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Controversial practices in the education of students with high support needs

Stephenson, J.,

Academic Literature


The use of controversial practices unsupported by research is a concern in special education, especially for students with high support needs. Internet sites of Australian schools enrolling students with moderate to severe intellectual disability (moderate to severe learning difficulties) were located and reviewed to determine the kinds of controversial practices employed and the number of schools reporting their use. Almost half the sample reported utilising at least one unsupported practice and in general there were few convincing rationales provided for the adoption of these practices. The use of unsupported practices in schools may be related to the inaccessibility of research, teacher mistrust of research, teacher reliance on more informal and personal sources of information, and teacher desire to achieve results and build positive relationships. More research is needed to understand why these practices are adopted and the ways in which they are used.

Publication information

Journal/Publication : Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs

Location : Australasia

Domain/s: Community and civic participation, Education

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