[Advances in Educational Administration] Global Perspectives on Educational Leadership Reform: The Development and Preparation of Leaders of Learning and Learners of Leadership Volume 11 || Leadership for inclusive schools and inclusive school leadership

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<ul><li><p>LEADERSHIP FOR INCLUSIVE</p><p>SCHOOLS AND INCLUSIVE</p><p>SCHOOL LEADERSHIP</p><p>Cristina Devecchi and Ann Nevin</p><p>ABSTRACT</p><p>In this chapter the authors explore what it means to be an inclusive schoolleader through a discourse that focuses on out of the box approaches inpreparing future school leaders to push the envelope of inclusive leadershippractice. The purpose of this chapter is to (a) dene inclusive educationand leadership; (b) describe prevailing theoretical frameworks forleadership in inclusive education and build on emerging theories ofinclusive psychology and inclusive pedagogy; (c) identify promisingpractices for leadership in inclusive education; (d) identify emergingunderstandings of leadership roles in inclusive education; and (e) suggestrecommendations for policy, practice, and leadership preparation. In boththe USA and the UK, contrasting and polarizing discourses that focusleaders attention on attainment and performance for pupils and appear tocompete with the leadership role in including (i.e., effectively educating)those students who are known to have achievement gaps (e.g., those withdisabilities). Alternative perspectives are offered that frame leadership forinclusive education in terms of broader concepts such as leadership forlearning.</p><p>Global Perspectives on Educational Leadership Reform: The Development and Preparation of</p><p>Leaders of Learning and Learners of Leadership</p><p>Advances in Educational Administration, Volume 11, 211241</p><p>Copyright r 2010 by Emerald Group Publishing Limited</p><p>All rights of reproduction in any form reserved</p><p>ISSN: 1479-3660/doi:10.1108/S1479-3660(2010)0000011014</p><p>211</p></li><li><p>He drew a circle that shut me out Heretic, a rebel, a thing to out.</p><p>But Love and I had the wit to win: We drew a circle that took him in.</p><p> Edwin Markham, Outwitted,</p><p>The Shoes of Happiness and Other Poems; 1899</p><p>Written at the turn of the 20th century, Edwin Markhams remarkableideas about how to deal with being marginalized could be a motto for thoseschool leaders who decide to embrace the inclusion of those who havepreviously been denied access to the same curriculum, instructionalresources, pedagogy, evaluation of achievement, and classroom life thatare available to all students. Such school leaders shun the concept ofexclusion no matter what the reason (e.g., differences based on race,ethnicity, languages spoken at home, gender, sexual preferences, ordisability/ability status). In this chapter, we explore what it means to bean inclusive school leader through a discourse that focuses on out of thebox approaches in preparing future school leaders to push the envelope ofinclusive leadership practice.The purpose of this chapter is multifold: (a) to dene inclusive education</p><p>and leadership; (b) to describe prevailing theoretical frameworks forleadership in inclusive education and build on emerging theories of inclusivepsychology and inclusive pedagogy; (c) to identify promising practices forleadership in inclusive education; (d) to identify emerging understandings ofleadership roles in inclusive education; and (e) to suggest recommendationsfor policy, practice, and leadership preparation. In both the USA and theUK, contrasting and polarizing discourses focus leaders attention onattainment and performance for pupils and appear to compete with theleadership role in including (i.e., effectively educating) those studentswho are known to have achievement gaps (e.g., those with disabilities).Alternative perspectives are offered that frame leadership for inclusiveeducation in terms of broader concepts such as leadership for learning.</p><p>REVIEW OF LITERATURE</p><p>To locate recently published empirical studies on inclusive leadership,we searched several data bases (e.g., ERIC, PsychLit, Wilson Web, UKsources) using key words such as leadership, inclusive education, students withdisabilities, culturally linguistically diverse students, and professional devel-opment. In addition, we consulted with a panel of experts in the UK andthe USA who suggested exemplary research related to inclusive educationleadership and published from 2006 to 2010.</p><p>CRISTINA DEVECCHI AND ANN NEVIN212</p></li><li><p>National Policies that Govern School Leaders: Context</p><p>Como me la toquen bailo.</p><p>I will dance to whatever music is played.</p><p> Mexican dichos, Hart (1999)</p><p>The constantly changing political contexts in the UK (England) and theUSA that have brought changes in educational policies, rules, and regulationsrequire changes in the management and leadership foci that govern all schooladministrations, especially those who are committed to leadership forinclusive education. In this section, policy background is briey discussedwithin the framework of the timeline shown in the appendix. As of 2010,with a new Tory government in the UK, educators and administrators(particularly head teachers) are confused about what will happen. Forexample, the idea of the free school is essentially a return to traditionalteaching styles, and so is the movement to increase the number of specialschools; and the stance on children with emotional and behavioral difcultiesthat gives head teachers more autonomy to exclude pupils. All are polaropposites of the spirit of inclusion. Concurrently, in the USA, educators andadministrators alike are speculating about how the new Obama administra-tion (elected into ofce in 2009) might enact new education legislationreecting Obamas campaign platforms (see McNeil &amp; Nevin, in press, foradvice posed by university educators and advocates to President Obama andhis policy makers). To become an inclusive school, we argue, much of whathas been achieved can be attributed to Labor initiatives in the UK andDemocratic Party initiatives in the USA (beginning with the Education forAll Handicapped Children Act of 1975).As shown in the timeline in the appendix, for almost 30 years in both the</p><p>USA and the UK, school leadership for inclusive education has been part ofan agenda for educational change that has had at its core two competingarguments. On the one hand, the provision for an education that cancompete globally has given rise to consideration about standards, schooleffectiveness, and the mercerization of education. On the other hand, schoolleaders must balance excellence with equity, equality, social justice, anddiscrimination resulting in the complexities of inclusive education.The process of major reforms for the education of children with special</p><p>education needs (SEN) and disabilities in the UK started in the 1980s. Therst important step was the 1981 Education Act (Department for Education[DfE], 1981) following the inuential Warnock Report (Department forEducation and Science [DES], 1978) which endorsed the notions ofintegration and mainstreaming, and in removing the medical-based</p><p>Leadership for Inclusive Schools and Inclusive School Leadership 213</p></li><li><p>classication opened the way for the concept of special educational needs(SEN) and a need-based provision of educational resources. Although notinclusion as we now it, the Act was a fundamental rst step in paving theway for an acknowledgement of the rights of all children for a meaningfuland nondiscriminatory educational provision. The most important reform,however, took place with 1988 Education Reform Act (ERA, Departmentfor Education and Skills [DfES], 1988). The act had consequences for therole of school heads, and thus for the nature of school leadership.Based on demands to improve student achievement, the 1988 Education</p><p>Reform Act established reforms, such as parental choice, local managementof schools (LMS), the National Curriculum, and most controversially, anational framework for assessing student performance with tests at ages 7,11, 14, and 16. Although the framework was aimed at raising standards andmaking the teachers accountable, Rouse and McLaughlin (2007) emphasizethat the involvement of children who experience difculties in learning wasnot considered (p. 87). Despite this omission, both the idea of a commoncurriculum and national standards were cast within the overall principle thatall children are entitled to a broad, balanced, and relevant curriculum asstated in the Dearing report (Dearing, 1994).Many changes and developments have transpired between 1997 and 2007</p><p>when publication of the Green Paper Excellence for All: Meeting SpecialEducational Needs (Department for Education and Employment [DfEE],1997). However, not all of the changes were consistent with an inclusivepolicy (Florian &amp; Rouse, 2001). The peculiar shared characteristic of thesereforms lies in their contradictory nature. In educational terms, the Laborgovernment championed both top-down accountability and a bottom-upsupport for self-reection, standardization and personalized learning, socialinclusion and collaboration and individualism and competitiveness. Theseseemingly competing agendas require a constant discourse among policymakers, advocates (especially parents), educators, special services personnel(e.g., school psychologists, and social workers), and administrators.With regard to the inclusion of students with SEN, the Labor government</p><p>reiterated its commitment by acknowledging the rights of disabled students toeducation through the antidiscrimination legislation Special Education Needsand Disability Act (SENDA, Department for Education and Skills [DfES],2001a), the rights of all students with learning difculties to academicachievement as in the report Removing Barriers to Achievement (DfES, 2004).Finally, the publication of Every Child Matters (ECM, DfES, 2003)addressed the issue of integrated support among parents, health and socialservices professionals, and school professionals with the aim of ensuring a</p><p>CRISTINA DEVECCHI AND ANN NEVIN214</p></li><li><p>more holistic notion of student wellbeing. As a consequence of the ECMagenda, the late Labor government also championed a number of programsto facilitate the process of inclusion of students with SEN into regularlyoccurring social interactions of the school and classroom alongside studentswithout SEN (e.g., Sure Start, Connexions, Education Action Zones, andExcellence in the Cities). These programs emphasized the importance of thecollaboration between schools, between schools and other professional andservices, the collaboration between teachers and other adults in theclassroom, and the importance of school leadership (DfES, 2005a, 2005b).Finally, Labor tackled under-achievement by setting up and enforcing theNational Literacy and Numeracy strategies, aimed at supporting all childrento learn the basics in subjects such as Math and English.The different and markedly contrasting discourses which underlined</p><p>these policies have set boundaries around the implementation ofinclusive practices, and have led to conicts of interests and practicalethical dilemmas for teachers and school leaders. For example, placingstudents in classrooms by ability, and the constant concern with thenegative effects that the inclusion of children designated with SEN mighthave on the other children, or on the overall achievement of the school(Audit Commission, 2002). We agree with Rouse and Florian (2006)when they argue that the inclusion of children with SEN need not beincompatible with the efcient education of other children (p. 11). Yet, thecompatibility principle is still set against the proviso to be found in the 1981Education Act, the SEN Code of Practice (DfES, 2001b) and the SENDAAct (DfES, 2001a) by which the placement of children with special needs inschools with their peers is subject to indicators that such placement willnot negatively impact the education of the other children. Thereforeinclusion, far from having become a norm, is still open to challenges andconicts of interest.These reforms based their validity on two related discourses. The rst one</p><p>centered on blaming teachers for their unprofessional attitude and thesecond used the rst to endorse and validate the imperative of changing theway teachers taught and schools were organized, managed, and led (Fullan,1991; Hargreaves, 1994). The discourse of change embeds implications forboth leadership and inclusion. First, the need for change was predicated onthe basis that teachers and school leaders could be blamed for the under-performance. Frustrated and deprofessionalized, many teachers left, thusleading to teacher shortages. With regard to the professionalization of schoolleaders, the National College for School Leadership (NCSL) was establishedin 2001 with the purpose of providing training and research-based knowledge</p><p>Leadership for Inclusive Schools and Inclusive School Leadership 215</p></li><li><p>on the changing features and objective of the new school leadership team.Simultaneously, the same discourse supported the growth of a different viewof professionalism based on practitioners ability to think critically abouttheir practice and carry out their own self-evaluation through individuallybased or action research-based studies.Historically, special education in the USA paralleled much of the UKs</p><p>development. However, in the USA, the public school movement was rstestablished to empower citizens (i.e., white male landowners) to becomeinformed voters. The separate system emerged wherein special classes orresidential schools were established for children with specic categories ofdisability like mental retardation, emotional disturbance, or sensory impair-ments. Motivations for the separate system ranged from providinghumanitarian treatment of vulnerable children in alleviating or removingthe children who were viewed as interrupting the routines of the generaleducation system.As seen in the appendix, the USA legislative mandates, such as the</p><p>Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) of 2004(Public Law No. 108446), focused attention on students with increasinglydiverse learning characteristics achieving high academic performance ingeneral education. The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001 (PublicLaw No. 107110) required school personnel to meet high standardsfor both teacher and student performance. Both mandates are intended tofoster conditions for (a) better instruction and learning for all students,(b) equality of opportunity to learn (especially to gain access to the samecurriculum offered to those who are considered to be skilled enough to earnscores in the middle and upper ranges of the normal distribution), and(c) excellence in performance for all students and their teachers.In contrast to segregated special education, inclusive education or inclusion</p><p>is viewed as a process where schools welcome, value, support, and empowerall students in shared environments and experiences for the purpose ofattaining the goals of education (Villa, Thousand, &amp; Nevin, 2008). However,todays teachers and administrators agree they are underprepared to teachor manage schools and classrooms attended by an increasingly diversestudent population. They argue they do not know how to teach studentswith SEN or students from diverse cultural backgrounds, particularly thosewho are speakers of...</p></li></ul>


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