Experiences of disabled students in initial teacher education

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This paper reports on a survey that aimed to explore the experiences of students undertaking initial teacher education and community education degrees in a Scottish university. The survey focused in particular on decisions around disclosure of disability and experiences on 'placements' in schools or community work settings. Findings indicated that many students chose not to disclose their disability, and for those who did this was a very individual process that was made up of a series of negotiations, rather than being a one-off decision. Those students who did choose to discuss their disability during placements reported positive responses on the whole, although for a few students the demands of placement proved problematic. Implications are discussed in the context of the current disability legislation. In particular, the notion of attendance on placement as a required competence standard is considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-472
Number of pages16
JournalCambridge Journal of Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009


  • community education
  • disability
  • initial teacher education
  • student


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