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Title: Students' and their parents' experiences of inclusion in mainstream schools : what does inclusion mean for parents with children that have special educational needs and what does it mean for the children themselves in today's mainstream schooling system?
Author: Cleere, Vanessa
ISNI:       0000 0004 5370 6269
Awarding Body: University of the West of England
Current Institution: University of the West of England, Bristol
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis examines experiences and critical incidents that parents and their children with special educational needs encountered in mainstream school settings. Research was carried out within the methodological framework of autoethnography, reflecting the author's desire to make sense of her own experiences of inclusion in mainstream schools, both as a professional 'insider' and parent of a child with special educational needs. A purist approach to autoethnography was used, where stories were seen as stand alone pieces of gold: individual, unique case studies giving rise to questions and emotions in their own right, (Ellis & Bochner, 2006, Vickers, 2010), combined with the rigour of an analytical approach to make sense of what unfolded (Andersons, 2006). Differing meanings, values and interpretations surrounding inclusion have shaped the current inclusion discourse and understandings of 'need' and 'disability', giving rise to significant impacts on the disabled person and the symbolic value of the disabled body. The work of Bourdieu and Foucault was used to better understand concepts of capital, power and agency and the impact these have on the disabled entrepreneur. Research findings indicate that positive experiences of parents and children with SEN in mainstream schools were rare and sporadic. However, success is possible if we redefine the language surrounding SEN, taking a more detailed and sensitive approach that recognises the power of words in shaping values, attitudes, feelings and practices. A more equal distribution of power is required to stabilise the SEN system, listening more to parents and children and empowering them as agents of their own lives. Standing in people's shoes, seeing them as valued, unique and capable, as wanting to find their true abilities and to realise their hopes, their dreams and their full potential will lead to the term SEN no longer being necessary.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available