[Press and Public Relations] Professor Gains Award For His Work On Special Needs Children

November 2001

No 189

A new book reporting a research study on positive alternatives to schools exclusion has won plaudits for a University of Leicester professor and his colleagues from Cambridge.

Professor Paul Cooper of the University of Leicester School of Education and Continuing Studies, is co-author of Positive Alternatives to Exclusion which has been produced in conjunction with colleagues from Cambridge - Mary Jane Drummond, Susan Hart, Jane Lovey and Colleen McLaughlin. The research study was funded by the University of Cambridge School of Education Research and Development Fund.

Now the authors of the book have won a prestigious national award for their publication - the Times Educational Supplement/NASEN book award 2001.

The award was launched in 1992 with the aim of encouraging the publishing of books for children and teachers working in the field of special needs. The Times Educational Supplement and the National Association for Special Educational Needs (NASEN) make the award annually at the beginning of November for the best academic book of relevance to special education.

Positive Alternatives to Exclusion published by Routledge Falmer, shows teachers and managers how five schools have successfully developed and implemented practical approaches to avoid excluding students. The book looks at what schools can do to build more harmonious communities and engage students, particularly those at risk of exclusion, more productively in all areas of school life.

Professor Cooper said: "An innovative feature of this study was the nature of the research partnership which evolved between the university based researchers and the practitioners in the schools and the FE college."

The book provides an account of this partnership process and detailed illustrations of the ways in which professional and academic expertise can combine to produce practical, context-specific solutions to problems.

The panel of judges included senior education academics as well as teaching professionals and a parent of child with special needs. Professor Alan Dyson, chair of the academic judges said: "This is an intensely liberating book at a time when teachers are increasingly asked to implement centrally-devised programmes. This book asks them to act again as sensitive, concerned, committed people."

The authors of the winning book received 100 each plus a commemorative plaque.

Professor Cooper's second nominated book Educating Students with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD), published by Routledge Falmer, is the result of his collaboration with Fintan O'Regan, who is the Headmaster of the Centre Academy in London. Their aim - to bring clarity to the debates surrounding AD/HD and to help define some of the ways that teachers might usefully engage with the concept of AD/HD was awarded with a commendation. "This commendation reflects a recognition of the view that it is possible for teachers and other educationists to hold constructive and educationally-valuable perspectives on AD/HD", Professor Cooper said.

"I am delighted to have had a leading involvement in two books that have been acknowledged in this way. I am especially pleased that Positive Alternatives to Exclusion won the prize, as I think the book has wide applications within education well beyond the 'special needs' field", Professor Cooper added.


NOTE TO NEWSDEK: For more information, please contact Professor Cooper in pwc5@le.ac.uk 0116 252 3751.

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Information supplied by: Barbara Whiteman
Last updated: 05 December 2001 15:47
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