Disability Education Article Review

Pages: 8 (2155 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Children

¶ … conflicting studies on the attitude of teachers towards integrating students with disability in mainstream PE activities. On the whole, teachers are, generally, supportive excepting when managements and staff are somewhat non-supportive, or when resources are limited. Furthermore, studies also provide contradictory results on the attitudes or variables that affect teacher's attitudes towards integrating students with disabilities.

Finally, Jerlinder, Danermark, & Gil (2010) point out that no study has been conducted into a Swedish school PE program, and that this omision is particularly negligible given that Sweden has a long history of encouraging integration of students with disability into all aspects of mainstream society. Results of this study, the researchers point out, would have extensive ramifications since pointers to inclusion in PE would indicate a general positive attitude, on the part of Swedish schools, towards integration of children with disabilities on all levels.

This study investigated the attitude of Swedish PE teachers to integrating primary school students with disabilities in mainstream classes.

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The study population consisted of 560 members of the Swedish Teachers' Union who were registered PE teachers and who had a current e-mail address. 221 respondents complied in filling out a 35-item survey that contained responses to questions covering demographics, general attitudes, support from school management and staff for integration, possible hindrances, and personal experiences of inclusion. The respondents were an equal mixture of male and female with a bimodal age distribution between 28 and 44 and an average of eight years of employment.

Most of the Swedish PE teachers welcomed integration of students with handicaps into mainstream PE activities. Gender, age, years of service, and work satisfaction had no impact on these results. PE teachers who had actual experience with teaching a student with disability were even more enthusiastic about the need for inclusion.

TOPIC: Article Review on Disability Education Assignment

A stepwise multiple regression model showed that the following three components reinforces the teacher's positive attitudes on integration. These were: (1) having adequate training; 2. Possessing school support from management and staff, and 3. Possessing adequate resources that would facilitate integration of students with disabilities into mainstream PE activities. Younger teachers also tended to be more positive. The researchers concluded with recommendation for enhanced integration and for ideas for research in future studies.

A summary of the second study proceeds as follows:

Inclusion may be practiced on a technical or theoretical sense, but some of the participants may, ultimately, feel excluded. Inclusion is, therefore, a subjective concept and it was to this end that Spencer-Cavaliere and Watkinson (2010) explored the perception of children with disabilities regarding their perspective on inclusion in mainstream physical activity.

Up to this moment, relatively few studies have approached inclusion from the perspective of the disabled individual him or herself. More so, these specific studies have focused on specialized PE programs rather than zoning in on common play activities such as recess, community sport, or free play.

Accordingly, Spencer-Cavaliere and Watkinson (2010) sampled a group of two girls and nine boys between the ages of 8 and 12 (mean 10 years) with disabilities that included cerebral palsy, fine and gross motor delays, developmental coordination disorder, muscular dystrophy, nemaline myopathy, brachial plexus injury, and severe asthma, who were surveyed via semi-structured interviews and, later, digitally audio taped and transcribed verbatim.

The data was analyzed through content analysis, and three themes emerged. Inclusion was fostered by: 1. Gaining entry to the play activity, 2. Feeling like a legitimate participant, and 3. Having friends. In general, it was the actions of others, particularly peers, that led to and resulted in positive feelings of inclusion.

Make the connection from a children's rights perspectives (the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the child.) that the child has the right to be in a regular publicly funded public school.

UNICEF maintains that discrimination to children with a disability is a daily occurrence in all countries and is evidenced on two fronts: a. As overt discrimination with the child being, for instance, deliberately excluded from mainstream play with others and, b, as implicit or covert discrimination, as for instance snubbing from peers or reluctance to encourage involvement, which may be unintentional but, nonetheless, has a similar or equal effect to overt discrimination.

Discrimination can exist on four fronts: via cultural discrimination (created by guilt or supposed obligatory purity of bloodline and reinforced by negative stereotypes of disability in general); socio-economic prejudices (where their gender and/or poor living conditions aggravates their situation as for example with the situation of Roma children in Central and Eastern Europe), environments that are less readily (or non-) accessible to people with disabilities, and legislative or administrative policies.

Article 24 of the CRC states that every child regardless of physical or mental ability, level of intelligence, and background, has the right to enjoy the highest level of health and to have access to facilities for rehabilitation and treatment of illness. This policy can serve as implied right for the child with disability to receive regular schooling.

In a more direct manner, articles 28 and 29 of the CRC directly call for primary schooling to be compulsory and available for all and for secondary schooling to be accessible for every child with financial aid if needed.

Consistent experience and research shows that many children with disabilities can be successfully mainstreamed were an individual educational program structured to meet their needs. Inclusive educational programs have been initiated at the pre-school level with the concept that an early start is crucial in giving the disabled child the best chance possible in life.

Hurdles, however, still remain, and these include:

Reluctance to admit children with severe and complex forms of disabilities

Inaccessible buildings and curricula that are not slanted to the ends of children with disabilities

A lack of target funding

A lack of support from special schools (if and when these exist)

The shortage and/or lack of specialized training for teachers at all levels

The low priority accorded to children with disability from school administrators / policy makers

Lack of (or little) community support.

Different challenges exist in developing vs. developed countries to integrating children with disabiliteis in mainstream environments. Ultimately, however, any child with a disability, regardless of the severity, has the uncontested right -- according to UNICEF -- to be part of a regular publicly funded public school.

Identification of the authors focus/insights, challenges, Issues or Problems.

Jerlinder, Danermark, & Gil (2010) are focused on the issue that there are conflicting studies on the attitude of teachers towards integrating students with disability in mainstream PE activities. On the whole, teachers are generally supportive excepting when managements and staff are somewhat non-supportive, or when resources are limited. Furthermore, studies also provide contradictory results on the attitudes or variables that affect teacher's attitudes towards integrating students with disabilities.

Moreover, Jerlinder, Danermark, & Gil (2010) point out that no study has yet been conducted into a Swedish school PE program which is particularly important given that Sweden has a long history of encouraging integration of students with disability into all aspects of mainstream society. Results of this study, the researchers point out, would have external ramifications since inclusion in PE would indicate a general positive attitude towards inclusion on all levels.

Inclusion may be practiced on a technical or theoretical sense, but some of the participants may feel excluded. Inclusion is, therefore, a subjective concept and it was to this end that Spencer-Cavaliere and Watkinson (2010) explored the perception of children with disabilities regarding their perspective on inclusion in mainstream physical activity.

Up to this moment, relatively few studies have approached inclusion from the perspective of the disabled individual him or herself. More so, even when doing so, these particular studies have focused on specialized PE programs rather than zoning in on common play activities such as recess, community sport, or free play. Accordingly, Spencer-Cavaliere and Watkinson (2010) decided to approach the concept of inclusion from the disabled child's standpoint and to do so in the context of a natural, informal environment. Environments included "sports," "games," play," activities" rather than specialized PE programs.

"Critical Assessment." What is the author missing, what could have been done to improve the article, too many statistics, no information coming from a child (no voice heard.) etc.

Jerlinder, Danermark, & Gil (2010) assume that their sample of PE teachers are representative of the general population of PE teachers in Sweden. Yet, even thoguh they may have grounds for their assumption in that the origin of their sample was a large teachers' union, nonetheless, the authors could have displayed greater support for their study would they have, at least, asked the respondent to describe his or her status of place of service (or locality) in order to determine the socio-economic status of the location. It is possible that the socio-economic status of the school would have a huge impact on determining the subsequent integration of children with disabilities in the PE program of that school (and thus impacting the administrative, and teacher's attitude). Omission of description of the school may… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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