Promoting inclusion for students with Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties (EBD) in mainstream Post Primary education : Interventions to support change in student teacher attitudes and practice

Ref: 08-2013/4-north
Name: G. Scanlon
Email Address: geraldine.scanlon@dcu.ie
Phone Number: P: 00353 1 700 6779 or M: 00353 87 2800718
Institution Address: Dublin City University
Seeking a partner/s in: Northern Ireland

The concept of including pupils with Special Educational Needs into mainstream schools assumes that all children will be valued and educated alongside their peers who do not have such needs. Consequently by its generic nature the definition of children with Special educational Needs encompasses a wide range of disabilities. However research to date has established that including these children in mainstream education is dependent upon a number of variables including;teachers skills in managing these groups of students(Scanlon & McGilloway, 2006;Sutherland et al., 2008);levels of appropriate resources (Butler & Shevlin, 2001); the nature of SEN with which teachers are presented (Avramidis et al., 2002) particularly those pupils with Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties Scanlon & Barnes‐Holmes, 2013). While research within the Irish context  has established that teachers have negative attitudes to pupils with EBD in mainstream schools due to their challenging behavior which translates into  the development of stereotypical views of these pupils and results in them being excluded from schools (Scanlon, 2012 ; 2013). Interventions to support teachers in this regard have been found to have favourable outcomes (Scanlon & Barnes‐ Holmes, 2013). The purpose of the research proposal is to develop a similar system of interventions within the Northern Irish context within Initial Teacher Training programmes and to examine the effects of same on student teacher efficacy and initial teacher education.   The current proposed research has three primary aims

(1 )To investigate the attitudes of student  teachers to pupils with Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties in mainstream post primary  education in the North and South of Ireland

(2) To develop culturally contextual interventions to enable student teachers to work more effectively with these pupils in schools.

(3) To compare and examine the efficacy of the interventions in both jurisdictions and how they impact on a) student teacher efficacy and b)   initial teacher education.