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Previous CDS Events

Some presentation slides and/or event recordings may be available for personal use. If you have any enquiries, please contact the Centre for Disability Studies.


Associate Professor Tim Corcoran: Doing Inclusive Education Differently

Wednesday 3rd April 2024

For educators pursuing equitable and inclusive practice, concerns with many educational theory~practice orientations (e.g., ableism) are easily raised. Consider educational psychology. As a field of inquiry dedicated to understanding living phenomena, the sub-discipline spends far too much time trying to sanitise life forms from the messiness of everyday activity.

In this seminar, Tim Corcoran "invites advocates of inclusive practices to consider two alternate theoretical options. The first, ecologics, are offered as a means to appreciating the connectedness of living events. Five prospective conditions necessary for the employment of ecologics are surveyed. Together, these conditions support a commitment to psychosocial justice. If equity, diversity and inclusion are central to educational theory~practice, then psychological and social matters must be addressed as a unified relationality. There, concerns should always attend to how psychology comes to life, and not primarily with what psychology is said to be."

Tim Corcoran initially went to university to become a History/English teacher. After a five-year divergence playing rock ‘n roll, he returned to tertiary studies and qualified as a psychologist. He practiced for ten years, first as an adult prison psychologist and then as a psychologist in government P-12 schools. During that decade, he completed his doctoral research examining ways communities talk about the people they intend to exclude. Tim’s current role is Associate Professor (Inclusive Education), School of Education, Deakin University. He lives and works on unceded Wurundjeri Country, Naarm (Melbourne), Australia.

Professor Amanda Watkins: Supporting the development of policy frameworks for inclusive education systems; reflections from the work of the European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education

Wednesday 7th February 2024

Professor Amanda Watkins (United Kingdom) is Assistant Director with the European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education. She is responsible for the content co-ordination and implementation of the Agency’s work programme and leads on activities providing direct support for 31 Agency member countries on developing their policy frameworks for inclusive education. Amanda trained as a teacher of children with severe learning difficulties before moving into mainstream support, local government, then teacher education and university research roles before joining the European Agency. Her PhD focussed on supporting teachers as researchers.

She is currently Visiting Professor at the University of Leeds, School of Sociology and Social Policy.

Amanda's seminar comprised of two types of reflections:

  1. Content reflections – key messages on critical issues coming from our work with countries including shifts away from compensatory approaches; specific focus on labelling and funding model issues
  2. ‘Process’ reflections – how the Agency works, what our countries and reps are asking for in terms of working methods and outputs and what possible implications there are for ‘academia’ and sharing important messages of research with policy makers.