The illusion of full-time inclusion
: a national study on the practice and prevalence of a part-time model of inclusion for secondary-aged students with disabilities in special schools across Australia

  • Geoffrey Brian Wilmshurst

    Student thesis: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - CDU


    This study obtained empirical evidence on the prevalence and structural features of part-time inclusion programs for secondary-aged students operating from Australian special schools. The study documented the demographic features of the participants as well as the frruneworks and implementation structures of the programs. A national survey of government special schools across Australia was used to collect the primary data, the main aim being to add to the overall picture of how, not why, inclusion operates and to provide an insight into ways current practising teachers and schools have set about improving the practice. The results indicate that, although part-time inclusion is operating in only a relatively small number of special schools nationally, these schools embrace both the concept and practice enthusiastically. From the data, part-time inclusion was found to involve students across a wide range of disabilities (both type and degree), with a trend towards increased participation by students with more severe and multiple disabilities. Students accessed a diverse range of mainstrerun secondary school subjects of both an academic and non-academic nature, with a distinct bias towards non-academic subjects. Participation in programs was mainly for short periods (less than 1 day per week), with students, undertaking modified mainstrerun programs, with external support from non-teaching staff (teacher assistants/ aides). The evidence indicates that part-time inclusion is an effective alternative program for a small group of students currently within special schools.
    Date of Award2002
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorJim Cameron (Supervisor)

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