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Violations of integrity in inclusive education: evidence collection and an overview of findings

Wed, April 17, 10:00 to 11:30am, Hyatt Regency, Floor: Atrium (Level 2), Boardroom B

Proposal

The paper presents findings from study aimed at exploring the manifestations in inclusive education of the nine integrity violations identified through the INTES framework. The study was conducted in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Serbia. Here too, the countries were chosen because of being at a similar stage of inclusive education development: they have all started systematic and nation-wide efforts to introduce and develop inclusive education in the last decade; they still maintain a two-track approach to education of children who need additional support; and, the special education movement is still strong and under the influence of defectology. Moreover, all selected countries have recently assessed the integrity of their education systems.

To gain insights from the countries in focus, in each country, we conducted two focus group discussions relying on a funnel approach (Strauss and Corbin, 1998). The discussions were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and translated in English. In order to gain different perspectives, we used purposeful sampling involving a total of 80 participants who represented a wide array of stakeholders (e.g. parents, teachers, school principals, national government representatives, international organizations, civil society organisations, university professors).

A thematic analysis approach informed by Braun and Clarke (2006) was applied to the transcripts in English. The data was analysed in two stages using MAXQDA software. The first explored the manifestations of difference integrity violations in inclusive education and applied a deductive approach (Hayes, 1997). An inductive approach (Patton, 2002) was used at the second stage of analysis to describe organizing principles underlying the manifestations of the integrity violations. Using hybrid approach to data analysis (both deductive and inductive) provides us with opportunity to identify topics which are common across the countries, as well as to identify topics which are specific for the country context. In addition, in two of the countries, the narratives of participants on the specific integrity violations were collected and analysed from the perspective of dynamic narrative analysis (Daiute & Kovacs Cerovic, 2017).

The results suggest that framework for integrity violations proves to be universal across countries – eight out of nine integrity violations are present in inclusive education in majority of countries, despite different country contexts. Some forms of problematic conduct emerge in response to failures of education to address the expectations of individuals with stakes in inclusive education (parents, teachers, students, but also authorities and school administrators). Other forms of malpractice are associated with the needs of institutions involved in inclusive education, which may remain unmet because of structural deficiencies in the respective national education system. In all cases, the integrity violations appear to be informal strategies which participants in inclusive education believe (or were led to believe) are the better and sometimes the only way to “get things done”. The descriptions and narratives of such situation by the diverse participants suggest ways how integrity violations contribute to turning IE policy into practices of exclusion.

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