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Title: Education of pupils with disabilities in Malawi's inclusive secondary schools : policy, practice and experiences
Author: Kamchedzera, Elizabeth Tikondwe
ISNI:       0000 0004 2700 4255
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2010
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Malawi is party to a number of international human-rights standards and frameworks that embrace the goals and values of inclusion and education for all. The country has therefore made promising start with inclusive education (IE) in basic education. The challenge now is to extend IE to secondary education and other levels of education. Located within the interpretative paradigm, this study aims to contribute toward knowledge development and transfer through the exploration of the extent to which IE policy initiatives in Malawi's secondary schools have appropriately responded to the context of practice and the experience of pupils with disabilities and their teachers. No study has been conducted at secondary school level to explore meanings given to and interpretations of the policy-to-practice contexts for Malawi. This study employed Ball's (1994; 2009) policy-trajectory model as an analytical framework and tool for interrogating the policy-to-practice context of Malawian inclusive secondary schooling. The research design, methodology and research questions were structured according to this model. A mixed-methods approach, using both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods was adopted to fulfil the aims of the study. Evidence was collected from the contexts of influence through elite semi-structured interviews, text production through documentary analysis, and practice through teachers' questionnaires, classroom observations and semistructured interviews with pupils with disabilities. The findings confirm the mismatch between the policy and practice, although there is much goodwill for inclusion to succeed in Malawi. Two critical issues that challenge inclusion in countries of the South such as Malawi still need to be addressed: how to make IE more effective for both pupils with disability and those without disabilities; and how to redistribute resources to ensure appropriate preservice, in-service and specialist training for secondary teachers and adequate teaching and learning materials. With regard to both issues, responsiveness has to provide space for bottom-up initiatives in all the three broad contexts of influence, text production, and practice. Considering the historical imbalance in the resourcing of primary and secondary education in Malawi and the non-contestation of inclusion in the contexts of influence and practice, the conclusion is that IE policy that adequately responds to contexts of practice and achieves leverage on adequate resources can build on the existing goodwill of elites, teachers, and pupils to have effective IE in Malawi's secondary schools.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the United Kingdom (CSCUK) ; All Saints Educational Trust ; Institute of Education, University of Warwick
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools ; LC Special aspects of education