Inclusion 'from the gate in': wrapping students with personalised learning support

Article


Abawi, Lindy-Anne. 2015. "Inclusion 'from the gate in': wrapping students with personalised learning support." International Journal of Pedagogies and Learning. 10 (1), pp. 47-61. https://doi.org/10.1080/22040552.2015.1084676
Article Title

Inclusion 'from the gate in': wrapping students with personalised learning support

ERA Journal ID39917
Article CategoryArticle
Authors
AuthorAbawi, Lindy-Anne
Journal TitleInternational Journal of Pedagogies and Learning
Journal Citation10 (1), pp. 47-61
Number of Pages15
Year2015
Place of PublicationAustralia
ISSN1833-4105
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/22040552.2015.1084676
Web Address (URL)http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/22040552.2015.1084676
Abstract

Advocates of different approaches to inclusion are often adamant that there can be only one true form of inclusion – yet advocated forms differ. Ultimately, inclusion is about empowering students to succeed and wrapping them with the support necessary to do so. This article presents the story of Forrester Hill State School where varied approaches
to inclusion are blended according to students’ need. Individual goal setting and personalised learning pathways are the norm. Schoolwide pedagogical principles designed to support the learner are actioned and enhanced through wide spread commitment to the collectively developed school vision. Towards the end of 2012, the steadily increasing number of students with special needs at Forrester Hill had
been noted at a district level and intervention strategies were in place to encourage parents to access schools closer to home because, due to recommendations made by other parents, many families were moving well outside their catchment areas to enrol children at the school. This
approach was only minimally successful and by 2013 numbers were managed by system staff concerned that the high percentage of students with special needs was placing strains on available resources at the school. Despite these measures, by March 2014, the numbers of enrolled students with diagnosed special needs had risen to 86 out of the 630 students enrolled at the school. Within this same time, internal and external achievement data were trending upwards. With these obvious signs of ‘success’ in mind, this phenomenological case study was conducted to discover the essence of inclusion at Forrester Hill. The harmonies of student, staff, parent voices and others are woven together indicating the principles underpinning and sustaining this inclusive school culture – a culture that empowers students to know both how they learn and why they learn, becoming independent learners capable of reaching the high expectations that guide their learning journeys.

Keywordsspecial needs; explicit teaching; organisational culture; inclusion; personalised learning; shared meaning making
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390403. Educational administration, management and leadership
390411. Special education and disability
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Byline AffiliationsSchool of Teacher Education and Early Childhood
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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