The inclusion of autistic children in the curriculum and assessment in mainstream primary schools

Wood, Rebecca (2018). The inclusion of autistic children in the curriculum and assessment in mainstream primary schools. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Growing numbers of children are being diagnosed with autism in the UK and, against a backdrop of increased legislative and administrative provisions for educational inclusion, more autistic children are being educated in mainstream primary school settings. However, while there is evidence of the continued exclusion of autistic children, their performance in school tests seems poor, and their longer-term outcomes impoverished. Meanwhile, debates continue about the nature of autism itself. My project, informed by the social model of disability, theories of language and interpretation, inclusion, difference and aspects of feminism, aims to uncover the reasons behind the difficulties autistic children are experiencing in schools, by considering if, and how they are accessing the curriculum and tests. Employing a predominantly interpretative paradigm and a case study design, and based in five mainstream primary schools in England, the views of school staff, autistic children and their parents, as well as a sample of autistic adults, are incorporated. My findings show that by setting aside the association of autism with impairments, listening to autistic children, engaging with them meaningfully and enabling their own learning styles and particular dispositions to be manifest, educational inclusion, and positive outcomes for all, are much more likely to occur.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
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: The University of Birmingham
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
L Education > LC Special aspects of education
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry


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