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A healthy, thoughtful, insightful discussion about social inclusion in a postsecondary institution

  • Author / Creator
    Pierce, Krista Joie
  • This research study combines aspects of previous inquiries into attitudes towards the inclusion of individuals with disabilities. It extends previous research in that it specifically examines instructors’ perceptions of social inclusion of students with developmental disabilities at the postsecondary education level, and does so within the context of Vygotsky’s social development theory. Individual, semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine instructors at Red Deer College, using interpretive phenomenological analysis. Findings are presented as themes that emerged from the transcribed interviews by following the process of thematic analysis. The themes are presented with exemplars from the interviews to help capture the meaning of each theme. Five key themes emerged as primary observations of social inclusion at a postsecondary education institution: conflict between the college philosophy of social inclusion and the reality of what is happening in individual classes, conflict between encouraging social inclusion and the reality of departmental requirements for courses and graduation, slow pace at which society accepts individuals with developmental disabilities, varied expectations of the outcome of social inclusion, and comfort level with individuals with developmental disabilities. Conflict between the college philosophy of social inclusion and the reality of what is happening in individual classes refers to inclusion policies and practices that are recommended by an institution or persons in position of authority. Conflict between encouraging social inclusion and the reality of departmental requirements for courses and graduation include percentage grades needed to pass certain courses, number of courses needed to obtain a certificate or diploma, and graduation requirements. Slow pace at which society accepts individuals with developmental disabilities encompasses attitudes towards social inclusion over the last thirty years. Varied expectations of the outcome of social inclusion refers to the general understanding of what the educational experience and future prospects of employment hold for students with disabilities. Comfort level with individuals with developmental disabilities refers to the range of understanding people without a disability have about what a disability is. Important information regarding social inclusion at the postsecondary level can be gleaned from this research.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2011-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3MT47
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Doctoral
  • Department
    • Department of Educational Psychology
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Smith, Veronica (Educational Psychology)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Frender, Robert (Educational Psychology)
    • Buck, George (Educational Psychology)
    • Goodwin, Donna (Physical Education and Recreation)
    • Sobsey, Richard (Educational Psychology)