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A reflexive study of students with severe learning disabilities in further education

A reflexive study of students with severe learning disabilities in further education

Wright, Anne-Marie (2007) A reflexive study of students with severe learning disabilities in further education. EdD thesis, University of Greenwich.

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This thesis explores the effectiveness of discrete courses designed to prepare young adults with severe learning disabilities for the next stage in their lives, broadly assumed to be independent living and employment. It focuses particularly on the ways a small group of students in one college are prepared for supported employment. It captures the views of some of these students and of the significant adults who work with them. The thesis does not reject work as an option for young adults with severe learning disabilities; rather it promotes the view that work is one of the significant places where the adult community congregates. Inclusion in mainstream work, as is inclusion in mainstream school, is an important way to achieve first, public visibility and then, social acceptance for those with severe learning disabilities. In its final analysis, the thesis adopts a Foucauldian perspective and invites the further education sector to reconsider entrenched thinking which promotes normalised notions of work linked to the ability to perform a set of functional skills. Whilst inclusion in the workplace for people with severe learning disabilities is dependent on a normalised set of skills and behaviours and moreover, that these can be learned through behaviourist principles, this inclusion will not be achieved. The thesis suggest that a more positive way forward, may be to explore ways to harness the innate vocational aptitudes and aspirations of young adults with severe learning difficulties, and to support them in contributing to adult society, not judged by normalised measures of competence, but as valued participants whose particular talents are celebrated.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Additional Information:
Uncontrolled Keywords: curriculum design, severe learning difficulties, young adults, vocational aptitudes, further education,
Subjects: L Education > LC Special aspects of education
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Education
School of Education > Department of Education Leadership & Development
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:16

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