As contemporary societies become more heterogeneous, and as inclusive education reforms gain currency across the world, educational systems are being challenged to address some fundamental questions about teaching and learning related to the accommodation of and respect for difference.
Underpinning the movement for inclusion is a concern for social justice and wellbeing. Meeting the diverse needs of learners within today's schools, colleges and universities, is one of the most challenging and important tasks facing education today.
This thoroughly revised Masters degree is unique not only because of the disciplinary approaches it employs, but also because students study and apply an approach to wellbeing that has been developed by some of the worlds leading thinkers.
This is an approach that is internationally recognised by, for example, the UN, and whose principles are increasingly found in government policy on education and SEN, namely the Capability Approach. The School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work at Queens is one of the very few institutions in the UK to offer this practical and ethical approach to assessing issues of SEN, equality and inclusion.
There are three compulsory modules:
The Intellectual Foundations of Special Needs Education (online module)
Reimagining Special Needs Education and Inclusion
Special Needs Education and Issues of Equity
Issues you will explore include, for example, what we mean by special educational needs; how a SEN impacts on attainment, emotional and physical wellbeing, or inclusive practice; barriers to inclusion, including social class, gender, and ethnicity; and the role of stereotyping, prejudice and ignorance to ask questions about justice and equality for those identified as having a special educational need. In exploring your responses to such questions, you will examine the practical implications for improving and developing your own professional practice.
The skills you will develop include critical thinking skills and how best to be an inclusive practitioner. Importantly, this is a professionally based degree which means that you will apply what you have learned to your own professional practice whether you are a classroom assistant, SENCO or university lecturer.
Students who have undertaken the Masters degree value it for its innovative, challenging, and thought-provoking content, as well as its practical application to professional practice.
On successful completion students will have:
familiarity with a range of philosophical and sociological issues in special needs education and an insight into the implications of these issues for children who often find themselves on the margins of inclusion
a high level of critical understanding of the theory and practice of contemporary inclusive and special/additional needs education, and of inclusive pedagogy
a comprehensive understanding of exclusion and the relationship between educational special needs and social justice, and how these relate to dyslexia, autism, and so on, as well as to class, gender and ethnicity.
Flexibility: this programme is designed to meet the needs of professionals and is delivered via blended learning (a mixture of face-to-face and online learning). Diploma and Certificate options are also available.
Credit transfer: students who have completed other masters-level awards, e.g. PGCE, within the last 10 years are eligible to credit transfer. The credit transfer application must be submitted at the same time as the online programme application as retrospective applications are not accepted.