The inclusive practice continuum: a comparative case study exploring the conceptualisation and implementation of inclusive education in England and Bahrain

Bukamal, Hanin ORCID: 0000-0002-9705-7016 (2022). The inclusive practice continuum: a comparative case study exploring the conceptualisation and implementation of inclusive education in England and Bahrain. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Inclusive education is simultaneously an elusive and ubiquitous term. For decades, the field of inclusion has been dominated by theoretical justifications of this concept. Yet, the field lacks a consensus on its conceptualisation and the practices associated with its implementation. The purpose of this study was to explore universalist teaching approaches that address the needs of diverse learners in a mainstream primary level classroom. Through a comparative case study design, this thesis examined inclusive practices and attitudes towards inclusion in England and Bahrain. Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory was used as the theoretical lens for this cross-cultural comparison. Methodological triangulation was utilised for three data sources which were interviews, classroom observations and teacher questionnaires. The results indicated that perspectives of inclusive education were vital to determining its implementation. The national focus in England on special educational needs (SEN) provision shaped schools’ practice to be consistent with that view, while in Bahrain participants were lacking knowledge on the national inclusion agenda. Schools in England and Bahrain emphasised community engagement and an inclusive school ethos. The England case study suggested that staff describe positive attitudes towards inclusion in the questionnaire, but this is less evident in the teaching practice they were able to implement. In the interviews, the participating teachers in England and Bahrain both conveyed negative attitudes towards inclusive education, and SEN centric views of inclusion. Participating schools in England predominately enacted inclusion through the use of differentiated instruction within ability groups and teacher’s choice of student task, whereas participating schools in Bahrain utilised peer collaborative work and student-centred learning. An operational definition of inclusion is proposed which specifies principles of inclusive practice, and the inclusive practice continuum.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Education, Department of Disability, Inclusion and Special Needs
Funders: Other
Other Funders: University of Bahrain
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
L Education > LC Special aspects of education


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