04 SES 11 B, Implementing Inclusive Practices: Factors triggering feelings of hope or anxiety among future and in-service teachers
This symposium presents the Austrian, Italian and Swiss perspectives on a wide spectrum of factors that may impact the implementation of inclusive practices in the different geographical areas. Inclusion is hereby understood as the creation of a policy, culture and practice that celebrates diversity and aims at fostering the learning and academic success of all students, irrespective of their needs and abilities (Booth, 2011; UN, 2006). In order to reach this ambitious goal, initial and continuous teacher education has been pinpointed as one of the key determinants to provide teachers with the competencies necessary (EADSNE, 2009, 2010, 2012; OECD, 2015).
The two papers from Austria present studies conducted in three different regions (Styria, Upper Austria and Vorarlberg). The first research being presented looks into the motivational factors underpinning students’ choices in specialising in Inclusive Education during their initial training in Styria. The second paper describes a longitudinal study, which started in 2011, on the influence of teacher education and experience on the implementation of inclusive practices and how these two factors may have moulded the teachers’ sentiments, attitudes and concerns about inclusive education. The third study provides insight from the South of Europe regarding the concerns of future teachers in the province of Salerno (Italy) towards the implementation of inclusive practices. The presenters argue that this data raises the need for tailor-made professional development courses that address the teachers’ concerns and feel more in control of the consequences of their actions. The final paper brings an even more innovative and specific viewpoint as it explores the perceptions of student teachers with a migrant background regarding immigrant students they encounter in schools. This Swiss study investigates whether the future teachers’ own biography is a promoting factor towards teaching in heterogenous classrooms.
To date, teachers´ pedagogical agency, attitudes and concerns toward inclusive education have all been empirically identified as strong predictors of sustainable and efficacious inclusive practices (Forlin et al., 2011). On the other hand, teachers´ own migration background and its relevance for students experiencing migration themselves is a new area of interest which will definitely gain ground in the coming years, when considering that second and third generation migrants attending university are now a widespread reality in all European countries (Edelmann et al., 2015). Thus, whereas the first part of the symposium will provide further depth with regards to the more overarching variables influencing teachers’ motivation and willingness to implement inclusive classroom practices, the final paper will open the discussion on new specific factors of interest and how these may impact the perspectives of future teachers with regards to specific issues related to students with diverse cultural and ethnic origins.
Booth, T. (2011). Index for inclusion - Developing learning and participation in schools. CSIE: Bristol, UK. Edelmann, D., Bischoff, S., Beck, M. & Meier, A. (2015). More students with migration backgrounds at Universities of Teacher Education. Theoretical reflections and empirical insights on potential aspects and challenges from the perspectives of pre-service teachers and lecturers. Tertium Comparationis. Journal für International und Interkulturell Vergleichende Erziehungswissenschaft, 21(2), 205-224. EADSNE (2009). Key Principles for Promoting Quality in Inclusive Education – Recommendations for Policy Makers. Retrieved from https://www.europeanagency.org/sites/default/files/key-principles-for-promoting-quality-in-inclusive-education_key-principles-EN.pdf. EADSNE (2010). Teacher education for inclusion – International literature review. Retrieved from https://www.european-agency.org/sites/ default/files /TE4I-Literature-Review.pdf. EADSNE (2012). Profile of inclusive teachers. Retrieved from http://www.european-agency.org/sites/default/files/Profile-of-Inclusive-Teachers.pdf. Forlin, C., Earle, C., Loreman, T. & Sharma, U. (2011). The Sentiments, Attitudes and Concerns about Inclusive Education Revised (SACIE-R) scale for measuring pre-service teachers´ perceptions of inclusion. Exceptionality Education International, 21 (2&3), 50-65. OECD (2015). Education at a glance 2015 - OECD indicators. Paris: OECD Publishing. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/eag-2015-en. UN (2006). Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities and optional protocol. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/disabilities/documents/convention/convoptprot-e.pdf.
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