Undermining inclusion? A critical reading of response to intervention (RTI)
Author: Beth A. Ferri (2011)
Journal: International Journal of Inclusive Education, 2011, pp. 1-18, iFirst Article
Summary: This paper presents a broad and critical examination of the discourse surrounding Response-to-Intervention (RTI) Model, a US-based education reform to deliver instructional intervention to students at risk. Arguing that RTI is not much a reform but a tactic, the author of the article illustrates how this model seems to aim at returning to the status quo of segregated special education, undermining in this way the inclusion of students with diverse learning needs in general education.
Starting with a brief overview of RTI-Model, which was initially implemented as an alternative to the discrepancy model for identifying students with Learning Disabilities, the author’s critique mainly focuses on the fact that RTI appears to be a means for determining eligibility for special education. The author’s main disagreement in terms of implementing RTI-Model seems to lie in the fact that it clearly indicates that the general education classroom is a “disability-free” space, also assuming that only “responders” are able to “return” to it.
The risk of implementing instructional approaches, which take place outside the general education classroom, as well as the intensity of intervention, which is almost always connected to placement, are among the issues thoroughly discussed in the article (Review by Soultana Manesi, specialeducation.gr Advisory Team member).
The article can be found here.
"I've counted Jon": Transformational Experiences of Teachers Educating Students with Disabilities
- Michael F. Giangreco, Research Assistant Professor;
- Ruth Dennis, Lecturer;
- Chigee Cloninger, Research Associate Professor,
- Susan Edelman, Lecturer &
- Richard Schattman, Lecturer. Department of Special Education, University of Vermont, Burlington, USA.
Why do some teachers take action to become involved with their students with severe disabilities while others do not? In this classic study, Michael Giancreco and his team attempt to gain better understanding into teachers’ experiences with children with disabilities and the transformative processes that assist in getting the teachers more involved with their students. For the purposes of the study 19 general education teachers, kindergarten through Grade 9, as well as questionnaires completed by 18 teachers, were analyzed using categorical coding procedures to identify themes related to the teachers’ experiences. The results indicated that the majority of the teachers –despite their initial negative reactions- experienced increased ownership and involvement with the student with severe disabilities in their classes over the course of the school year. The teachers identified factors that assisted in the process as well as some that were not so helpful. The results of the study have important implications for teacher in-service and pre-service training especially as it pertains to (a) other teachers' feelings and experiences in similar situations; (b) critical factors influencing success to start the year (e.g., teamwork, expectations of ownership, interaction with the student, learning from the class), and (c) approaches described by experienced teachers as successful (e.g.,activity-based approaches, use of typical materials and activities, group strategies).
The article can be found here.
An inquiry based instructional planning model that accommodates student diversity
- Author: Cheryl M. Jorgensen, Inclusive Education consultant & Affiliate Professor, Department of Education, University of New Hampshire
Educators need to deal with a rapidly changing world as it is reflected in their classrooms where they have to teach students from diverse cultural, ethnic, linguistic and achievement backgrounds. In such an environment it is essential for educators to organize their lessons in a way that has a meaning for all students and at the same time offer learning opportunities for all children regardless of their background. The article elaborates on the implementation of the author’s three-part model of organizing an inquiry based model that accommodates student diversity. The model consists of three parts: a) guiding principles, b) instructional planning steps, and c) a framework for providing individualized supports for students with extraordinary learning challenges. The article first describes a lesson that is taught by a teacher who is successful in creating an inclusive community of learners. A model of instructional planning is then described, using the sample lesson as a case study in the model’s implementation.
Seven pillars of support for inclusive education: Moving from “Why?” to “How?”
- Author: Tim Loreman, Professor, Faculty of Education, Concordia University College of Alberta
This paper discusses the creation of essential conditions in schools and school jurisdictions in order to support the inclusion of the diverse range of learning preferences and needs found in today’s classrooms. In order for inclusion to be successful educators need to work towards an educational climate and set of practices which include the adoption of positive attitudes; supportive policy and leadership; school and classroom processes grounded in research-based practice; flexible curriculum and pedagogy; community involvement; meaningful reflection, and; necessary training and resources (abstract from the article).