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Title: Educational inclusion for children with autism in Palestine : what opportunities can be found to develop inclusive educational practice and provision for children with autism in Palestine : with special reference to the developing practice in two educational settings
Author: Ashbee, Elaine
ISNI:       0000 0004 5923 782X
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2016
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This study investigates inclusive educational understandings, practice and provision for children with autism in Palestine, using a qualitative, case study approach and a dimension of action research together with participants from two educational settings. In addition, data about the wider context was obtained through interviews, visits, observations and focus group discussions. Despite the extraordinarily difficult context, education was found to be highly valued and Palestinian educators, parents and decision-makers had achieved impressive progress. The research found that autism is an emerging field of interest with a widespread desire for better understanding. Autism was often perceived in terms of deficits, and the breadth, diversity and abilities within the autistic population were not well understood. Although there was general support for the official policy of inclusive education, autistic children were sometimes stigmatised, isolated and excluded. Notwithstanding many challenges, there were examples of dedicated but insecurely funded non-government provision. However, autism was not generally well understood or reliably identified and there was a lack of opportunity for sharing knowledge and practice. The action research dimension of the study identified features of successfully developing practice within two settings and considered the viability of replicating these more widely with in Palestine. Concluding recommendations call for development of knowledge and practice in Palestine, drawing on, but not dictated by, the international pool of knowledge on inclusive autism practice. The study highlights a need for better identification of autism; for building capacity for contextually-appropriate inclusive educational provision; and for reconceptualising inclusion as a process of enabling participation in education. It proposes that there is a need for collaboration between professionals, parents and people with autism to share knowledge and practice, and suggests that this could be achieved through a Communities of Practice approach. It also proposes that Palestinians have much to contribute to the international discourse on the inclusive education of autistic children.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: JQ Political institutions Asia ; L Education (General) ; LC Special aspects of education