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Models of difference and differentiation - inclusive pedagogy

An exploration of dominant and alternative conceptions of differentiation for diverse learners (SEND)

Georgina Spry

on 7 December 2015

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Transcript of Models of difference and differentiation - inclusive pedagogy

photo (cc) Malte Sörensen @ flickr
What does inclusive teaching (pedagogy)
look like?

This lecture will explore some alternative ways of thinking about pedagogic responses with particular reference to Special Educational Needs and Disability
Three alternatives will be explored because much of the literature reports on the importance of understanding and applying many alternative approaches to teaching and learning (e.g. Corbett, 2001; Black-Hawkins and Florian, 2013)
1. Models of SEND (Conceptualisations and belief systems)

2. Inclusion or integration

3. Starting points for differentiation

In this lecture we have looked at multiple perspectives and practices
1. The first set of alternatives were about models of SEND and we looked at the Medical and Social Models of SEND
2. The second set of alternatives compare the idea of integration with the idea of inclusion
3. The third set of alternatives are about starting points for differentiation

We have explored some alternative conceptions
(by which we mean ways of thinking and doing) of difference and differentiation

Its purpose is to help you understand the
multiple and alternative models and practices
that practitioners might apply when responding to
diverse learners
and what the implications of these are for
inclusive practice during placement
and beyond!
Those who were affected by thalidomide
look back angrily at the attempts made to normalise them with prosthetic limbs whose only purpose was to make them look more acceptable.
The social model does not reject therapies, individual programmes, special equipment or differentiation by task since these are all signs that the environment is recognised as a cause of difficulty.
When operating a social model we look for environmental barriers to learning and try to remove them.
When operating a social model we evaluate the disabling impact of our systems and practices and try to make them less disabling.
Associated with the medical model is the
tragedy or charity model
in which disabled people are seen as unfortunate victims. Those who work with them are often regarded as heroes or heroines able to take on what we cannot. The problem with this model is that it portrays disabled people and people with SENDs as powerless and passive.
We are about to watch two video extracts
In the first, disabled people are reflecting on their experiences of childhood during the middle part of the last century.
What models of SEND are operating and what are the effects of

Arguably, an important concept to return to here is the concept of OTHERING

De Beauvoir noted that identifying the other was usually about the majority imposing ‘its rule upon the minority’ (1949, p. xxiv). The other is therefore not just to be seen as someone who is not me, but is more generally associated with those who are being discursively positioned as inferior or dangerous or marginal or outside.

De Beauvoir, S. (1949) The Second Sex, London, Jonathan Cape

To what extent might teachers 'other' children with the label of SEND and what might be the consequence?
Three alternative starting points for differentiation will be considered in the spirit of multiple perspectives
Alternative 1
We start by working out what the majority of children need and then make adaptions for individuals or groups in the form of:

Different tasks
Different levels of support
Different resources
Different stimuli
Ability groups

In primary education, this model often draws on levels of ability or stages of development but sometimes it might be about interests or learning preferences.
Arguably, this alternative is best when it results from systematic assessment rather than assumption and when it is used fluidly
Corbett, J. (2001) Supporting Inclusive Education. London: Routledge
Corbett supports this approach as long as it is part of a varied set of starting points for differentiation.
Hart et al. (2004) do not support this as a valid starting point for inclusive practice arguing that the 'majority first' approach results in the 'othering' of those who are not in the majority and limits any need for the big systemic changes that are actually necessary.
Alternative 2
Our first question is ‘what will work for everyone?’ rather than 'what will work for the majority?'

This starting point might lessen the need for more structured forms of differentiation.
For example, if we decide to record the results of a science experiment in photographs rather than writing, those children who have difficulty with writing may not need a different worksheet or ‘support’.
Alternative 3
Our first question is ‘What would work for this individual?’
This starting point can lead to pedagogic choices that make learning more accessible for other children too.

For example, we may decide that one of the pupils (who has difficulty focusing for long periods of times) needs regular breaks from having to follow teacher talk. The adaptions we make may help several other children too.
Some children (such as those why may experience dyslexia) need a longer processing time before the can answer a question so using 'thinking time' can help them. However, thinking time is good for everyone. It promotes deeper thinking and learning (Lyle, 2008)
Inclusion is the experience of being included.
Being included tends to be associated with an experience of belonging to and being able to participate in (and gain from) the community (school or classroom).
Inclusion is a process
Inclusive schools change their practices and systems of organisation in response to the needs of its community. They are active in identifying barriers or disabling factors. They try to minimise these.
The meaning of integration is best understood by comparing it the term and process of inclusion.
Mittler (2000) explains this as follows:
'The pupil must adapt to the school and there is no necessary assumption that the school will change to accommodate a greater diversity of pupils. Inclusion implies a radical reform of the school in terms of ethos, curriculum, assessment, pedagogy and grouping of pupils.' (Mittler, 2000, p. 10)
In this way, integration is a more conservative approach and places more demands on individuals to ‘fit into’ than it does on itself to ‘fit around.’
Video Extract : Inclusion or integration?
Watch the video extract.
As you watch, consider the following:
To what extent do the strategies for differentiation manifest inclusion or integration?
poem - stairs - biology - french - leaves
These were the purposes

1. To explore the concept of MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES in relation to models of SEND

2. To explore MULTIPLE PRACTICES in relation to differentiation and inclusive pedagogy.
What traditions must I maintain for the sake of my career?
What departures from tradition could and should I make for the sake of my career?
The most inclusive practitioners are quite annoying

Their earnest, cheerful, open-minded character can really get on your nerves.

Their ceaseless inquisitiveness, questioning and problem solving makes you feel tired.
Also, why do the parents keep giving them thank you cards?
And why so many Christmas presents? Its a mystery!
Choose some key events and consider where they would be on this continuum
What practices might move the experiences of children towards a more positive outcome?
Characterised by:
Different levels of worksheet
Individualised Interventions
outside the class
Task differentiation
Varied pedagogies are used to keep everyone involved
Practitioners are willing to make the effort to ensure that learning is accessible
Children make their own choices
Children help each other and work collaboratively (also supported by Rix et al., 2006 and Howe and Mercer, 2007)
Children's choices/interests are respected and followed up
Stage 3
The whole school system seeks to value differences (e.g. in assembly, in systematically identifying barriers to learning and participation)
Anti-discriminatory approaches are used to foster positive attitudes to difference
Practitioners work as a team to find solutions and new ways to respond to difference

Child is Faulty
Impairment becomes
focus of attention
Assessment, monitoring,
programmes of therapy imposed
Segregation and alternative
'Ordinary' or common, human
needs put on hold
Re-entry if normal
Exclusion if not
medical model
locates difficulties within the individual's
impairment. When operated, it leads to practices that focus on this impairment
strengths and needs defined by self and others
Resources are allocated
to 'ordinary' services to
develop their effectiveness
for diverse learners
Focus on future wishes and outcomes
Child is
Society evolves to be more inclusive
Diversity welcomed
Training for staff and parents
If a practitioner adopted a medical model, what kind of
experience would a learner have in their classroom?

If a practitioner adopted a social model, what kind of experience would a learner have in their classroom?

Review of models: Practitioners can adopt particular conceptualisations about difference
and learning difficulty.
It is important to note that people who adopt a 'social model' do not necessarily reject the idea that diagnosis, individual support or specific approaches are not part of an inclusive approach.
However, in an inclusive approach, it would always be understood that the extent to which an impairment is disabling depends on barriers in the environment.
It also alerts us to the idea that a learner's impairment may be the least relevant factor in deciding how to teach them.
the social model resists the domination of the impairment over wider contextual considerations.

Connors and Stalker (2007) found what they called 'barriers to being' of particular significance for disabled children. Feelings of self-worth and self-confidence could be easily undermined when brought up against other people's attitudes at a personal and institutional level.
All of this suggests that it is important not to ignore impairment
but to consider 'the impairment' in a complex way with reference to the
barriers created in the environment. Inclusive pedagogic approaches are likely adopt this view of impairment.

Social Model
Medical Model
Kelly (2005) found that disabled children and young people felt disabled by the
social barriers
that prevented their access to friends, parties, money, pets, toys, boyfriends and girlfriends more than their
individual impairments.
Kelly argues that it was society around them that needed to be 'worked on' rather than their impairments.

Summary for this section of the lecture

So far we have explored the medical and social models as
alternative perspectives that practitioners might adopt.
We have also considered the consequences of these for practice
and people's experience.

Our next question is - what kinds of pedagogic approaches
learners and whic
h integrate
Corbett's (2001) three stage model of differentiation - with each stage, schools become more inclusive
The logic of the 'starting with everyone'
approach to differentiation is shown in
this cartoon
The child is in the school but
has to change to fit into it. Policies, practices and attitudes remain unchanged.

The school transforms itself (policy, practice, attitudes) to fit its diverse learners
While the system is busy serving the majority as a forethought, the minority remain an afterthought and hence the school system never changes.
It continues to be shaped around the majority and the 'status quo'
(Hart et al., 2004; Black-Hawkins and Florian, 2012).
The logic and potential of this starting point
is shown in this cartoon
Barnes, C. and Mercer, G. (2003) 'Disability studies today.' Cambridge: Policy press
Collins, J., Harkin, J. and Nind, M. (2002) 'Manifesto for learning.' London: Continuum
FLORIAN, L. and BLACK-HAWKINS, K. (2011) 'Exploring Inclusive Pedagogy.' British Educational Research Journal, 37 (5), pp. 813-828.
Conners, C. and Stalker, K. (2007) 'Children's experiences of disability: pointers to a social model of disability.' Disability and society 22 (1), p.19-33
Corbett, J. (2001) 'Teaching approaches which support inclusive education: a connective pedagogy.' British Journal of Special education. 31 (3), pp.300-412
Corbett J. (2001) 'Supporting inclusive education; a connective pedagogy.' London: David Fulton
Howe, C. and Mercer, N. (2007) 'Children's social development, peer interaction and classroom learning.' Primary review research survey. 2 (1b) Cambridge: University of Cambridge
Kelly, N. (2005) ''Chocolate...makes you autism': impairment, disability and childhood identities.' Disability and society 20 (3), pp.261-75
Lyle, S. (2008) 'Dialogic teaching, discussing theoretical contexts and reviewing evidence from classroom practice.' Language and Education 22 (3), pp.222-40
Rix, J. (2004) Building on similarity: a whole class use for simplified langauge materials.' Westminster studies in education 27 910, pp. 57-68
Rix, J., Hall, K., Nind, M., Sheehy, K. and Wearmouth, J. (2006) 'A systematic review of interactions in pedagogical approaches with reported outcomes in the academic and social inclusion of pupils with special educational needs in the mainstream classroom.' In: Research evidence in education library, EPPI centre: Institute of education

In this way, the individual's needs are not seen as a 'problem' to be solved but rather as a trigger for improving practice for all.

(Black-Hawkins and Florian, 2011)
Rix et al. (2011) argue that the medical model has exclusive consequences and the social model has inclusive consequences in the following way:
The social model of SEND

The social model considers the source of difficulties more broadly.

It takes the environment into account - for example, curricula, teaching styles, attitudes, the physical environment.
The social model takes a broader view. People who operate the social model would acknowledge impairment whilst being aware that the
disabling impact

of an impairment is
diminished or amplified
by the social and physical environment (attitudes, culture, buildings, curriculum, teaching style, organisation). It is also acknowledged that impairment can be socially constructed.
Example: ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)
ADHD may be an impairment

it may also be a
social construction
created by the dominance of traditional classrooms which demand attentiveness, compliance and stillness. It can be argued that ADHD represents a personality type that simply does not fit and is hence seen as a deficit or problem when actually, it is the conventional nature of schooling that is the problem.
Inclusive Classroom Pedagogy

**AESN- Additional Educational Support Needs
with thanks to Debs Robinson
Full transcript