Physical education and special educational needs with special reference to individuals with physical disabilities : a comparative study of policy implementation in Taiwan and England
2014-05-12T12:07:50Z (GMT) by
Physical education (PE) for pupils with special educational needs (SEN) is an important contemporary issue for primary teachers and other practitioners. In particular, how they are to include pupils with SEN in their classroom activity is a processing concern. This study is concerned essentially with how policy influences the ability of teachers to deal with SEN' pupils in PE. It explores the relationships between education policy on SEN and its implementation within PE when SEN pupils are placed in mainstream school settings. The main aims of this thesis are to explore how 'equality' and 'inclusion' are expressed in legislation, for example the National Curriculum in England and the Grade 1- 9 Curriculum Guidelines in Taiwan, and how teachers, local education authority (LEA) Advisors, pupils with physical disability and their parents interpret policy and engage in practice for SEN. The findings of the study are intended to provide guidance on education policy needed to promote 'inclusion' and connect SEN policy and its implementation within PE. This thesis develops and utilizes a theoretical model to illustrate the 'flow' of policy from government to schools. This framework has followed Bernstein's (1990) assertion that knowledge is produced and reproduced at different sites of practice and that 'discourses' are recontextualized in each. Qualitative research methods were used to explore these relationships. The research fields were located in the Midlands in England and in the North of Taiwan and investigate LEAs and primary schools. The research employed interviews, documentary analysis and observation to explore policy and its implementation for SEN pupils from not only a 'macro' but also a 'micro' perspective. Accordingly, this thesis has explored the relationships between teachers, the learning support assistants (LSA), pupils with physical disability and their activities in PE classrooms in order to throw light on processes of inclusion within PE and the difficulties associated with policy implementation for pupils with physical disability. The findings suggest that the implementation of SEN policy within PE was driven by ideals of inclusion and attempted to achieve equality. However, SEN policy and its implementation was rendered difficult by the production and reproduction of particular understandings of inclusion, and inadequate provision (training and resource) for teachers to deal with SEN pupils in PE. Compared with teachers in England, PE teachers in Taiwan seemed to be more 'able' to include SEN pupils in PE as they were less regulated by· National Curriculum texts.