‘Conceptualising Inclusion as a Practice: A Critical Analysis of the Greek SEN Laws and the ‘inclusive classes’ within a Greek Mainstream Primary School’.
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
This case study was located in a primary mainstream school in Greece with the aim to explore how the Special Educational Needs (SEN) legislative reforms with regards to inclusion and inclusive practice have been developed and implemented in Greece. Prior to the study a critical analysis of the Greek SEN laws (Law 2817 and Law 3699) was undertaken to better understand how SEN and inclusion have been conceptualised and how practice has been guided and legislatively established in Greek mainstream schools. The analysis of the policy documents and the literature review indicated that the most dominant form of inclusive practice in mainstream schools has been the operation of ‘Inclusive Classes’ (ICs). Therefore, the case study aimed to unfold deeper understandings underpinning inclusive decisions and practices for students, their parents and school staff in the school setting, including mainly the IC and play area. Following an exploratory case study design and employing Grounded Theory (GT) processes, reciprocal relationships of inclusion were reconstructed, deconstructed and understood based on the policy documents’ analysis, the observations of actual practice and the participants’ experiences and understandings gained through interviews. The findings suggested omissions at both policy level and within educational practice. These omissions imposed restraints on students’ social development, as well as in the pedagogical approaches employed by the teachers due to confusion and lack of knowledge and training with regards to SEN inclusive practice and notions. The analysis concludes with a key finding of ‘vague inclusive realities’, where terms of inclusion were used to describe processes resulting in exclusion. The discussion and future recommendations are conceptualised on the basis of identifying barriers between policy and practice (special versus general education) as a means to achieve more effective inclusion and an effort to decrease possible practices or behaviours that may lead to ‘vague inclusive realities’.
EdD in Special Educational Needs