June 23rd, 2020
This is a snapshot of a fun and productive virtual meeting! As part of the NWO-funded "Breaking the cycle" project, Carolien, Sarah Giest and Reia Lee talked about the research into the policy dimension of appropriate education (or Passend Onderwijs, PO).
The policy team focuses on the implementation of PO in the Netherlands, targeting implementation bottlenecks in the context of two key developments in recent years linked to Dutch education and youth policy: (1) achieving an integrated model for special needs education by placing special-needs students in mainstream schools in combination with an individual support structure, and (2) decentralizing responsibilities in the context of youth policy towards municipal levels. In the context of these policy changes, teachers and school administrators are both policy subjects and policy actors. They are the key connection between policy and practice by implementing changes while interacting with students and parents.
Special attention is being paid towards this policy-practice dichotomy and the challenges inherent to this when looking at upward- and down-ward accountability in the education context. This entails questions around who has the resources and knowledge to appropriately support autistic youth in regular schools and who is accountable when it is not working. The goal is to analyze the current challenges when implementing PO in schools as well as identify strategies based on best-practice scenarios for how to move forward.