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Title: Perceptions of inclusive education for children and families with physical disabilities.
Author: Llewellyn, Ann.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3611 5334
Awarding Body: University of Wolverhampton
Current Institution: University of Wolverhampton
Date of Award: 1999
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It was the focus of this thesis to examine the influence of the school community and education system upon the children and families of young people with physical disabilities in one 'designated' mainstream school within the United Kingdom. The first phase of the study examined the self-perceptions of ninety three non-disabled peers between the ages of twelve and thirteen from year 8 of the school. The Twenty Statements Test (Rees and Nicholson. 1994) was used to establish sources of influence and values underlying identity in this group. This served as a basis to establish what the young people saw as the major issues affecting themselves and their friendships at this particular stage of their development. The results suggest that there are cultural nonns associated with identity in mainstream education that may serve to exclude young people with physical disabilities who may not meet peer expectations regarding physical appearance, personality and participation in group activities. The results suggest that children with physical disabilities are in a position of disadvantage in relation to friendship fonnation in mainstream education and also in relation to participation in activities considered crucial at this level of development. The second phase of the study examined the perceptions of mainstreaming of 6 pupils with physical disabilities, their parents and seven teaching staff. In-depth interviews were carried out and fonned the basis of a themed case study that highlighted multi-perspective approaches to issues that arose in mainstream schooling. A major theme emerging from this study was the vulnerability of young people with physical disabilities within a rigid system designed for an ablebodied majority. Evidence presented here suggests that clinical issues affecting the development of a child with a physical disability are not readily identified by teaching staff in mainstream education. It appears from interviews conducted that teachers are not provided with the training to recognise difficulties that can arise when teaching children with physical disabilities. An analysis of the case study material in the light of the transactional model (Sameroff, 1991) provides an example of how the personal attitudes and expectations of teachers can affect the way they interact with children with physical disabilities and also highlights the social and psychological barriers to inclusion that support discriminatory practices in mainstream education. Evidence from the case studies suggests that the processes that can serve to exclude the child with a physical disability from themainstream of "chool life appear to be '1ubtle and can abo impact upon the psychological functioning of individual children and their familie:--. The results of both phases of the study suggest that children with phy:--il'al disabilities are only partially included in main:--trcam school life
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available