Annotation of a Qualitative Research Article

An annotation consists of three separate paragraphs that cover three respective components: summary, analysis, and application. These three components convey the relevance and value of the source. As such, an annotation demonstrates your critical thinking about, and authority on, the source topic. This week’s annotation is a precursor to the annotated bibliography assignment due in Week 10.An annotated bibliography is a document containing selected sources accompanied by a respective annotation of each source. In preparation for your own future research, an annotated bibliography provides a background for understanding a portion of the existing literature on a particular topic. It is also a useful first step in gathering sources in preparation for writing a subsequent literature review as part of a dissertation.With this in mind:Use the attached guidelines to annotate the research article Effective Practice in Inclusive Special Needs Education. Provide the reference list entry for this article in APA Style followed by a three-paragraph annotation that includes:A summaryAn analysisAn applicationFormat the annotation in Times New Roman, 12-point font, double-spaced. A separate References list page is not needed for this assignment.


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Vol 31, No: 1, 2016
Jorun Buli-Holmberg
University of Oslo
Sujathamalini Jeyaprathaban
Alagappa University
The present study attempts to evaluate the effective teaching practice for children with special
learning needs. The research question framed in the present study for investigation is which
practice will be effective in different inclusive classroom settings and what are the factors that
contribute for effective practices? Qualitative research was carried out in the present study using
the case study method of embedded single case design to answer the research question. This study
was carried out in South Norway. Twenty four Schools from four municipalities in three counties
were sampled for the present study. Eighty three observations were carried out in the classrooms
of selected schools where different inclusive classroom practice was followed. The study observed
different inclusive classroom settings namely traditional practice, variety and flexible practice,
one to one support practice outside and within the classroom and small groups outside the
classroom. The investigators derived different criterion under three categories: 1) interaction 2)
support and 3) adaptation for analysing the best inclusive classroom practices. The following
criteria were used under the interaction category; teacher interaction and collaboration, teacher
and students interaction and collaboration. The criteria used in the support category are general
teacher support, special teacher support, teacher supporting student participating in the learning
community. The adaptation category has following criteria; classroom facilitation, learning
materials and teachers instructions. The result of the study showed that each type of practice has
its own advantages and disadvantages in the education of children with special needs. The
strength and weakness of each practice were analysed. The finding from the traditional practice
shows that those students that need special support do not get the support they need to master
their learning. Under the one to one support practice the students got the support they needed to
master their learning and they had positive interaction with the teacher in the students’ learning
process, and the same results were found with one to one support inside the classroom. In small
group practice the students had more support and a closer interaction with the teacher than in the
traditional practice. The present study concluded that varied and flexible practice in the
classroom had met all the criteria listed by the investigators and served the necessary learning
requirements of children with special needs. Whereas the remaining four practices had served
children with special need to a certain extent only. The study stated that there is a lack of expertise
on the part of the general teachers to deliver adapted teaching learning process in an inclusive
classroom practice. The study implied a need to build competencies on the part of the general
teachers and provide necessary teaching – learning interaction, support and adaptation in all type
of inclusive practices.
This research paper dealt with the effective practices in Inclusive and Special Needs Education. Inclusive Education
means that all students in a school, regardless of their strengths or weaknesses in any area, become part of the school
community. The term Inclusion generally means ending all separate special education placement for all students and
full time placement in general education with appropriate special education supports within that classroom (GarvarPinhas & SchmelkinPedhazur, 1989; Lipsky & Gartner, 1996). There are some individuals who by virtue of their
physical and mental abilities require a more relevant or appropriate instruction than is usually available within
formal and informal educational structures. A domain of education has been constructed to satisfy their learning
Vol 31, No: 1, 2016
requirements (Laura & Ashman, 1985). This domain is called ‘Special Needs Education’. This field of Special
Needs Education encompasses heterogeneous groups who demand varied services: visually impaired, hearing
impaired, mentally retarded, orthopaedic handicapped, children with behaviour disorders, gifted or talented and
finally the learning disabled or children with learning difficulties. Special Needs Education meets the needs of
children with specially designed instructional programme to compensate/overcome their disabilities/difficulties. In
past, the learning requirements of these children were provided in special settings, such as special classes, special
schools and special residential schools or institutions. Recently, inclusion emerges out with the constitutional
provision of equal opportunity for all these individuals. The concept of integration’ stemmed out from the
perspective of democracy. Integration leading to inclusive schools cannot be about renegotiating the roles of
‘special’ educators to meet the needs of ‘special’ children in ordinary classrooms (Stainback, Stainback & Forest,
1989, p.ix).
To achieve a quality in Inclusive Education school plays vital role. All individuals are unique and ‘special’ with
their strengths and weaknesses. As education binds us together, it has its root in the past and is meant to equip us for
the future. It transfers knowledge, culture and values from one generation to the next. It promotes social mobility
and ensures the creation of values and welfare for all. For the individual, education is to contribute to cultural and
moral growth, mastering social skills and learning self-sufficiency. It passes on values and imparts knowledge and
tools that allow every one to make full use of their abilities and realise their talents. It is meant to cultivate and
educate so that individuals can accept personal responsibility for themselves and their fellows. Education must make
it possible for an individual or a person to develop so that they can make well-founded decisions and influence their
own future. It is all about participating in a society to a maximum extent for a successful life. Inclusion is a concept
where social and cultural interactions are the main focus (Buli-Holmberg & Ekeberg, 2009). As Inclusive education
is the knowledge of putting one’s potential to maximum use it has the power to develop every citizen to be the
potential contributor for their nation. Any nation’s progress lies in the hands of well educated and talented citizens
(Strømstad, M., Nes, K. & Skogen, K. 2004). Hence it is a binding duty of every nation to provide quality education
to their citizen irrespective of their ability, caste, creed, race, religion and other differences.
Concept of Inclusion
In every country, the paradigm shift in Special Needs Education is to promote the inclusion for children with special
needs in academic, vocational and social aspects. The idea of Inclusive Education was given impetus by two
conferences set up under the support of United Nations. The first of these, held in Jomtein, Thailand in 1990,
promoted the idea of ‘education for all’, this was followed in 1994 by a UNESCO conference in Salamanca, Spain,
which led to a Statement that is being used in many countries to review their education policies. The Salamanca
Statement proposes that the development of schools with an ‘inclusive’ orientation is the most effective means of
improving the efficiency and ultimately the cost-effectiveness of the entire education system. Inclusion is a
collaborative process among students, parents, and educators which enables students with and without disabilities to
learn together in the same class to the greatest extent possible utilizing appropriate support services (GrapevineColleyville ISD Inclusion Task Force Report of 1997, P.1). The Federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
(IDEA) and its 1997 amendments make it clear that schools have a duty to educate children with disabilities in
general education classrooms. Later on, in 1997 ‘The International Journal of Inclusive Education’ persuades the
same broad outset of ‘Inclusive Education’, involving an examination of all the processes of inclusion and exclusion
in education. The instruction of special needs students in the regular classroom may well deviate from the ‘normal’
programme. Individual educational plan, more instruction time, individual attention, other instructional methods or
specialised professional skills and materials or the resources required to serve better for the children with special
needs. In addition to these, resources teachers knowledge, attitude and competencies form the basis for effective
inclusive educational set up (Sujathamalini, 2002; Reddy et al, 2006). Skogen & Holmberg (2002) quoted that a
common understanding of the term inclusion, a high level of expertise (formalised through training or informal
expertise acquired through long practice and the exchange of experiences through various types of co-operation) and
systematic work within the field with local development workers are important factors for practice inclusion well.
Effective practices in Inclusion
Inclusive Education is a challenge for teachers who must instruct a classroom including a combination of children
with diversified needs and children with special needs. Inclusive classroom settings are arranged in a different ways
to attain mastery in learning among a diverse group of learners. In some inclusive schools the previous traditional
classroom practice was adopted without any change in the instruction and material (Buli-Holmberg 2008). In this
Vol 31, No: 1, 2016
type of inclusion the children with special needs are included as such where traditional teaching practice followed in
the regular classroom without any priority arrangements or adaptations made. But in some schools the concept of
inclusion is done with teachers’ collaboration for planning and delivering the instruction, preparing and use of
instructional materials to suit the needs of children with special needs. Special teachers are assigned to assist the
children with special needs within and outside the classroom for meeting the learning requirements of this diverse
group of learners. Opens school system with flexible classroom arrangements with creative instructional methods
are also done in some inclusive school system. Thus various forms of practices are followed in inclusive settings to
promote mastery in learning among children with special needs. As there are lot of practices followed in an inclusive
setting, it is needed to find out the effective practices in inclusion. In every practice there are certain important
features that need to be carried out to promote mastery in learning among children with special needs. They are
interaction including teacher collaboration and students’ collaboration, different kind of student support and variety
and flexibility in instructional and material adaptations.
Interaction – Teachers collaboration
Teacher Collaboration is a strategy that has been successful in various classrooms (Lederer, 2000). It is not a new
instructional technique in the field of Special Needs Education. It is more effective in inclusive settings. The
collaborative teaming model is the ideal model in inclusive classrooms because it capitalizes best on the talents and
skills of the participating teachers (Boudah, Schumacher, & Deschler, 1997; King-Sears, 1995; Miller & Savage,
1995; Minke, Bear, Deemer & Griffin, 1996; Pugach & Seidl, 1995; Villa, Thousand, & Chapple, 1996; WaltherThomas, Bryant, & Land, 1996). The variation in teaching roles and responsibilities required in collaborative
arrangements require a belief that all students can learn, coupled with competent communication and problemsolving skills (Friend & Bursuck, 2006; Gable & Hendrickson, 2000). Collaboration requires an important amount
of faith between partners and a flexible approach in lesson planning and implementation of instructional strategies.
Collaborative programs should be well planned with a structure in which the teachers’ roles and responsibilities are
specified and carried out along with daily management and instructional decisions and classroom interactions (Cole
et al., 2000; Friend & Bursuck, 2006; Wood, 1998).
Interaction – Teachers and Students Collaboration
The school is a mini society where the children learn to live in together (Buli-Holmberg & Ekeberg, 2009). The
concept of inclusion helps children with special needs to stay in a more society based life at their school age
(Strømstad, Nes & Skogen, 2004). In an inclusive set up they get more exposure than what they would get from
exclusion, this can help to mould them for their future life. There is more focus on social inclusion in the school and
classroom than the academic and cultural inclusion (Buli-Holmberg 2008, Buli-Holmberg, Guldahl & Jensen 2007).
Therefore, an inclusive school is more focused on a place to learn to live together rather than to live together to
learn. Vygotskys’ main emphasis is on the interaction between the individual and the environment (1978). He claims
that development is dependent on surrounding conditions such as home conditions and the learning environment in
schools. Vygotsky describes the proximal zone of development as follows: It is the distance between the actual
developmental level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development as
determined through problem solving under adult guidance or in collaboration with more capable peers (Vygotsky
1978:86). He says that the proximal zone of development is between the actual and potential zone, and considers
that development happens when a child moves from the actual to the potential zone of development. Vygotsky
attaches great importance to cooperation with more competent others, adults, youth or children in the process of
development. Children can attain a higher level of development and achievement through cooperating with others,
than they will manage without this consideration. The more competent interactions and collaboration a learner
receives may help the learner progress in the process of learning. Wenger (1998) claims that learning is not limited
to education, he also includes learning from daily life. He describes how identity is created through participating in
the community of practice. He point out four components which he says from the wholeness in the process of
learning; practice, community, identity and meaning. Learning depends on being a real participator in the
community of practice. Through participating and negotiations about meaning in the community of practice the
individual develops a personal identity. Practice is an expression for one’s historical and social resources, frames
and perspectives that can support mutual engagement when one acts. The Community represents participation, where
one’s actions are considered as valuable and where one’s performing and participating can be identified as
competence. Identity represents how learning changes who a person is. Meaning is an expression for one’s (often
changing) ability to experience one’s life and world as meaningful that one creates histories of being.
Adaptation – Variety and flexibility in Instructional and Material
Vol 31, No: 1, 2016
There is different instruction methods commonly used to cope with this varied learning environment. Even though
the inclusive educational practice is a challenge for regular school teachers they are the active agents exposed to a
lot of problems in implementation. Even then they have to develop and implement the inclusive education policies
and bring out satisfactory outcomes for themselves and for the pupils. As inclusion stemmed out from the right for
equal education of all children, teachers should provide education to them based on their abilities and disabilities.
Teaching all students in the same way no longer meets the rigorous academic demands of today’s education reform
(Hitchcock, Meyer, Rose, & Jackson, 2002). Effective teaching of diverse students requires different instructional
methodology, curriculum materials, and assessment methods (Bateman & Bateman, 2002; Hitchcock et al., 2002).
Students who are actively involved and engaged in planning and evaluating their own learning experiences are more
likely to improve academic achievement (Choate, 2000). The independence of students with disabilities, in terms of
effort and task persistence, is essential in an effective inclusive services environment (Choate, 2000; Friend &
Bursuck, 2006; Gee, 2002). Students with disabilities often lack an awareness of their strengths and weaknesses
(Brinckerhoff, 1994; Scanlon & Mellard, 2002) as well as skills in self-determination and advocacy (Durlack, Rose,
& Bursuck, 1994; Field, 1996; Janiga & Costenbader, 2002). All students with or without disabilities need to learn
three types of skills: 1) dispositions and habits of mind, such as inquisitiveness, diligence, collaboration, work
habits, tolerance, and critical thinking; 2) content area knowledge, in science, social studies, language arts,
computers, the arts, etc; and 3)basic academic skills such as reading, writing, and mathematics (Jorgensen, Fisher,
and Roach, 1997). These three types of skills should be included in the curriculum of general education classes as
well as in various types of inclusive settings. Student’s collaboration, teaming and problem solving strategies in the
classroom accommodating a diverse group of learners are common approaches in quality inclusive curriculum
(McGregor, Halvorsen, Fisher, Pumpian, Bhaerman, & Salisbury, 1998; Tichenor, Heins, & Piechura-Couture,
To perform such multidimensional role the teacher’s plays a vital role. The teacher should develop a plan within the
curriculum that suits all the children with diversified needs. Deschenes, Ebeling, & Sprague (1994) noted a variety
of instructional approaches for teachers to design curricula that accommodate a wide range of learners. They are: cooperative learning structures, Multidimensional student grouping, and multilevel instruction, Peer supports, Concrete
experimental learning activities, community based instruction. Effective Inclusive Education is based on a
multidisciplinary approach which warrants regular teachers, special teachers and other professionals’ competencies.
Special teachers and regular teachers work together for framing curriculum for the children with special needs.
Teachers with special teaching competencies in Special Needs Education will always automatically and intuitively
adapt the curriculum and instruction to meet the needs of each student. An inclusive curriculum that involves
collaboration with colleagues makes this task even easier, enabling the educators to facilitate changes and
adaptations (Snyder, 1999; Tapasak & Walther-Thomas, 1999; Tichenor, Heins, & Piechura, Couture, 1998). A lack
of expertise and training for general and special teachers, insufficient resources, inadequate shared planning time,
and the absence of administrative support are the primary barriers to inclusive efforts (King & Youngs, 2003;
Scruggs & Mastropieri, 1996; Scruggs et al., 2007, Baker & Zigmond, 1995; Schumm, Vaughn, Gordan, &
Rothlein, 1994). General and special teachers’ exposure to a variety of inclusive services models influences their
willingness and readiness to implement inclusive practices (McLesky, Waldren, So, Swanson, & Loveland, 2001;
Van Laarhoven, et al., 2006). Teachers skilled in scientifically based reading instruction, classroom organization and
behavior management have the comp …
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