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Title: Dancing with the devil: a critical look at two primary schools experience of a local authority self evaluation insturment to develop inclusive practice
Author: Fox , Samantha J
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2009
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The Manchester Inclusion Standard (MIS) is a self-evaluation instrument that endeavours to measure the extent to which a school is inclusive (thereby acting as a kitemark) at the same time as creating the conditions for inclusive development. As such, the MIS is designed to provoke a process of 'social learning' (Ainscow, 2002) that encourages members of the school community to explore their own values and working assumptions in order to challenge and reconstruct practice in ways that impact upon a school's cultures, policies and practices. This is the underlying theory of The Index for Inclusion (Booth and Ainscow, 2002), a forerunner to the MIS in that it uses data to challenge thinking, to create "interruptions" (Ainscow et al, 2006) that lead to collaborative discourse around putting into action inclusive values. Those like Ainscow and Booth assert that changes in such values lead to changes in inclusive cultures as schools look to enhance ways of increasing participation for all. Whilst much has been written about factors that encourage the development of inclusive practice through such processes it is argued, here, that most of this research presupposes the existence of some inclusive condition, such as inclusive styles of leadership. Less is known, however, about how such processes "happen" in an ordinary school. The question is, in a climate of competing and contradictory tensions between the Inclusive and Standards agendas, can social processes that typically involve relationships of trust and respect for diversity, ever sit comfortably within in a top-down Local Authority evaluation strategy. This study capitalises on the researcher's own involvement with the Manchester Inclusion Standard, affording privileged status in the field within which the process is traced, in two case study schools, over a period of one year. The thesis concludes that whilst self-evaluation frameworks of this nature may in fact lead to some changes in practices, the culture of the school remains unaffected.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available