04 SES 09 D, Inside the Inclusive Classroom: Analysing teachers’ roles and practices
This paper is about teachers' efforts to practice inclusion and diversity in the classroom. The focus is on how teachers facilitate the development of inclusive learning community meeting the student diversity. In order, to develop inclusive practice in class, participating and belonging in the community are central. To meet diversity in the class, the students' differences will be of importance, and the teacher's facilitating for adaptation of teaching meeting each student unique needs and the teacher’s assessment and monitoring the student's learning process. Characteristics of schools that are considered good for building inclusive learning environments and adapting the training to the class student diversity are the teachers knowledge of the students' learning abilities and learning environment conditions, followed by teaching adaptations (Bachmann & Haug, 2006). Nilsen (2008) describes three dimensions of inclusion. The first is the organizational and physical dimension, which concerns placement and organizational issues. The other is the social dimension that relates to teacher-and-student relationships and the students' relationships with each other. The third is about the academic and cultural dimension, which means that students work together on the academic content of the education and participate in collaborative work on academic tasks and activities. The three dimensions are central to bringing in discussions about how teachers facilitate diverse aspects of inclusion.
The method used is case study, which aims to illustrate how teachers practice inclusion and diversity. The purpose of data collection was to go into depth to understand how teachers can facilitate inclusion and diversity illustrated in a classroom context (Yin, 2003; Dalen, 2011; Dalland, 2007). Analyzes have been carried out as a basis for assessing practice. The unit in the case study is a primary school, and the informants are teachers and students of all seven grades in this school. Observation has been used as a tool for retrieving data (Gall et al., 2007). Observations provide insight into the teacher's teaching and the students' work on learning activities, as well as the interaction between teachers and students (Johannessen et al., 2010). The observations were an open and non-participating observations. The observations are conducted at seven grades in one school in the period 2015-2016. In addition, the observations provide information on how teachers facilitate inclusion and meet the student diversity. There are 14 observations (two in each grade). Observation data was collected from different situations with different content and structure: collection at start-up and end of learning sessions, individual work, group work and transitions. The data analyzes were based on thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006; Dalen, 2011). The themes are developed based on educational policy intentions on inclusion and diversity, as well as theory and empiricism. The themes gave opportunities to understand the interaction of the class and how the teachers organize the teaching adapted to the student's different learning assumptions and training needs. The theme inclusion was divided into subcategories; 1) relationship building and importance for belonging and 2) active participation through cooperation in groups and the importance of learning community. While the theme of diversity was divided into the two subcategories: 1) the student's background and different academic abilities, and 2) the monitoring of pupils' learning and support for pupils during the learning process. The selected subcategories gave help to illuminate several pages of the data material that were relevant to answer the problem.
The results show that the teacher's relationship building with the students affects how the students are included in the learning environment, and the students are active and they cooperate on the tasks, and they receive the support from the teachers along the way. Teachers' facilitation and follow-up appear to be an important support for the students in collaboration with the group assignment. Active student participation helps to develop self-esteem and take joint responsibility in community work on group assignments. When it comes to meeting student diversity through adapting training to different needs through different efforts, teachers have a development potential in terms of looking at the student diversity represented, as well as meeting the individual student's different learning and needs academic, social and cultural. Teaching is characterized by similarity more than difference, and there is little attention to the students' different needs.Overall, the results show that there are many signs of inclusive practices in the classroom, and that teachers meet each pupil’s diversity and follow up their learning process. When teacher build up relationships with pupil’s and between pupils this support developing and inclusive learning community. When the pupils' different background and needs are met, they get adapted teaching from teachers as a help to develop academic, cultural and social competence. However, there will always be a continuous improvement requirement that teachers must relate to in their daily practice, and when the teacher focuses on relationship building and learning management, the teacher meets the student diversity and create inclusive learning community within the classroom.
Bachmann, K. & Haug, P. (2006). Forskning om tilpasset opplæring. Forskingsrapport nr. 62. Volda: Høgskulen i Volda, Møreforskning. Braun, V. & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3 (2), side 77–101. Dale, E.L. (2010). Kunnskapsløftet – På vei mot felles kvalitetsansvar? Oslo: Universitetsforlaget. Dalen, M. (2011). Intervju som forskningsmetode (2 utg.). Oslo: Universitetsforlaget. Dalland, O. (2007). Metode og oppgaveskriving for studenter (4. utg.). Oslo: Gyldendal Akademisk. Gall, M.D., Gall, J.P. & Borg, W.R. (2007). Educational research: An introduction (8. utg.). Boston, Massachusetts: Allyn & Bacon. Haug, P. (2004). Resultater frå evaleringa av reform 97. Rapport. Oslo: Norges forskningsråd. Johannessen, A., Christoffersen, L. & Tufte, P.A. (2010). Introduksjon til samfunnsvitenskapelig metode (4 utg.). Oslo: Abstrakt forlag. Nilsen, S. (2008). Tilpasset opplæring gjennom spesialundervisning – i samspill mellom fellesskap og mangfold. I H. Bjørnsrud & S. Nilsen (red), Tilpasset opplæring – intensjoner og skoleutvikling. Oslo: Gyldendal Akademisk Forlag. Yin, R.K. (2003). Case study research: Design and methods (3. utg.). Thousand Oaks, California:
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