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Measuring social identity in the professional context of provision for pupils with special needs.

Lewis, Ann and Crisp, Richard J (2004) Measuring social identity in the professional context of provision for pupils with special needs. School Psychology International, 25 (4). pp. 404-421. ISSN 0143-0343

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URL of Published Version: http://spi.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/25/4/404

Identification Number/DOI: 10.1177/0143034304048776

Abstract

The educational inclusion of pupils with special, or additional, educational needs is being promoted internationally. One would expect that professionals for whom the group identity as ‘special professional’ is both important and perceived as being under threat, would only be supportive of inclusion if it could be orchestrated in a way which fosters that identity. This paper provides a review of the research literature concerning social group identification and perceived threat with particular reference to out-group derogation, perception of group structure and in-group affirming behaviour. This review provides the context for findings from a scale about social identity (devised for this research) concerning an e mail group oriented to professionals working with children with special needs (N=105). The survey identified three social identity factors (perceived typicality, public reference to the group and identification with prototypical group members). High (compared with low) e mail group message senders were less likely to see themselves as typical of workers in the field but more likely to identify with SEN as a group. The work has conceptual interest in that it supports recent theorising in social identity, and in an area for which there is a need for a greater variety of studies having good ecological validity. The work also has considerable relevance as an example of the possible application of psychological theories to the special needs context of fostering effective change concerning inclusion and integration.

Type of Work:Article
School/Faculty:Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Education
Department:Department of Education
Subjects:L Education > LC Special aspects of education
L Education > L Education (General)
Copyright Holders:Sage Publications
ID Code:633
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