‘SEN – a politically correct phrase to replace terms such as disabled?’ A study of the views of students entering a secondary PGCE course



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    1. Sue Pearson has taught children of most ages and worked in both special and mainstream schools. She currently lectures in special educational needs at the University of Leeds. This includes involvement with the PGCE (secondary) course. She is a past President of NASEN and recently retired from the role of Honorary General Secretary.
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Sue Pearson
School of Education
University of Leeds
Leeds LS2 9JT
Email: s.e.pearson@education.leeds.ac.uk


The research discussed here by Sue Pearson focuses on the preparation of teachers to work in secondary schools at a time when there is a growing trend towards inclusion. It was influenced by Mittler's (2000) comment that ‘Ensuring that newly qualified teachers have a basic understanding of inclusive teaching and inclusive schools is the best investment that can be made’ (p. 137). Whilst there is statutory guidance about technical aspects to be covered in Initial Teacher Training, less attention has been paid to the affective factors. This piece of research set out to explore the views of one cohort of secondary Post Graduate Certificate of Education students near the start of the course. Whilst this is a small-scale study it does illustrate both the heterogeneity within this group and the models that it is using. It raises concerns about the adequacy of current provision before suggesting some relevant questions for training providers.