The transnational phenomenon of individual planning in response to pupil diversity: a paradox in educational reform

Alves, I. F. (2018) The transnational phenomenon of individual planning in response to pupil diversity: a paradox in educational reform. In: Hultqvist, E., Lindblad, S. and Popkewitz, T. S. (eds.) Critical Analyses of Educational Reforms in an Era of Transnational Governance. Series: Educational governance research (7). Springer: Cham, Switzerland, pp. 151-168. ISBN 9783319619699 (doi:10.1007/978-3-319-61971-2_9)

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Abstract

This chapter presents a critical analysis of the transnational phenomenon of individualised educational planning for pupils ‘with special educational needs’. Schools which were once targeted at a relatively homogeneous pupil population are now expected to include all pupils, namely, pupils with special educational needs (SEN). Transnational policies like the Salamanca Statement and the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006) push for the development of inclusive educational systems. However, educational systems sometimes struggle to respond to pupil diversity. This can be partly explained by the minimal changes at the core of the way schools function. Phenomena of individualising planning, including practices of differentiation and personalisation of learning, have become commonly used in schools across Europe. The empirical data was gathered as part of a comparative study about the use of individualised planning in England and Portugal. This study was conducted as a nested case study following a societal approach which took place in primary and lower secondary schools in both countries. Individualised educational planning was used by practitioners in all schools that took part in the study, but it took various shapes and roles depending on the local context. The study showed that individualised planning allows school structures and practices to remain by and large unchanged in the face of a changing population. The analysis suggests that pupils who ‘struggle’ to learn are, in general, responded to through pre-established add-on solutions in a system that remains unchanged. While individualised planning may be thought as part of an educational reform to create more inclusive educational systems, by and large it is a way to avoid an actual reform to foster better educational responses to pupil diversity.

Item Type:Book Sections
Status:Published
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Alves, Dr Ines
Authors: Alves, I. F.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Robert Owen Centre
Journal Name:Critical Analyses of Educational Reforms in an Era of Transnational Governance
Publisher:Springer
ISBN:9783319619699
Published Online:21 October 2017

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