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Posts Tagged ‘Western Australia’

Record: Talina Drabsch, “Home Education in NSW” in NSW Parliament E-Brief, issue 7 (August, 2013). [available here]

Summary: Drabsch, a frequent contributor to the New South Wales (NSW) Parliamentary Library pubilcations series, here summarizes the home education situation in NSW and so much more. (more…)

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Record: Jasmine McDonald and Elaine Lopes, “How Parents Home Educate their Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder with the Support of the Schools of Isolated and Distance Education” in International Journal of Inclusive Education 18, no. 1 (2014): 1-17. [abstract here]

Summary:  McDonald completed her doctoral thesis on how parents deal with the education of a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in 2010.  Lopes completed her doctoral thesis on Distance Education in Western Australia in 2009.  Here these two junior scholars combine their research to investigate the role of a distance education program in helping parents manage the education of children with an ASD.

They begin by explaining the history of the Schools of Isolated and Distance Education (SIDE), a government program begun in 1918 as the Western Australian Correspondence School whose goal was to provide public instruction to students isolated from conventional schools due to geography or special needs.  This program has over the years used itinerant teachers, radio broadcasts, camp settings, and all sorts of distance education technology (audio tapes, videos, and now the internet) to reach isolated children.  While the students attending SIDE have historically been geographically isolated, the bulk of enrollments now are students with special needs that conventional schools cannot accommodate.  SIDE is thus a “school of last resort” for many. (p.3)

One group of children for whom SIDE is a resource are those diagnosed with an ASD.  McDonald and Lopes explain that an ASD diagnosis typically means that a student faces difficulties with communication, socialization, and behavior.  The clear trend over the last several decades in public education has been toward inclusion of these students into regular education, but in the last few years a small but growing literature has raised questions about this approach, as have many parents of children with an ASD diagnosis.  Some parents, reacting against the inclusive model and the lack of individualized instruction it sometimes entails, have felt forced to remove their children from institutional schooling and educate them at home. (more…)

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