Staff Development to embed inclusive learning for profoundly deaf learners in further education

Rodgers, Rob (2007) Staff Development to embed inclusive learning for profoundly deaf learners in further education. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

Inclusive learning for pupils and learners with Special Educational Needs (SEN) is being championed widely within the education sector, both in the compulsory and the post-compulsory stages. The context for this thesis is an exploration of how staff in the further education sector can be best prepared through staff development to support profoundly deaf learners. The thesis concentrates on the subject specialist who has the skills and experience to deliver their own subject but may not have the skills to deliver the subject to deaf learners.

The exploration of staff development is done after undertaking an overview of the historical context and development of deaf education. Each of these historical phases has had an impact on deaf education and has implications for staff working with deaf learners. The politicised nature of deaf education is highlighted and reference made to the often entrenched views of professionals working in this area. Their vested interests can raise conflicts within the area and I suggest the need to remove the barriers to achievement caused by this clash.

The thesis considered a range of staff development theories and selected two main models (Showers et al (1987) and Brockbank and McGill (1998)) to inform a possible model of staff development work. The staff development sessions and interviews provided data to refine understanding around this specialised area of work.

The research has been undertaken using an action research approach with aspects of modified grounded theory. The research has involved colleagues from a variety of further education settings. Three main research themes emerged: first, finding the most suitable model of staff development to train subject specialists who will work with deaf learners; second, resolving some of the tensions between subject and communication specialists; third, offering suggestions about the content of staff development.

Key features of staff development are identified and discussed and implications for staff development activity outlined. The thesis draws distinctions between deaf awareness and deaf equality and argues that this distinction plays a crucial role in staff development for inclusive learning.

Two of the key players in supporting deaf students are the communication specialist and the subject specialist. The communication specialist is the professional who supports the access to the curriculum through appropriate communication. The subject specialist is the professional who delivers the curriculum and isn't normally able to present the curriculum using accessible communication. The thesis presents the exploration of the relationship between the two roles from the perspective of the subject specialist.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Supervisors:Dale, Mark
Uncontrolled Keywords:Inclusive learning,further education sector,profoundly deaf learners,the subject specialist,staff development for specialist staff,deaf education, (Showers et al (1987),Brockbank and McGill (1998),deaf awareness and deaf equality, Communication support workers, Teachers of the deaf.
Faculties/Schools:UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Education
ID Code:309
Deposited By:Rob Rodgers
Deposited On:20 Mar 2008
Last Modified:06 Feb 2009 14:43

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