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    Teaching with Inclusion: A Self-Study Enquiry Orientated Towards Moving my Special Education Practice Beyond Deficit-Teaching

    Butterly, Ellen (2022) Teaching with Inclusion: A Self-Study Enquiry Orientated Towards Moving my Special Education Practice Beyond Deficit-Teaching. Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    The purpose of my self-study action research project was to enhance my practice as a special education teacher beyond deficit-teaching. I previously felt like my teaching did not celebrate the strengths of my students and instead focused on the academic areas which needed improving. I was not showing care to my students as I planned my teaching around deficits, rather than empowering my pupils by building on their skills, talents, and interests. My values of inclusion, care, relationality, and voice were not being represented sufficiently in my practice. I wanted to complete a self-study to improve my teaching to live by my values, but also to provide further insight into deficit-focused approaches existing in primary education and how challenge them in my own practice. This research project outlines the journey of teaching with inclusion, with students in my care who receive additional support, in an urban primary school in Drogheda, Co. Louth. I designed and implemented three classroom-based interventions, ‘Circle Time Discussion’, ‘Two Stars and a Wish’, and ‘Must-Do, Can-Do’ with the aim of tackling deficit-focused teaching within my own practice. Evolving thoughts surrounding my practice and its development, were recorded in my reflective journal. My values acted as standards of judgement as I questioned my practice and my pedagogical thinking in my reflective writing. My teacher identity was constantly scrutinized, and its growth was influenced through Kelchtermans (2009, 2018) literature. Through the progress of my personal and professional identity and their mergence, my reflective practice blossomed and correspondingly improved my practice as the project unfolded. The research unveiled the significance of the provision of student choice and voice, the influence of practicing care, the importance of communication in relationships, and the fact that a one-size-fits-all approach is not acceptable in a special educational environment. My claims to knowledge and the findings from this research have enlightened new ways of thinking. As a self-study process, this research has had a profound effect on my own practice and led to a transformation in my teaching, which has guided me towards using my values of inclusion, care, relationality, and voice as morals to live by in the planning of my future teaching and on my reflective practice going forward.

    Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
    Additional Information: M.Ed. Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education
    Keywords: Teaching with Inclusion; Self-Study Enquiry; Moving; Special Education Practice; Deficit-Teaching;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education
    Item ID: 17290
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2023 09:40
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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