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Unit information: Collaboration Across Professional Contexts in Special and Inclusive Education in 2012/13

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Unit name Collaboration Across Professional Contexts in Special and Inclusive Education
Unit code EDUCM0014
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Jo Rose
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Education
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

The overarching aim of this unit is to provide students with an understanding of inter-professional working (IPW) from the different perspectives of policy makers, strategic decision makers, practitioners, and service users. The conditions that support and impede successful IPW will be explored. The tensions arising from IPW and the potential benefits will be investigated. A range of theoretical perspectives on IPW will be critically evaluated. The unit will also draw on the experiences of the students to support the lectures, readings, class discussions and group tasks.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Critical awareness and understanding of: • The impact of policy frameworks and the structure of the different professions on the practice of IPW • The ways in which IPW can support inclusive practice across education systems, and contribute to the prevention of social and educational exclusion • The dynamics of IPW; the ways in which different professions formulate new ways of working together • The tensions and rewards arising working across professional boundaries, and where these originate • The different ways in which IPW is experienced by different groups of stakeholders • Different theoretical conceptualisations of IPW

Teaching Information

This unit will be delivered over a series of 10x 2-hour sessions. These sessions will use a variety of teaching methods, which are likely to include whole-class lectures, group discussions, student presentations, case studies, and visiting speakers such as practitioners who are experienced in inter-professional work. A small group mini-research project (to be presented in class), and peer and tutor support will facilitate individual study.

The needs of a wide range of students, including those with disabilities, international students and those from ethnic minority backgrounds have been considered. It is not anticipated that the teaching and assessment methods used will cause disadvantage to any person taking the unit. The Graduate School of Education is happy to address individual support requests as necessary.

Assessment Information

Formative assessment will take place in class, with peer and tutor feedback on group and class discussions of concepts and literature and how these relate to personal experiences.

Students will carry out a mini research project in small groups, exploring experiences of IPW from different perspectives, through interviews with practitioners and service users. As the first part of the summative assessment, the findings from this will be presented in class, stimulating further discussion and feedback.

The remaining part of the summative assessment will comprise a 3000 word essay, from a range of titles, requiring them to use research evidence and policy to critically explore and evaluate concepts in an aspect of IPW. Sample titles include:

• Critically evaluate the extent to which IPW can address social and educational exclusion. • Outline two different ways in which the processes of IPW can be conceptualised. How useful are these conceptualisations? • How can tensions inherent in IPW be resolved? • In what ways might the current political landscape affect the way in which professionals engage in IPW? • How useful is IPW likely to be in practice for children with SEND and their families?

Reading and References

Anning, A., Cottrell, D.M., Frost, N., Green, J. and Robinson, M. (2006) Developing Multi-professional Teamwork for Integrated Children’s Services, Buckingham: Open University Press. Department for Education (2011) Support and Aspiration: A new approach to special educational needs and disability. London: HMSO. Edwards, A., Daniels, H., Gallagher, T., Leadbetter, J. & Warmington, P. (2009) Improving inter-professional collaborations: Learning to do multi-agency work. Abingdon: Routledge. Glenny, G. and Roaf, C. (2008) Multiprofessional Communication: Making systems work for children. OUP: Maidenhead. Rose, J. (2011) Dilemmas of inter-professional collaboration: can they be resolved? Children and Society, 25, 151-163. Todd, L. (2007) Partnerships for Inclusive Education: A critical approach to collaborative working. Abingdon: RoutledgeFalmer,