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Inclusive Education in Europe: A practical Application of an ICF-CY-based Framework as a Tool for Inclusive Education Policies
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, CHILD. (CHILD)
Neurological Institute Carlo Besta IRCCS Foundation, Milan, Italy.
2011 (English)In: ECER 2011, Urban Education, 2011Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Based on previous theoretical work which proposes the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health Children and Youth Version (the ICF-CY) (WHO, 2007) as a bridge to link social capital and inclusive education (Maxwell & Koutsogeorgou, in press 2011), this paper presents the findings from the practical application of the ICF-CY as a framework for building stronger and healthier societies by improving inclusion through social change.

Policy reviews, reports and approaches to inclusive education demonstrate various differences between countries. The aim of this article is not only to provide an insight on the issue of inclusion in education from a sociological perspective, but also to identify the influence or connection of social capital with the decision-making and design of policies which ensure participation by creating inclusive education environments based on published resources for the following six European countries: Germany, Greece Romania, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.. This could be performed through an overview of the level of social capital – for each of the countries in question – in relation to an overview of the level of the quality of the inclusive education policies for children with disabilities within these countries. The level of quality was considered in terms of five core themes: availability, accessibility, affordability, accommodability, and acceptability (Maxwell & Granlund, in press 2011) based on the countries’ official documentation for inclusive education policies for children with disability. Are there any similar tendencies between the level of social capital and the level of quality of inclusive education policies in these European countries?

Inclusion, social capital, and the ICF-CY framework as a tool for inclusive education policies

Social capital - consisting of formal and informal social networks, trust and civic norms - is known to be a social determinant of health (CSDH, 2008). Similarly, it is known that inclusion - the integration, valuing and involvement of all in society - is a social determinant of health and also an outcome of social capital as a measure of social inclusion (CSDH, 2008). This paper takes this argument a step further by focusing on the correlation between social capital and inclusive education towards the further development of inclusive environments for children with disabilities within a European context. Social capital potential indicators are mapped to the ICF-CY, in combination with the use of the MAFES (Hollenweger, 2010) matrix as an instrument for analyzing the functioning of inclusive education policies and systems, as well as a tool for policy-planning and monitoring of issues of inclusive education environments in Europe.

Method

Social capital indicators: comparative analysis Social capital indicators have been identified for the six European countries using data from the European Social Survey (ESS) 2008 ed.3.0. Online Analysis provided by the official online source of the ESS, was used and appropriate weights were applied. The following list of variables/questions were identified as social capital indicators: Non-face-to-face communication: personal use of internet Personal use of internet, World Wide Web, e-mail Social trust Participation in politics (voter participation) Social inclusion: meeting socially Social support: having someone to discuss personal matters with Subjective well-being: feeling of safety in neighbourhood after dark Participation in public religious practices. Comparative analysis of these indicators between the six countries was performed, plus, the indicators were mapped to the ICF-CY (e.g. the indicator: Participation in politics can be mapped to the ICF-CY code: d950) interpreting each question’s meaning from a solely sociological perspective. The results of the mapping process of social capital indicators to ICF-CY can provide a guide for the practical measurement of the level of social capital by using the ICF-CY which could be potentially considered as a tool for policy-making in inclusive education settings.

Expected Outcomes

The preliminary phase of the comparative analysis included ESS data for Sweden and United Kingdom. From this phase, social capital appeared to operate in the intermediate level – between the micro and macro level. Although Sweden appeared as having overall higher rates on the selected social capital indicators compared to United Kingdom, none of the amount of differences of the response rates exceeded the 20 percent. Therefore, one could conclude that since no ample difference was observed on the rates of social capital indicators, then the two countries’ social capital levels were similar. However, previous studies have identified differences on aspects of social capital between European regions (Adam 2008; Knack & Keefer 1997), and accordingly differences are expected to emerge within the present study too since the comparative analysis has been based on data from countries of different European regions. Evident differences between Sweden and United Kingdom have been already identified on inclusive education policies on five core themes: availability, accessibility, affordability, accommodability, and acceptability (Maxwell & Granlund, in press 2011). Further analysis including other European countries will expand on these findings and allow comparison on the levels of social capital and inclusive education policies within these countries.

References

Adam F. Mapping social capital across Europe: findings, trends and methodological shortcomings of cross-national surveys. Social Science Information. June 1, 2008 2008;47(2):159-186. CSDH. (2008). Closing the gap in a generation : health equity through action on the social determinants of health : final report of the commission on social determinants of health. Geneva: World Health Organization. Hollenweger, J. (2010). MHADIE's matrix to analyse the functioning of education systems. [Article]. Disability & Rehabilitation, 32, S116-S124. Doi: 10.3109/09638288.2010.520809 Knack S, Keefer P. Does Social Capital Have An Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation*. Quarterly Journal of Economics. 1997;112(4):1251-1288. Maxwell, G., & Granlund, M. (in press 2011). How are conditions for participation expressed in education policy documents? A review of documents in Scotland and Sweden. European Journal of Special Needs Education. Maxwell, G., & Koutsogeorgou, E. (in press 2011). Inclusive education in Europe for children with disabilities: A conceptual ICF-CY-based framework as a tool for social-based inclusive education policies. American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. McGonigal, J., Doherty, R., Allan, J., Mills, S., Catts, R., Redford, M., et al. (2007). Social Capital, Social Inclusion and Changing School Contexts: A Scottish Perspective. British Journal of Educational Studies, 55(1), 77-94. WHO. (2007). International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health – Version for Children & Youth (ICF-CY). Geneva: World Health Organization.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011.
National Category
Social Sciences Sociology Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-17959OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-17959DiVA: diva2:516533
Conference
ECER 2011, Urban Education
Available from: 2012-04-18 Created: 2012-04-18 Last updated: 2012-05-24

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