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Fieldwork and disabled students: discourses of exclusion and inclusion

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Abstract:

Disabled students form a significant but under represented minority in higher education in the UK. Participation appears to be particularly low in disciplines that contain a fieldwork component. Fieldwork has been recognized as a barrier to the participation of disabled students. This paper emphasizes a critical perspective on fieldwork, highlighting the way in which fieldcourses as currently conceived, enacted and experienced, can exclude disabled students. It discusses a survey of the experiences of providing learning support to disabled students undertaking fieldwork in geography, earth and environmental science departments in the UK. It also considers the various ways in which the images, spaces, practices and cultures of fieldwork may exclude or marginalize disabled students and the different ways in which fieldwork may be made more inclusive.

Keywords: disabled students; exclusion discourses; fieldwork; higher education; strategies for inclusion

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/1475-5661.00050

Affiliations: 1: Geography and Environmental Management Research Unit, University of Gloucestershire thall@glos.ac.uk 2: Geography and Environmental Management Research Unit, University of Gloucestershire

Publication date: 2002-06-01

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