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Exploring the Influence of Institutionalisation on Beginning Teachers Thoughts about Inclusive Practices

Author:

Carol Hamilton

University of Waikato, NZ
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Abstract

This article explores the possible influence of past practices of institutionalization on the attitudes and beliefs of groups of beginning teachers who are considering their professional responsibilities in relation to the inclusion of all children with a disability in regular classes in New Zealand. During principal lectures in 2015 and 2016 about social norms, educational inclusion and disability rights, beginning teachers were asked to provide responses to three questions about their knowledge of Tokanui Hospital, a large institution that served the Waikato Region between 1912 and 1997. Two thirds of those who responded, many under the age of 25, indicated no knowledge of the institution. However, one third responded that they knew at least something of Tokanui and how the institution operated. Some included comments about what they knew. These suggest that the legacy of past practices of institutional committal of people with a disability in this country may influence at least some beginning teachers’ beliefs about inclusive practices in ways that may need more consideration within initial teacher training programmers. While more information about this aspect of our history is now available, concerted efforts to find and disseminate a wider range of stories about these experiences are needed.

How to Cite: Hamilton, C., 2017. Exploring the Influence of Institutionalisation on Beginning Teachers Thoughts about Inclusive Practices. Journal of Social Inclusion, 8(1), pp.21–33. DOI: http://doi.org/10.36251/josi.115
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Published on 07 Sep 2017.
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