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Unit information: Inclusive Education and Working with Parents/Carers in 2016/17

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Unit name Inclusive Education and Working with Parents/Carers
Unit code EDUCM5604
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Professor. Feiler
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

None

Co-requisites

None

School/department School of Education
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description

This unit will investigate enduring issues in the field of parental involvement and inclusive education. A range of policy initiatives relating to parental involvement will be presented, and an underlying theme will be to explore how schools can strengthen their relationships with parents, with a focused exploration of frameworks on involving parents of children with special educational needs. The unit will explore parents' involvement with pupil learning and adjustment (including parental support for children with learning difficulties) and the extent to which parental engagement and pupil achievement are related. Specific intervention schemes for parents of young children with learning disabilities will be considered (e.g. the Portage scheme and the South West Autism Project), together with programmes for promoting literacy learning (e.g. reading partnership schemes such as the Literacy Early Action Project). There will be a critical review of certain themes and assumptions that are reflected in some initiatives ('hard to reach parents' or 'hard to reach schools'), together with an examination of work involving parents from diverse ethnic and social backgrounds.

Aims:

This unit aims to provide students with an overview of policy initiatives, research findings and key frameworks in the field of parental engagement, with particular reference to parents of children with special educational needs. It will present a range of differing intervention models in order that links between parental involvement and pupil learning and adjustment can be explored.

A key aim of this unit will be to develop students’ understanding that ‘one size does not fit all’ in the field of parental involvement. Linked to this is the aim of extending students’ ability to analyse critically a range of policy and research-based initiatives so that students can reflect on and develop their own professional practice.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of this unit students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate their knowledge of policy initiatives in the field of parental engagement with particular reference to the involvement of parents of children with special educational needs/disabilities.
  • Identify strengths and limitations in a range of reported parental involvement interventions
  • Develop their understanding of involving parents from diverse social and ethnic backgrounds and the importance of adopting a range of flexible approaches.
  • Evaluate associations between parental involvement and pupil learning and adjustment.

Teaching details

A variety of teaching strategies will be used to deliver this unit, which may include whole group lectures, visiting speakers, case studies, critical analysis of key readings, group discussions and student presentations.

The unit’s focus on listening to/involving parents may be a relatively unfamiliar concept for some students (e.g. those from certain international contexts). Material will be presented in such a way that all students can engage with the ‘reality’ of this field, e.g. by inviting unit participants to share their experiences of such initiatives and through the use of video presentations.

The needs of a wide range of students, including those with disabilities, international students and those from ethnic minority backgrounds have been considered. It is not anticipated that the teaching and assessment methods used will cause disadvantage to any student taking the unit. The Graduate School of Education is happy to address individual support requests as necessary.

Assessment Details

Formative assessment will be provided by group tutorials during which students will give presentations on the proposed structure, core models/frameworks and key readings of their chosen focus for the written assessment task, and during which students will receive feedback from other participants and the unit tutor on these three aspects.

For the summative assessment task (4,000 words) students may choose one of the following options:

Completion of an essay that explores the strengths and limitations of parental involvement frameworks with particular reference to the involvement of parents of children with special educational needs and/or parents from diverse social and ethnic backgrounds, or that evaluates strengths and limitations in a range of reported parental involvement interventions

A critical evaluation of a parental involvement project with which the student has had direct, professional experience.

A portfolio of professional practice relating to students’ own current work with parents (e.g. short accounts of where, why and how this work was instigated) with a suggested emphasis on exploring associations between parental involvement and pupil learning and adjustment.

An alternative assignment on parental involvement, individually negotiated with the unit tutor.

Reading and References

  • Quinton, D. (2004) Supporting Parents: Messages from Research. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
  • Crozier, G. (2000) Parents and Schools: Partners or Protagonists? Stoke-on-Trent: Trentham.
  • Miller, A. (2003) Teachers, Parents and Classroom Behaviour: A Psychosocial Approach. Buckingham: Open University Press.
  • Bastiani, J. (2003) Involving Parents, Raising Achievement. DfES Publications.
  • Wolfendale, S. and Bastiani, J. (2000)The Contribution of Parents to School Effectiveness. London: David Fulton.
  • Ghate, D. and Hazel, N. (2002) Parenting in Poor Environments: Stress, Support and Coping. London: Jennifer Kingsley.

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