Identify How Medical & Social Model Can Influence Teaching Orgarnisation & Understanding Of A Different Learners

2307 words - 10 pages

Medical and social models of disability have been the bedrock of educational provisions from the Victorian era to the present time. The way that society looked at the issues that are related to children with special educational needs (SEN) was basically dictated by these ideologies. This reflective essay will identify how the medical and the social models influence teaching, organisation and understanding of different learners, drawn from my personal experience. It starts by clarifying what segregation, integration and inclusion implies with regards to special educational needs (SEN). A cursory glance will be given to the historical development of SEN within past practice, the importance of ...view middle of the document...

The system of assessments used to categorise and segregate children was deemed to be stable, reliable and valid because it was based upon the ‘science’ of psychometrics testing (Wearmouth, 2001).
The integration approach to SEN is asserts that whenever possible, children with SEN are educated alongside their peers within mainstream schools, as it would become more responsive to children’s needs. However, this should be efficient in terms of resources and it should not be to the detriment of other children (Wearmouth, 2001). Integration came with the belief that “children’s participation in ordinary schools would facilitate access and participation in society, both as adults and children” (Frederickson and Cline, 2002). Essentially, integration encouraged admission of children with SEN into the mainstream settings without necessarily adapting the school environment, in terms of infrastructures and other supports to their needs.
Inclusion can involve the placement of young children with SEN in the mainstream setting; where an individual child’s access to learning is met or difficulties to learning are reduced to the barest minimum level; with the provision of necessary infrastructures such as ramps for wheelchair bound students, hearing aids for the deaf, visual aids for the visually impaired and different forms of help to assuage different learning difficulties. The teachers and other pupils without SEN should be carried along with necessary provisions such as training and development of staff, (Morewood, 2010) peer education and awareness (Gus, 2000) and creating a positive ethos (Humphrey, 2008), that is, maintaining a consistent positive focus through all aspects of work within the school system.
The focus on the historical development of special educational needs within past practice began from the 1870 `Forsters’ Act, which made schooling compulsory. This Act, though not specifically meant for children with SEN, however, created an opportunity for children with different types of impairment, who had hitherto been educated at home, to enter mainstream education. Now it became obvious that these children with SEN were having difficulties coping with mainstream education. Albeit taught by teachers who had no SEN training, these children with SEN were hindering normal teaching activities, hence, the society attitude that these children with SEN were unfit to be involved in normal mainstream schools (Coune, 2003). The Egerton Commission was tasked to examine how widespread this problem was (Gibson and Blandford, 2005). The Sharpe Committee (1898) was also set up to look at children with other forms of physical impairments. They recommended that special schools should be established to make compulsory and efficient provision for children with disabilities other than sensory impairments (Gibson and Blandford, 2005).
The period 1902-1944 witnessed the upsurge of categorisation; the 1902 Education Act replaced the School Boards with the Local...

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