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Allied Educators (Learning and Behavioural) in Singapore’s mainstream schools: first steps towards inclusivity?
International Journal of Inclusive Education (2013)
  • Sirene Lim
  • Meng Ee Wong
  • Denise Tan
It is arguable whether Singapore's mainstream schools are moving towards ‘inclusion’ by providing support for students with mild to moderate disabilities through the provision of a newly created para-professional called the Allied Educators (Learning and Behavioural) [AED(LBS)]. Since 2005, the government has provided an incremental supply of these trained para-professionals to offer both in-class support and withdrawal sessions. Many primary and secondary schools have one such para-professional catering to an unpredictable number of children with and without assessed learning needs. This paper draws upon data from a study investigating how a group of 30 newly qualified AED(LBS) para-professionals shaped their professional role during their first year in school. Data were generated through an online survey, interviews; and analysed through theories on identity and communities of practice. Findings focus on how the participants had learned to grow into their roles despite contradictory expectations; how they learn to work with student diversity they had never encountered; and how schools should be learning communities to embrace and include the new AED(LBS). The paper discusses the need to define ‘inclusivity’ and the need for the education system to become more professionally inclusive towards AED(LBS).
  • inclusion,
  • mainstream schools,
  • para-professionals,
  • disabilities
Publication Date
Citation Information
Sirene Lim, Meng Ee Wong and Denise Tan. "Allied Educators (Learning and Behavioural) in Singapore’s mainstream schools: first steps towards inclusivity?" International Journal of Inclusive Education (2013)
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