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An Extraordinary School
Re-modelling special education
Author(s): Sara James (Ed)
Publisher: ACER 2012
Special education needs to be just that: first rate; best practice; uncompromising; creative education that enables all of our children to fulfil their potential.
This book is the story of an innovative school that will challenge you to re-think how special education is taught. Port Phillip Specialist School has received national and international recognition as a best-practice model for educating children with special needs. The school has a unique three-pronged approach to education. It uses: a full-service school model, in which a wide-range of educational, medical, paramedical and mental health services operate collaboratively within the school; an integrated model of service delivery, in which teachers, specialists and therapists collaborate to address the specific needs of each student, embedding therapy in all classroom activities; and an arts-based curriculum that uses dance, drama, music and the visual arts to teach literacy, numeracy and living skills.
An Extraordinary School will inspire those who want to re-model how special education can be taught and the story of Port Phillip Specialist School illustrates how effective the entire community can be in making change happen. A must-read book for educators, parents, carers and therapists of children with special needs.
This book is the result of close collaboration with many people: Bella Irlicht, the former principal of the school who over 20 years developed this school from a one-room, basic facility into the state-of-the-art school it is today; academics Prof. Brian Caldwell, Prof. Martin Comte OAM, and Dr Carl Parsons who worked with Irlicht on the development of the curriculum; teachers and parents.
About the editor
Sara James is an award-winning foreign correspondent and author. As a New-York based correspondent for Dateline NBC, James criss-crossed the globe to report on many of the watershed events of our era. James also served as a frequent substitute anchor on the news desk of the Today Show. In 2008, James moved from New York City to Melbourne with her Australian husband and their daughters, Sophie and Jacqueline. James used her reporting skills to investigate special education in Victoria and was delighted to discover the innovative program at Port Phillip Specialist School. Jacqueline, Sara's daughter, has been a student at PPSS since 2008.
Watch Sara James, award winning foreign correspondent and editor of An Extraordinary School, on Network Ten's The Circle.
Listen to Sara James' interview on ABC Radio National’s Life Matters.
Read an interview with Sara James published in the Huffington Post.
This book describes how one Australian school converted itself into a dynamic center for the education of children with intellectual disabilities using a most innovative educational approach...it is refreshing to read a book whose contributors are so dedicated to their educational mission. Read the full review.
Reviewed by J. D. Neal, University of Central Missouri
Published in CHOICE: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, May 2013 Issue