April 2013 – March 2014
We conducted three systematic literature reviews and a document analysis of key Pacific and international frameworks and policies:
The question guiding this review was: What themes are apparent in the international literature for developing indicators of disability-inclusive education? This study validated 13 themes that should be considered in the development of a set of indicators of disability-inclusive education, and produced one extra thematic area for consideration. Special schools will continue to play a critical role in providing support to regular schools to become inclusive.
A review of literature from Pacific island countries of policies and research highlighted 10 themes. While indicators for measuring disability-inclusive education within the Pacific are very limited at present, strategies, government recommendations and objectives from across the region were identified in the literature which were useful in informing the development of indicators. This review further supported the finding that existing special schools can play a key role in supporting implementation of disability-inclusive education.
The literature review identified a number of strategies that could be effective for supporting access to education for Out-of-School Children with Disability. Some of these strategies included providing alternative education, providing incentives to families to enrol their children with disabilities (CWD) in school s and community awareness programs.
What has worked for Bringing Out-of-school Children with Disabilities into Regular Schools? A Literature Review
Disability, CBR & Inclusive Development, 25(2), 2014, 57-74.
Umesh Sharma, Olivia Ng
The survey was designed to gain an understanding of indicators and systems already being used to monitor and evaluate education in the 14 Pacific Island countries. Data collected from a range of stakeholders provided an insight into what information the Pacific stakeholders are already collecting. It also provided a wish list of indicators that would be most appropriate across their country contexts to measure disability-inclusive education.
Possible indicators based on the key findings:
Identifying disability-inclusive indicators currently employed to monitor and evaluate education in the Pacific Island countries.
Cogent Education, 3, 1170754
Sharma, U., Forlin, C., Sprunt, B., Merumeru, L. (2016).
Key informant interviews and focus group discussions were held in the four case countries. Stakeholders included Disabled Persons Organisation representatives, Parents of children with disability, primary and early childhood teachers, secondary teachers, disability service providers, and representatives from ministries of education, health, community development, social welfare, and other key education or disability stakeholders. The qualitative data provided great depth and breadth in understanding what Pacific islanders valued in terms of approaches to education of children/youth with disability.
Stakeholder perspectives on barriers and facilitators of inclusive education in the Solomon Islands.
Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs
Sharma, U., Loreman, T. & Simi, J. (accepted).
Parental perspective about inclusive education in the Pacific. In K. Scorgie and D. Sobsey (Eds).
Working with Families for inclusive education. Emerald Publishers, UK.
Sharma, U. & Michael, S. (2016).
Findings from each of the three Phase 1 methods were reviewed in a 3 day workshop in Melbourne and the first draft of indicators was developed.
Indicators were categorized as Macro, Meso or Micro based on whether they were at systems level, community level, or school and child.
Analysis and synthesis of indicators across the methods resulted in the emergence of 18 themes (eg. teacher education, policy and legislation, role of special schools).
“Developing and testing indicators for inclusive education in the Pacific: Nothing about us without us.” A symposium presented at Disability Studies in Education Conference hosted in July 2014 by the Victoria University, Melbourne. - Special Interest Group of American Educational Researchers Association.
March 2014 – October 2014
The workshop was attended by invited members from Ministries in the four countries, parents of children with disability, Disabled Persons Organisation representatives, non-government education providers, senior staff from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and Pacific Disability Forum, and the entire research team. The indicators were discussed and debated in country and regional groups over three days, with consideration given to relevance, feasibility and priority.
In a two day post-workshop meeting the draft indicators were revised, incorporating various suggestions made by the four country level groups and the regional group.
The regional workshop resulted in merging and renaming themes, revised wording and reduction in the number of indicators.
Developing and testing indicators for inclusive education in the Pacific. A presentation made at Disability in Development: shaping policy and practice conference hosted by Australian Disability and Development Consortium, Canberra, 28-29 August, 2014.
An International Review Panel consisting of high level academics, practitioners and representatives of organisations (e.g. UNESCO, European Union) is reviewing the indicators to ensure that each iteration of the draft indicators meets standards in terms of relevance, feasibility and priority. The Panel will review the indicators three times during the development and refinement of indicators.
October 2014 – April 2016
Pilot testing of indicators will take place in the four Pacific countries. Key activities during this phase will include:
Factors contributing to the implementation of inclusive education in Pacific Island countries
International Journal of Inclusive Education
Sharma, U. Loreman, T. & Macanawai, S. (2015)
Inclusive education and cultural (dis)connect in the Pacific Islands: Conclusions from a 3-year collection of studies. Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, May 28th to 3rd June, 2016.
Presenters: Tim Loreman, Umesh Sharma, Filipe Jitoko and Setareki Macanawai
A total of 48 indicators have been identified that are listed under 10 dimensions which form the the Pacific Indicators for Disability-Inclusive Education (Pacific-INDIE). The dimensions are:
Developing and testing indicators for inclusive education in the Pacific.
A presentation made at Disability in Development: shaping policy and practice conference hosted by Australian Disability and Development Consortium, Canberra, 28-29 August, 2014.
Presenters: Umesh Sharma (Monash University), Setareki Macanawa (Pacific Disability Forum), Beth Sprunt (Nossal-CBM).
Pacific Indicators for Disability Inclusive Education.
A presentation made at Pacific Disability Research Symposium, February, 17th, 2015, Nadi Fiji.
Presenters: Mr. Kitione Ravulo (Associate Investigator- Fiji), Ms. Savaira (Associate Investigator –Fiji), Mr. Setareki Macanawai (Pacific Disability Forum- Fiji), Mr. Lai Merumeru (Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS, Fiji), Umesh Sharma (Monash University).
Using indicators as a catalyst to inclusive education in the Pacific.
International Journal of Inclusive Education
Sharma, U., Forlin, C., Marella, M.& Jitoko, F. (accepted).
Validating the WG/UNICEF Module on Child Functioning and Disability for Fijian schools to identify seeing, hearing and walking difficulties.
Disability and Rehabilitation
Sprunt, B. Hoq, M. Sharma, U. & Marella, M. (accepted).
Disability disaggregation of Educational Management Information Systems (EMIS) in the Pacific – a review of system capacity.
Special Issue of Knowledge for Disability Inclusive Development, Knowledge Management for Development Journal.
Sprunt, B. Marella, M. & Sharma, U (accepted).