The importance of being ... an artist: interpreting the challenge of inclusion in infant mainstream education: a self-study, action research approach

Perselli, Victoria (2001) The importance of being ... an artist: interpreting the challenge of inclusion in infant mainstream education: a self-study, action research approach. (PhD thesis), Kingston University.

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Abstract

This thesis represents a self study inquiry into my work as coordinator and individual support teacher for special educational needs [SEN] in mainstream infant schooling in the south east of England, 1995-2000. It examines this role in terms of identity, action and meaning, with particular regard to the 'significant others' - those pupils with whom my work is most directly concerned - and how I have striven to develop my practice towards their inclusion in this, setting. I locate the self study within a predominantly postmodern understanding of time and space. I problematise the concepts of both SEN and inclusion, situating these in historical and political relations with traditional liberal individualist and present-day market economic discourses. The representational form used is narrative enquiry - stories within a story - but with a strong emphasis on the metaphoric possibilities of visual imagery as a means towards 'thinking otherwise' and 'doing differently' in response to the dominant practices of SEN. These, I argue, tend towards objectifying and commodifying learners; moreover their manifestation as technical rational responses to pupil problems serves to distract attention from the more vital issue of restricted professionality in infant education, in particular the loss of curricular autonomy by both teachers and learners. Through the narration of my personal experiences and their reception by critical friends in a variety of settings, I seek to draw connections between the self, the social and the political. I propose that the 'empty space', 'case story' and 'social stage' methods developed here offer powerful means towards an alternative pedagogy; one which seeks community and care for self and others, valorises memory, imagination and the desire of creativity in teaching and learning but which, following Lather (1999), also reframes educational research as 'a way of being at risk'.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Physical Location: This item is held in stock at Kingston University Library.
Research Area: Education
Depositing User: Automatic Import Agent
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2011 21:39
Last Modified: 29 May 2014 14:33
URI: http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/id/eprint/20687

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