New Horizons In Special Educationby Barry Carpenter
'This book is an inspiration, for both the breadth and depth of its practitioner-led investigations into pedagogies for young people with severe and complex learning disabilities (severe autistic spectrum disorders in particular), and for the example it offers of sustained and authoritative school-based research.' (Lesley Saunders, Visiting Professor, Institute of Education, University of London)
[T]his book is especially welcome. It details in wonderful practicality what it means to deliver a complex curriculum to children with complex needs.
(Professor Roy McConkey, University of Ulster, writing in the foreword)
'This book should inspire teachers and others to see themselves as in a unique position to undertake research, to be reflective and evaluative, and to change the world of the classroom by truly understanding what is before them. Pass this book on to every special school you know.' (C.D. Wilson, Headteacher Springhead School, in BACCH News)
'A useful model of how theory and practice can merge. a rich source of practical material. While the book will have particular appeal to those working directly with children who have special education needs the demonstration of the 'toolkit of resources' makes it of practical value to all practitioners who seek to refine their teaching practice. This book shares some of 'the toolkit' that could help teachers 'give it a go'.' (Dr Bruce Kent, Psychologist, Ministry of Education, New Zealand, in Kairaranga)
We are entering a new phase in learning about childhood disabilities. We have found out much of what we need to know about their causes and aetiology. In the future, solutions to many of the challenges willcome from the evidence base held by practitioners.
While ideally placed to carry out 'real world' research, practitioners often need support in carrying out setting-based inquiry. This book discusses the role of practitioners as researchers, addresses the development of a research culture within a special school and presents research projects carried out within a school for young people with severe and complex learning disabilities.
Over the past seven years, staff at Sunfield have carried out research and development work with these young people, particularly around communication and self-advocacy, community access, health and mental health, family inclusion, curriculum development, psychology and therapies and the Arts. These research projects have generated evidence which has guided the school's development, and the transdisciplinary approach has encouraged involvement in research from many staff in diverse professions throughout the school including therapists, team leaders and assistants from care and education, catering staff and others.
The value of practitioner research has been recognised by government ministers and the General Teaching Council of England. Practitioner research will enable us to understand the new challenges and change in order to go forward, and to continue to meet the changing needs of the children and young people with a range of complex and diverse special needs.
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