|Interaction, inclusion and students with profound and multiple disabilities- Towards an agenda for research and practice
|Aufsatz / Artikel
|Michael Arthur-Kelly,Phil Foreman,Deone Bennett,Sue Pascoe
|Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, Vol. 8, No. 3
The needs of students with profound and multiple disabilities (PMD) have received more attention in the educational research and best practice literature over the past decade, especially in relation to the importance of maximising their social and communicative engagement. However, perhaps as a function of their low incidence rate and resultant difficulties in obtaining research funding, there appears to be little in the way of a coherent vision for research in the international literature. In this paper we argue the need for a systematic programme of research into the nature of learning processes and outcomes for members of this group. Several issues emerge from a review of selected literature and from some recent observational data and descriptive case studies collected in special and inclusive classrooms. First, there is the importance of identifying ways of better understanding the complex experiences of members of this population, with particular attention to the ongoing contribution of behaviour state assessment as a means of measuring individual alertness and responsiveness. We argue that improved uptake of this approach will do much to advance our knowledge of life quality for this population and assist in more fully evaluating the effectiveness of educational interventions. Second, we explore the potential of social and communicative engagement in a variety of settings as a means of enhancing learning and participation in this group. We suggest that interpersonal variables are the key to improvements in educational support for this vulnerable group. Potential directions in research and practice are explored.
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