Researching the views of pupils with multiple and complex needs. Is it worth doing and whose interests are served by it?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Because of what are perceived by some as potential challenges it is still commonplace for research to fail to seek the opinions of pupils with multiple and complex needs. While many such pupils do have significant communication difficulties, along with other disabilities, which are undoubtedly a constraint, it is crucial in order to be inclusive, that methods of fostering pupil voice are sought. This piece of practitioner-based research seeks to do this by focusing on the introduction of an aided communication system, Talking Mats™, for pupils with multiple and complex needs in a mainstream secondary school setting. The study highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the introduction of Talking Mats. The notion of ‘research’ with this group of pupils is considered and the key issues of reliability, validity and ethics discussed. The paper concludes by reflecting on the findings and gives a number of practical ideas for future practitioner researchers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-40
Number of pages8
JournalSupport for Learning
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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