04 SES 01 B, Looking at Inclusive Education within Countries
The aim of this project is to improve the learning and the inclusive outcomes of pupils with disabilities, experimenting a new didactical model in two school years in some primary and secondary schools. The guidelines of this study are the following: 1) preparing all teachers for the experimentation with a specific training based on special pedagogy and inclusive didactic; 2) collaboration with tutor specialized in inclusive didactic; 3) improving the sense of participation of all teachers and the organizational autonomy of the involved institutes; 4) monitoring and evaluating the experimentation in its different phases.
Inclusive Education represents a crucial step of a society that moves towards social justice and participating citizenship. For more than 20 years, several international documents such as the Salamanca Statement (1994) and the UN Convention on the Right of Persons with Disabilities (2006) have been stating the importance of Education For All within inclusive school systems (UNESCO, 2000). In this study, Inclusive Education is defined as full participation and high quality learning for all learners. This definition is based on the one proposed by Booth and Ainscow in the Index for Inclusion (2011). It is a broad definition that focuses on diversity and inclusion of all learners and not on specific groups, and overcomes the idea of inclusion as the simple placement in a mainstream setting: co-existence is only the starting point, but then involvement, sharing and quality of learning processes are explicitly addressed. Finally, as also underlined by Armstrong et al. (2011), inclusion is considered as the process to increase learning and participation for all that takes place within education systems and their social contexts.
School inclusion has in Italy a history lasting by now on forty years, but only in very recent times research data about its quality have been produced. Some studies have investigated general structural aspects of the school system and its inclusive politics (Gherardini and Nocera, 2000; INVALSI, 2006; ISTAT 2012, 2013, 2014). Some other studies are focused on teachers’ perspective and collected descriptive data, their opinions and attitudes (Balboni and Pedrabissi, 2002; Medeghini, et al., 2009; Reversi et al., 2007; TreLLLe, Caritas e Fondazione Agnelli, 2011) and other research projects investigated everyday school life with an ethnographical approach (D’Alessio, 2011). However, there has not been a large amount of research into the extent to which the Italian legislation is actually applied and into its real effectiveness in achieving the goals set for it (Anastasiou, Kauffman and Di Nuovo, 2015; Bergency and Martens, 2007). The research shows that the Italian school system has reached some important goals: granting students with disabilities long school careers in the school for all and doing it in a way that makes the majority of the teachers evaluate the system as an effective one. On the other hand, it shows that there are various types of problem with the way in which integration is managed day-to-day ‘on the ground’ and that it is not in fact being carried out in a uniform way (Ianes, Demo and Zambotti, 2013). Full inclusion requires the creation of teaching and learning environment where all students with their differences work together in the same place, without exceptions (Fuchs and Fuchs, 1998). Instead, the Italian traditional integration system is organized with a normal teacher who teaches to the class and a support teacher whose role is addressed to the special needs of the student with a disability. This model has often been interpreted as an individual teaching between the support teacher and the pupil with disability, sometimes out of the classroom (Ianes and Demo, 2013; Ianes, Demo and Zambotti, 2013).
Anastasiou D., Kauffman J.M. and Di Nuovo S. (2015) Inclusive Education in Italy: Description and Reflections on Full Inclusion. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 30/4, 429-443 Armstrong D., Armstrong A.C. and Spandagou I. (2011) Inclusion: By Choice or by Chance? International Journal of Inclusive Education, 15/1, 29-39 Balboni G. and Pedrabissi L. (2002) Attitudes of Italian Teachers and Parents Toward School Inclusion of Students with Mental Retardation Education and Training in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, 35, 148-159 Bergency J.C. and Mertens B.K. (2007) Inclusionary Education in Italy: A Literature Review and Call for More Reaserch. Remedial and Special Education, 28/1, 80-94 Booth T. and Ainscow M. (2011) Index for Inclusion, Bristol: CSIE D'Alessio S. (2011) Inclusive Education in Italy. A critical Analysis of the Policy of Integrazione Scolastica. Rotterdam, Sense Publisher Fuchs D. and Fuchs L.S. (1998) Competing Visions for Educating Students with Disabilities Inclusion Versus Full Inclusion. Childhood Education, 74, 309-316 Gherardini P. and Nocera S. (2000) L'integrazione scolastica delle persone Down. Trento, Erickson Ianes D. and Demo H. (2013) What Can Be Learned From the Italian Experience? Methods for Improving Inclusion. La Nouvelle Revue de L’Adaptation e de la Scolarization 61/1, 125-138 Ianes D., Demo H. and Zambotti F. (2013) Integration in Italian Schools: Teachers’ Perceptions Regarding Day-to-Day Practice and its Effectiveness. International Journal of Inclusive Education 18/6, 626-653 INVALSI (2006) Rapporto finale relativo al questionario sull'integrazione scolastica degli alunni con disabilità. http://www.invalsi.it ISTAT (2012, 2013, 2014) Indagine sugli alunni con disabilità nella scuola primaria e secondaria di primo grado. http://www. istat.it Medeghini R. et al. (2009) L'inclusione scolastica. Processi e strumenti di autoanalisi per la qualità inclusiva. Brescia, Vannini Reversi S. et al. (2007) The Quality of Disabled Students' School Integration. School Psychology International, 28, 403-418 Trellle, Caritas e Fondazione Agnelli (2011) Gli alunni con disabilità nella scuola italiana: bilancio e proposte, Trento, Erickson UN (2006) Convention on the Right of Persons with disability. http://www.un.org/disabilities/convention/conventionfull.shtml UNESCO (1994) Salamanca Statement. http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0009/000984/098427eo.pdf UNESCO (2000) Education for All. http://www.unesco.org/new/en/education/themes/leading-the-international-agenda/education-for-all/
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