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Title: What constitutes inclusion? : a critical discourse analysis of the views of young people identified as falling within the autism spectrum, their parents and their learning support assistants
Author: Gauci, Randee Ann
ISNI:       0000 0004 6347 7439
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2016
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Inclusion of young people identified as having a disability has recently become a much debated issue both internationally as well as locally in Malta. This gave rise to the move from special schools to mainstream schooling for all young people to have a quality education. Moreover, the idea of what needs to be done to cater for the diverse needs of all young people to thrive in a serene and welcoming environment is greatly discussed. This thesis will examine what constitutes inclusion to different stakeholders, more specifically what constitutes inclusion to young people identified as falling within the autism spectrum, parents, and learning support assistants (L.S.A.s). A qualitative approach will be adopted for this study, involving six young people identified as falling within the autism spectrum, six parents and six L.S.A.s. The research adopts a qualitative methodology, using participant produced images, semi-structured interviews and critical discourse analysis. The theoretical framework that underpins this research is that of social constructionism. Six young people identified as falling in different spectra of the autism spectrum were chosen and given a camera. They were asked to take photos of what they like and dislike at school. This was followed by semi-structured interviews for the young people who responded verbally and discussions using social stories for young people who did not respond verbally. Semi-structured interviews were then carried out with the young people, parents and L.S.A.s. Carla Willig’s six-step methodological approach to critical discourse analysis was adopted to analyse the interviews. The research gave insight on various aspects of what constitutes inclusion for different stakeholders including inclusion as relational and inclusion as one-size-fits-all as two examples. The study indicates that different stakeholders viewed inclusion differently. Lacunae were also found such as, for example the lack of voice that young people identified as falling within the autism spectrum have, and the need for more training programmes to equip L.S.A.s and other teaching professionals with the necessary skills to cater for the diverse needs of such young people.
Supervisor: Anthony, Williams ; Cathy, Nutbrown Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available