The dissection of paraprofessional support in inclusive education: ‘you're in mainstream with a chaperone’

Whitburn, Ben 2013, The dissection of paraprofessional support in inclusive education: ‘you're in mainstream with a chaperone’, Australasian Journal of Special Education, vol. 37, no. 2, pp. 147-161, doi: 10.1017/jse.2013.12.

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Title The dissection of paraprofessional support in inclusive education: ‘you're in mainstream with a chaperone’
Author(s) Whitburn, BenORCID iD for Whitburn, Ben
Journal name Australasian Journal of Special Education
Volume number 37
Issue number 2
Start page 147
End page 161
Total pages 15
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Place of publication Cambridge, England
Publication date 2013
ISSN 1030-0112
Keyword(s) inclusive education
secondary school
paraprofessional support
vision impairment
qualitative research
social justice
Summary The experiences of young people with disabilities of inclusive schooling are largely underresearched. This paper reports recent findings of a small-scale Australian qualitative study, in which secondary students with vision impairment spoke about their experiences of receiving paraprofessional support. Two overarching themes emerged from this study: ‘light’ and ‘heavy’ paraprofessional support. The results presented here demonstrate that participants described that support personnel upheld the strong arm of the special education tradition, which was manifestly detrimental to their inclusion. Raw data is presented to elucidate the emergent themes, and to explain the various pedagogical and general support roles of class and special educators in eliminating the need for direct paraprofessional presence in lessons. The light and heavy model of support is also examined in terms of how it fits into the complexity of the education discourse and the young people’s own aspirations for full inclusion.
Language eng
DOI 10.1017/jse.2013.12
Field of Research 130312 Special Education and Disability
Socio Economic Objective 939907 Special Needs Education
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Arts and Education
School of Education
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