Behavioral Impacts Associated With Students With Disabilities in Australian Schools: The Need for a Deeper Understanding of Inclusivity and Their Learning Journey

Behavioral Impacts Associated With Students With Disabilities in Australian Schools: The Need for a Deeper Understanding of Inclusivity and Their Learning Journey

Anthony Charles Tencati (University of Southern Queensland, Australia)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 27
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2901-0.ch004

Abstract

This chapter explores the link between students with disabilities, the behaviours they exhibit, the impact this has on their schooling, and the impact upon others. The author's school has a population of about 1,000 students, of whom over 10 percent have verified disabilities. According to Education Council (2016), data regarding the number of students with disabilities is inconsistent between schools in Australia's states and territories, however, there are schools throughout Australia that have large numbers of students with verified disabilities. This is reinforced by the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (2018) where in 2017 there were about 18.8 percent of Australian school students with a verified disability. It is not surprising, therefore, that these statistics are concerning and research continues to be a priority. Identifying appropriate pedagogies and more effective management strategies for these students will benefit them, their families, and the community, and contribute to solving pressing issues in these students' lives.
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Background

Families of students with disabilities in Australia have an important choice in their schooling. That choice is to decide whether or not to send their students to a special school, where the school has been created in order to support students with a range of disabilities, or to send their student to a mainstream school, which attempts to be inclusive of everyone. Students in mainstream schools display a number of different behaviors which may be interpreted incorrectly by students with disabilities as regular behaviors. This in turn creates a conundrum for the students with disabilities as they may try to replicate these behaviors. A number of different factors will come into question throughout, including socioeconomic status, hereditary factors, self-efficacy and behavioral factors of mainstream students and students with disabilities. Kahu and Nelsen (2018) states that students’ self-efficacy is critical to behaviors displayed. Furthermore, Yu and Singh (2018) concur, indicating that students whom stem from low socio-economic backgrounds are more likely to have lower motivation levels and self-drive. Schools far from capital cities and in low socioeconomic areas have a higher rate of behavior incidences and a lower level of educational outcomes. If the behaviors are uninterrupted and not substituted, the behaviors may turn into chronic challenging behavior. These chronic behaviors can negatively impact a variety of life outcomes for individuals with intellectual disability.

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