The Use of a narrative approach to illuminate an individual learning need: implications for teachers’ professional development

Wearmouth, Janice (2003). The Use of a narrative approach to illuminate an individual learning need: implications for teachers’ professional development. Journal of In-Service Education, 29(2) pp. 255–276.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13674580300200266

Abstract

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland the current focus of teachers' continuing professional development in the area of special educational needs is competency-based. This focus reflects the government's policy view of special educational provision in schools, which is closely compatible with a ‘technical rational’ (technicist) approach to management (Habermas, 1974). Technicist approaches assume that what needs to be managed, the purposes to be achieved and the management process are clear, fixed and unproblematic. Personal experiences of those closely concerned with the special needs area in schools, especially of those involved with designing or receiving special provision, suggest a contrary view. The real world in schools is fraught with uncertainty, complexity and conflicting viewpoints. This article will illustrate how a technicist approach is inadequate to address management practices in special educational provision. It will go on to discuss ways in which practice in this area can most effectively be conceptualised from the perspective of a reflective practitioner (Schön, 1983, 1987)

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