Private: Inclusive Education: processes and perspectives

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Module 2: Models of Decision Making

2.4 Module Reflections

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Marjorie talks about the five principles that underpin integration at school:

  1. It is the right of the child to attend a neighbourhood school
  2. Resources and services should be school based where possible
  3. “Non categorisation” – Emphasis on student curriculum not on student disability
  4. Participation in the decision making processes to be used – Collaborative decision making
  5. All children can learn and be taught

“By segregating students we sent a message that teachers could not cope – we deskilled the teachers in our schools”

The different decision making models

Medical model of decision making 

The underlying assumption of this model is that there is something wrong with the child that can be diagnosed, treated and cured.

Consultative or expert model 

The underlying assumption of this model is that the experts are the best judges of what is appropriate for the student and make all the decisions. 

This upset parents as they were not informed of results of tests and information the experts had on their children. The teachers were also upset as they were the last to know of the results of tests and information gathered by the expert.

Collaborative or shared decision making model 

The underlying assumption is that everyone who is effected by a decision has a right to participate in making that decision.  This includes the child, parent, parent advocate, teacher, and the principal.

The steps in the shared decision making model

Marjorie also explained the five steps in the shared decision making model:
  1. Establish a shared goal
  2. Share all the information
  3. Share the decision making
  4. Shared action
  5. Shared responsibility

All members of the school community can be empowered by the shared process of decision-making