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Children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities comprise some of the most vulnerable in our societies. They pose substantial challenges to researchers, policy makers and practitioners by the diversity and complexity of the population and of their needs.
Our aim is to publish high quality papers that will contribute not only to science but also to provide a powerful foundation for the development of policies and enhance practice. A wide range of disciplines have important contributions to make and we seek to represent these e.g.: psychology, education, health, philosophy, history, sociology, political science. Furthermore, we also aim to develop a section that is both multi- and inter-disciplinary to reflect the nature of the different facets of SEN: e.g. cross-cutting, interdisciplinary research drawing on more than one discipline.
We are interested in the range of special educational needs, including those arising from intellectual and learning difficulties, specific learning difficulties (dyslexia), sensory impairments, physical disabilities, speech, language and communication needs, autism, behavioural, emotional and social difficulties, and mental health problems; the age range from birth to adolescence and young adulthood; and the relationship between SEN with other types of diversity including gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, second language learners, and refugees and asylum seekers.
We also intend to draw upon research from a range of methodologies, including combined (mixed) methods studies. The scope will be wide to reflect the range of methodologies that are applicable and necessary to address the complexity of SEN including the values that drive our research; policies and practice in different cultures and societies; and the effectiveness of the provision and interventions we implement. We seek submissions across this broad range that are original, rigorous and scholarly.
The following provides an indication of the research domains to be included.
Research focus: Identification and assessment of children and young people with SEN; the efficacy of interventions; the effectiveness of implementing interventions on a community scale or wider (state, region, national); national and local policies and le.g.al frameworks for SEN; student and parent voice. We also want to address the development of professions e.g. special education teachers, educational/school psychology, speech and language therapy and others; training and continuing development of professionals in the SEN field; and professional practices, e.g. supervision, evaluation.
Data: Prevalence and incidence of different types of SEN among different populations; interactions between factors (e.g. gender and social disadvantage with outcomes); ‘big data’ – cohort studies, national or local (state, region) data.
Research design: Randomised controlled and other rigorous trials; effectiveness studies in communities; policy analysis; combined (mixed) methods combining a range of quantitative and qualitative methods; systematic reviews and meta-analysis; analyses of ‘big data’ including cohort studies. Intervention studies may comprise the evaluation of new educational interventions addressing, e.g. learning, behaviour, parenting; comprise effectiveness studies or focussed efficacy trials, school based programmes, and large scale interventions (city, region, state or national); recipients of interventions may include individual students, school or service development or parents (e.g. parenting programmes).
Indexed in: Google Scholar, DOAJ, CrossRef, CLOCKSS, ERIH PLUS
Special Educational Needs welcomes submissions of the following article types: Brief Research Report, Conceptual Analysis, Correction, Editorial, General Commentary, Hypothesis and Theory, Methods, Mini Review, Opinion, Original Research, Perspective, Policy and Practice Reviews, Policy Brief, Review, Specialty Grand Challenge and Systematic Review.
All manuscripts must be submitted directly to the section Special Educational Needs, where they are peer-reviewed by the Associate and Review Editors of the specialty section.
Articles published in the section Special Educational Needs will benefit from the Frontiers impact and tiering system after online publication. Authors of published original research with the highest impact, as judged democratically by the readers, will be invited by the Chief Editor to write a Frontiers Focused Review - a tier-climbing article. This is referred to as "democratic tiering". The author selection is based on article impact analytics of original research published in all Frontiers specialty journals and sections. Focused Reviews are centered on the original discovery, place it into a broader context, and aim to address the wider community across all of Education.
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