Mainstreaming is, of course, a controversial issue and, in Part 1, we sample international perspectives, (political, economic, legislative and social) on integration and we represent as a continuum those patterns which lie between segregating children and integrating them. Then we outline some of the other forces (curricular, research, comparative, operational and rational) which are accelerating the journey down mainstream currents. Since attitudes (of parents, teachers and students, for example) are crucial to making any system work, we devote Chapter Three to an analysis of what we know about attitudes to children with disabilities, how attitudes may be changed and what their effects on learning and integration might be.

Having discussed these topical issues in Part 1, we move, in Part 2, to a series of case studies in which we analyse how changes towards integration are being effected in Britain, Australia and New Zealand. The pattern for these chapters is a movement from focus on individuals (Chapters Four and Five) to unit or separate provision within a school (Chapters Six and Seven) to liaison between special and mainstream schools (Chapter Eight) to support for special needs within mainstream schools (Chapters Nine and Ten). Chapter Eleven describes a system of continuing mainstream provision for children with disabilities from primary to secondary school and Chapter Twelve examines a parent's viewpoint. The case studies use verbatim accounts to illustrate issues; only the names of participants and their schools have been changed. Special needs vary at an individual level of context, personality, disability, etc., which makes providing for them challenging. The detail of such diagnosis and provision can best be analysed at case study level, so we have given the majority of space to Part 2. Nonetheless this section, from particular cases, raises important general issues: for example, resourcing for special needs; the value of interaction; how best to support children and staff; the need to consult both parents and children. These issues are discussed with their implications for practice in Part 3.

This then is the pattern of our book, but we recognise readers' special needs to begin where they feel most comfortable. In our view, it will be just as valuable to begin at the stories of individual children or at the accounts of school provision and then to return to the legislative, social, political and economic issues. We hope our book will provoke thought and inform practice, but we emphasise that, in construction and in ideas, it offers patterns and not a single blueprint. Rearranging the chapters kaleidoscopically according to need may have more advantage to some readers than following the order we have chosen.

Our own route towards the completion of this book bears striking similarity to the patterns of provision for children with special educational needs that are its subject matter. We too have relied on encouragement, resources, interaction and practical support and without them this book would never have been written.

We received considerable encouragement from individuals, particularly from those who had read Special Children: Special Needs, our first book. We were prepared to believe them when they said they had found it entertaining and useful. Our self concepts flourished!

Resources we acknowledge with gratitude in the shape of financial support from the Leverhulme Foundation which enabled us to undertake observational studies in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore as well as in Great Britain. We thank Newman College and the University of Birmingham for resources of time offered by granting a term's secondment to one author and two weeks' leave of absence to the other. These resources provided the launching platform from which we could set out confidently on our journey of enquiry.

We have benefited from interaction with more people than we can mention here who have generously shared ideas with us, stimulated our interest and facilitated our studies in so many ways.

In New Zealand we were helped by John Foster, David and Ketty Philips, Brian Pearl, Rowena Somogyvary, Peter Kohing, Gill Ward, Dr Keith Ballard, Professor Ted Glynn, Dr Keri Wilton, Pat Harrison, Alan Jackson, Dr Geraldine McDonald, Rory Gollop, Graham Murray, Colleen Pilgrim, Yvonne Hope, Geoff Neve, Ross Wilson, Maurice Gianotti, Val Davidson, Pru Ursell, Robin Wright, Tony Stanley, Eric Baker.

In Australia: Ken Watson, John Pimm, Rhonda Brill, Jill Phillips, David Bishop, Professor Diana Davis, Warwick Franks, Rod Leonader, Margaret Swieringa, Jack and Shona Thomson, Ingrid Kaschek, Katherine Stewart.

In Singapore: Angela Khoo, Dr Pamela Sharpe, June Thana.

In Britain: Professor Ron Gulliford, David Cropp, Francesca Healey, Ros Cofield, Stella Bolitho, Pat Burrage, Barbara Johncey.

From interacting with the above we profited immensely. However, since learners must claim ownership of their own learning, we acknowledge that any imperfections or misrepresentations that have crept into the book are our responsibility not theirs.

Finally, we are glad to acknowledge the practical support given by Imogen and Miranda Wade, who transcribed some of our tape-recorded interviews, and by Jean Thompson who expertly prepared our manuscript for publication. It was she who cheerfully shaped the diverse patterns of our handwritten drafts and redrafts into an integrated word-processed form. As a token of our admiration and gratitude this book is dedicated to her.


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