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Inclusive education: from individual to context

PhD ceremony:Mr A.W. (Bert) Wienen
When:June 03, 2019
Start:14:30
Supervisor:prof. dr. P. (Peter) de Jonge
Co-supervisors:prof. dr. L. (Laura) Batstra, dr. E.H. (Elske) Bos
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Behavioural and Social Sciences
Inclusive education: from individual to context

Thesis ‘Inclusive education: from individual to context’ by A.W. Wienen

The idea behind both the Appropriate Education Act (in Dutch: “Passend Onderwijs”) and the Youth Act is that more children receive regular education, as well as help and support adjusted to their living circumstances. This is also the essence of inclusive education. According to the researcher of this thesis, this requires a shift from an individual biomedical view to a more context-oriented view of pupil behavior.

This thesis is focused on contextual factors of teachers’ perception of pupil behavior in classroom. The studies show that the teacher's perception of the individual pupil's behavior is influenced by the number of children in the classroom that is considered problematic and the number of boys in the classroom. The research also shows that teachers’ perception can be influenced by the implementation of a school-wide behavioral approach, although the degree to which varies from teacher to teacher. Further, it shows that one group of teachers does not see any benefits to an ADHD-diagnosis in their teaching practice, while a significant group of other teachers mainly sees benefits, for example because after a diagnosis good contact with the parents is restored. The researcher concludes that how teachers assess the behavior of children in the classroom cannot be separated from the context, and that teachers differ significantly in terms of the perception of pupil behavior.

The researcher suggests that if insufficient attention is paid to the context in which the teacher works, this will lead to even more children with diagnoses and teachers experiencing work pressure.