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Matthew SchuelkaMatthew Schuelka, Ph.D.

Graduated: 2014
Hometown: Rochester, Minnesota

Previous Education

Areas of Interest

Profile

Currently, I am a lecturer and programme director in the Disability, Inclusion, and Special Needs department at the University of Birmingham (UK). Previously, I was assistant professor of Education at the University of Nottingham-Malaysia Campus (Kuala Lumpur) and, before that, Head of the Sociology and Political Science department at Royal Thimphu College (Bhutan).

My dissertation – and current research topic – focuses on the introduction of inclusive education policy and practice in the country of Bhutan. Using a vertical case study approach, I examined inclusive education flows and global discourses as they passed through various levels of interpretation and understanding in Bhutanese education. These discourses and policy borrowing altered the conceptualization and construction of disability in Bhutanese schools. My current research continues to study the place of school in Bhutanese society and how children with disabilities are educated in Bhutanese schools.

I have also been active in educational development work. Most recently, I have worked in the USAID Step-Up Zambia project alongside my University of Minnesota colleagues. Past projects include inclusive school development in Serbia, Zambia, India, and Malaysia. Through my graduate research assistant work at the Institute on Community Integration at the University of Minnesota, I was able to contribute to research on diploma options and outcomes for youth with disabilities in the United States, the National Longitudinal Transition Study (USA), preparing online courses on transition for youth with disabilities, and an evaluation of national testing accommodations in the United States.

In the future, I plan to continue research on education in Bhutan. I am also pursuing another line of research on educational utility in small and isolated communities in extreme environments, which I hope will bring me to the high Himalayas of Bhutan as well as to the fishing communities of Greenland.

Dissertation Title

Constructing disability in Bhutan: Schools, structures, policies, and global discourses

Publications

Schuelka, M. J. (under review). The evolving construction and conceptualisation of ‘disability’ in Bhutan. Disability & Society.

Schuelka, M. J. & Maxwell, T. W. (Eds.). (under review). Education in Bhutan: From the Buddhist monastery to Gross National Happiness education. Springer.

Schuelka, M. J. (under review). Learning at the top of the world: Education policy making and meaning in Bhutan. In T. D. Jules & P. Ressler (Eds.), Is “small” always small and “big” always big? Re-reading Educational Policy and Practice in Small States. Peter Lang.

Schuelka, M. J. (2013). Education for youth with disabilities in Bhutan: Past, present, and future. Bhutan Journal of Research and Development, 2(1), 65-74.

Schuelka, M. J. (Ed.). (2013). Proceedings from the International Conference on Leveraging Cultural Diversity. Thimphu, Bhutan: Royal Thimphu College.

Schuelka, M. J. (2013). Constructing a modern disability identity: Dilemmas of inclusive schooling in Zambia. In A. Azzopardi (Ed.), Youth: Responding to lives (pp. 137-152). In Studies in Inclusive Education (Vol. 25). Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense Publishers.

Schuelka, M. J. (2013). Inclusive education in Bhutan: A small state with alternative priorities. Current Issues in Comparative Education, 15(1), 145-156.

Schuelka, M.J. (2013). A faith in humanness: Disability, religion and development. Disability & Society, 28(4), 500-513. doi: 10.1080/09687599.2012.717880

Schuelka, M. J. (2013). Excluding students with disabilities from the culture of achievement: The case of the TIMSS, PIRLS and PISA. Journal of Education Policy, 28(2), 216-230. doi:10.1080/02680939.2012.708789

Schuelka, M. J. & Johnstone, C. J. (2012). Global trends in meeting the educational rights of children with disabilities: From international institutions to local responses. Reconsidering Development, 2(2), online.

Johnson, D. R., Thurlow, M. L., & Schuelka, M. J. (2012). Diploma options, graduation requirements, and exit exams for youth with disabilities: 2011 national study (Technical Report 62). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota, National Center on Educational Outcomes.

Schuelka, M. J. (2012). A faith in humanness: Disability, religion and development. Disability & Society, DOI: 10.1080/09687599.2012.717880

Presentations

Schuelka, M. J. (2012). Inclusive education in Bhutan: The struggle of policy to meet practice. Paper presented at the Royal University of Bhutan Research Meeting, Gedu, Bhutan.

Schuelka, M. J. (2012). Excluding students with disabilities from the culture of achievement: The case of the TIMSS, PIRLS and PISA. Paper presented at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society Annual Meeting, San Juan, PR.

Goh, M., & Schuelka, M. J. (2012). Developing counseling and mental health services in comparative and international development education: An exploratory analysis of 29 country case studies. Paper presented at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society Annual Meeting, San Juan, PR.

Schuelka, M. J. (2011). Inclusion for all: Convergence and divergence in inclusive education policy. Paper presented at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society Annual Meeting, Montreal, QC, Canada.

Schuelka, M. J. (2011). Autism awareness, practice and policy. Training workshop, Lusaka, Zambia.

Schuelka, M. J. (2010). Rights of persons with disabilities and global educational participation. Paper presented at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL.

Schuelka, M. J. (2010). The United Nations convention for the rights of persons with disabilities and the global discourse on special education. Presented at the Harvard Graduate School of Education Student Research Conference, Cambridge, MA.

Revised January 2015