Normalisation, as defined by Ashman & Elkins, (2008) is the ‘belief that people with a disability or impairment should enjoy the same rights, privileges, opportunities, and access to services and facilities as those who do not have impairment’. In a country where diversity and equality are promoted within our nations Identity, the concept of ‘Normalisation’ is a concept which should also come naturally to Australian societal behaviours.
Normalisation is a process which cannot operate without the appropriate support from both the educational community and the wider community. This support exists within the integration and development of Policies, Principles, Legislations and Frameworks. Although, it is clear to say that in the modern day society such Policies, Principles, Legislations and Frameworks are readily available for developmental usage by educators, it has not always been this way. This report will discuss how past and present attitudes towards Policies, Principles, Legislations and Frameworks, have greatly impacted upon modern educational society.
Policies, Principles and Frameworks work within the Inclusive Educational environment once they have been adopted by an individual or social group as a plan of action. These plans of action are designed to promote the external or internal prosperity and future success of students, no matter what their special learning needs may be. Policies, Principles and Frameworks are the fabric beneath the educational society. With plans of action come positive and negative attitudes towards the influence each will impose on society.
Historically, teachers have not been favourably disposed to the policy of increased inclusion of children with special needs within the regular classroom (Center & Ward, 1987; Forlin, Douglas & Hattie, 1996). Three decades ago Berry, Andrews and Elkins (1977) made aware of the lack of social integration of Special Schools within Australia, reporting that the location of special schools at the time were situated too far away from mainstream schooling environments, therefore restricting social interaction opportunities to which students may benefit from. This is a clear example of the lack of understanding of diverse learning and the lack of diverse learning to needs that failed to be catered to. Within the past three decades, Policies, Principles, Legislations and Frameworks such as the Disability Discrimination Act, Inclusive Education Statement – (2005) and the Salamanca statement have been implemented into the educational society to compliment the progressive development of positive teacher understandings of Inclusive education.
The attitudes possessed by teachers in modern day educational environments have progressively developed positively in the past 30 years, showing several changes within the educational society and mainstream society that have had the effect of gaining more equal conditions for particular advantaged and disadvantaged groups.
Even so, with...