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ATTE Conference 2010 TEACHER EDUCATION FOR INCLUSION A European project being conducted by the European Agency for Development in Special Needs Education.

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Presentation on theme: "ATTE Conference 2010 TEACHER EDUCATION FOR INCLUSION A European project being conducted by the European Agency for Development in Special Needs Education."— Presentation transcript:

1 ATTE Conference 2010 TEACHER EDUCATION FOR INCLUSION A European project being conducted by the European Agency for Development in Special Needs Education

2 The Agency’s Mission ● Member countries’ platform for collaboration between professionals and decision-makers at both national and European levels, on policy and practice for inclusive education ● The ultimate aim is to improve educational policy and practice for learners with special educational needs ● This aim takes into account issues such as equal opportunities, accessibility, diversity education, the promotion of quality of education and respect of differences, whilst recognising that countries’ policies, practices and educational contexts also differ

3 The Agency ● National networks in 27 European countries: Austria, Belgium (Flemish and French speaking communities), Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales) ● Secretariat based in Odense, Denmark and Centre of Activity in Brussels, Belgium ● 14th year of operations

4 The Agency’s Activities ● Collection, analysis and dissemination of information on priority themes ● Participation and organisation of conferences, seminars and political events ● Liaison with the European institutions and international organisations – OECD, UNESCO

5 Funding The Agency is financed by: •The member countries’ Ministries of Education •European Commission as one of the 6 organisations supported by the Jean Monnet, Lifelong Learning Programme

6 Agency Information Resources The Agency offers various information resources, which can all be accessed via the website – Thematic Reports – Thematic Databases – Newsletters and Electronic Bulletin Agency publications can be downloaded in up to 22 member languages

7 International Policy Context At all times, the Agency works to guiding principles as outlined in: ● Council Resolutions concerning inclusion of children and young people with disabilities into mainstream systems of education ● UNESCO statement and declarations on EFA and Inclusion ● UN Convention on Rights of People with Disabilities (2006)

8 UN Convention on Rights of People with Disabilities (2006) ● Article 24 - Education ● “States Parties recognise the right of persons with disabilities to education. With a view to realising this right without discrimination and on the basis of equal opportunity, States Parties shall ensure an inclusive education system at all levels...” ● “... The full development of human potential and sense of dignity and self-worth, and the strengthening of respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and human diversity...”

9 Inclusion as systemic change ● Understood to concern a far wider range of pupils vulnerable to exclusion than those identified as having SEN ● Involves a curriculum for all that considers academic and social learning. Curriculum goals and implementation should reflect this dual focus ● Inclusion is a process and not a state. Educators will always need to move their work forward to enable the learning and participation of all pupils

10 Movements towards inclusion Developments •A wider range and more flexible provision •Developing funding models •The development of resource centres Challenges •Academic achievements (output) versus SEN •Secondary education •2% of pupils in separate settings across Europe •Preparing all teachers for inclusive education

11 The Agency Project ● All Agency member countries have agreed Teacher Education is of top priority for investigation ● 26 Agency member countries are participating in the project ● 55 experts are taking part in activities – SNE specialist teacher educators and policy makers – Mainstream teacher educators and policy makers ● Representatives of OECD and UNESCO IBE join the project activities as participant observers ● The European Commission DG-EAC Schools Unit follows project activities and contribute whenever possible, as well as consider project outputs

12 Intentions ● Build upon what is already developing in some countries ● Identify project activities and outputs that are likely to have maximum impact in and for countries as well as upon international level debate ● Address the essential project question: how mainstream teachers are prepared via their initial training to be 'inclusive’

13 Some working parameters ● Countries are at different starting points and have different ‘histories’ in terms of Inclusion, Teacher Education and Teacher Education for Inclusion – we need to account for that and see it as a strength ● No-one has all the answers – many countries have clear examples in the areas we intend to look at, but all countries are still ‘moving ahead’ ● Learning from diversity is a principle for our project as well as something we argue as being an aim for inclusive education

14 3 Activity Tracks 1.Literature Review 2.Country Information 3.Developing a profile of inclusive teachers - All consider policy and practice - All focus upon teacher education for mainstream teachers who will work in inclusive settings

15 Literature Review ● Includes: – Relevant conventions, declarations and recommendations from European institutions – Worldwide literature post 2000 – Contributions from Project Experts regarding relevant studies in their countries

16 Review Conclusions (1) ● Reform of teacher education must be part of wider societal reform to support inclusion and requires collaboration between policy makers to ensure a holistic approach. Reform must include clarification of the terminology around inclusion and diversity and move away from categorisation and ‘labelling’ of children and young people which also encourages training and provision which is ‘separate’ from the mainstream for young people from the most vulnerable groups. Preparation for teaching must maintain academic rigour, ‘educating’ rather than ‘training’ teachers

17 Review Conclusions (2) ● Research indicates that inclusion and diversity issues need to be infused across teacher education courses. Involvement in one/two courses on special education/inclusion may reinforce the sense of separation. There is also a need for closer collaboration between training institutions and schools ● Current training in many institutions is not effective in preparing teachers for diversity in the classroom. There is wide agreement on the importance of practice, the development of research skills and use of research findings, observation and assessment, classroom and behaviour management, collaboration and active/learner centred pedagogy. Teachers need to develop ‘problem solving’ approaches and see themselves as lifelong learners

18 Review Conclusions (3) ● Research highlights the importance of appropriate attitudes and values to support inclusive practice and effective relationships. ● All teachers must feel capable of teaching all learners and know how/when to use a range of practices and make decisions informed by theory and research, feedback and classroom evidence. Good practice in teaching is essentially the same for all learners but requires innovative thinking and high expectations to increase ‘learning capacity’ and the use of interactive approaches to involve learners more effectively.

19 Review Conclusions (4) ● Teaching practice needs to be carefully planned and supported by intellectual analysis, to close the theory- practice gap. Student teachers need to be placed in inclusive settings with mentors/supervising teachers who demonstrate attitudes/values that support inclusion. ● The research shows the need for statements/competencies for teachers to support a shared understanding of quality teaching. The profile of an ‘inclusive’ teacher may include: subject knowledge; knowledge of child/adolescent development; pedagogical skills; collaborative skills and a will to continue professional development. The use of portfolios to gather information and report on student progress can also encourage self-reflection.

20 Review Conclusions (5) ● Appropriate induction and training should be developed for teacher educators who may have little personal experience of diversity. They should be encouraged to ‘model’ reflective and inclusive practice. The change process in teacher education should be informed by the experiences of early career teachers

21 Country Information Country reports : – country level information on the project question: ‘How are mainstream teachers prepared via their initial teacher education to be inclusive’ – use a common format to provide stand-alone reports and thematic areas for a web database – build on information provided in the Eurybase country reports – collect examples of interesting practice ● Used as a basis for a synthesis report ● A ‘bridging’ document between the country and synthesis reports will also be available

22 Developing a Profile of Inclusive Teachers ● What attitudes do mainstream teachers working in inclusive settings need? ● What knowledge and skills do they need? ● What initial education to develop both the above do they need? ● What are the implications for education all teacher educators? ● What systemic changes are needed to allow they to implement their education? ● What policy framework is needed for all of the above to happen?

23 Study Visits ● To support the development of a European level profile of inclusive teachers – Current country practice and examples will be used to highlight what needs to be considered within a profile – Each visit will involve discussions to consider general and specific issues – The information from each visit will be used to develop an overall draft of a profile

24 The 5 Visits – Belfast, Northern Ireland (exploring NI teacher competences to develop inclusive practitioners and consider wider implications for the mainstream education system to support implementation) – Porto, Portugal (exploring how a profile of competencies can support the development of attitudes and values as well as knowledge and skills necessary for inclusive education) – Eger, Hungary (considering the content of a competence profile and specifically what form of initial education is needed to develop the knowledge and skills in it) – Borås, Sweden (looking at how teacher educators ensure all students are prepared to be inclusive teachers – in particular how they can work in inclusive ways to model inclusive practice) – Utrecht, Netherlands (looking at how competence profiles fit with developing policy initiatives for inclusive education – exploring what frameworks for teacher education and inclusive education are needed to implement such a profile)

25 ● Translation and printing of the summary report ● A series of country-based meetings will be held in the Spring and early Summer to work on the validation of the profile and agree what products should be developed in order to disseminate the profile ● An end point international dissemination conference will be held in early 2012 where the project outputs including the profile of inclusive teachers will be launched ● Early 2012 will be used for translation and printing in all languages of the profile and agreed outputs Future Activities

26 More information European Agency for Development in Special Needs Education Østre Stationsvej 33 DK-5000 Odense C Denmark Dr. Amanda Watkins Assistant Director – Project Implementation

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