ERG SES C 02, Inclusive Education
The implementation of inclusion in wide areas of teacher education as well as in-service-teacher training is progressing more or less successfully on national as well as on international level. Concurrently, strengthening the teaching profession and capacity building are addressed as new participative legal frameworks (New Teacher Training Law, Austria; Participatory Law, Germany; Disability commissions, Macedonia; Inclusive awareness initiatives, Turkey). These development processes directly affect the education systems of the respective countries as well as the field of teacher education and require increased professionalism and intersectional cooperation: Within the strategy of inclusion not only the special education teacher, but rather all mainstream teachers are faced with increased diversity and new assessment methods which address joint decision making processes of support processes for pupils with special educational needs (Pickl, Holzinger & Kopp-Sixt, 2015). 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; UNESCO, 2008).
In that context, the ICF (International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, WHO 2005) provides a common (meta) language to address diversity and an ability-based assessment method to describe and plan support processes within transdisciplinary teams. It helps to describe and assess the situation of a child with a health concern in an ability-based and holistic way. In this context parents are seen as an irreplaceable part of the "school team around the family" (Pretis, 2012).
The ongoing transdisciplinary processes (teacher(s) – parent(s) – pupil - psychologist - therapist - medical doctor – etc.) as a base for promoting learning and development are addressed by collaboration. To implement the maximum of participation as a condition for inclusive development in and around the school system, the following necessary skills are required (Pretis, 2018):
- understanding of the ICF as description and assessment tool within the school context (in cooperation with all participants in the team around the child)
- usage of the ICF within transdisciplinary teams within joint decision processes (e.g. together with parents, teachers, therapists etc. )
- performance within the philosophy of ICF in the classroom (ability based, inclusive, assuring full participation and addressing diversity etc.)
However the ICF is still seen as a complex language and represents some challenges to be implemented as a tool towards individual family support plans in schools. To facilitate easier usage of ICF in school settings training modules and an easy reading version of the complex items are being developed by an international research team starting in 2018 with the aim to enable implementation processes in teacher education as well as in the school systems of the respective countries and to evaluate the impact of the usage of the ICF during school age.
As a first step, four training modules are developed in English and further translated into the languages of the respective countries including more than 250 items of the WHO-technical-language into an activity-based and everydays-life-related language and addressing parents as experts for their child in the first place. As a second step, the drafts are audited by representatives of the multiprofessional team partners taking into account the various perspectives, for example of parents of children with disabilities, mainstream teachers, special education teachers, therapists etc. As a third step, these items are evaluated by students enrolled in teacher-education as well as in-service-teachers in all participating countries (n~300). As a last step, the training modules are implemented in schools taking part at the research project in the respective countries.
At this conference, first results referring to step one, two and three will be presented in detail.
The study is conducted in four countries on the same time (2018 – 2021), carried out by the representatives of each country participating in the international research team based on a mixed-methods-design. Even though the surveys are conducted in the national languages of the respective countries in the need to be as close to the research field as possible, the working language in the project is English. The first stage comprises literature studies and qualitative document analyses (Mayring, 2010) with the aim to establish a common research base taking into account an international comparative perspective. On the second stage, the draft of the translated ICF-items into an easy version of all languages enrolled in the project on the national level are validated empirically by students enrolled in teacher-education as well as in-service-teachers in all participating countries (n~300). For this survey an online-questionnaire is developed providing an attestation of the wordings for the use in inclusive school settings using quantitative strategies of data analysis for examination (Kallus, 2010) as well as the possibility to indicate alternatives. The results are used to create training tools for all participants in the inclusive educational processes. During the third stage, case studies (Pieper, Frei, Hauenschild & Schmied-Thieme, 2014) are carried out with the purpose to establish a comprehensive monitoring of conditions, influences as well as responses reported during the implementation of the training tools at different schools. Impact will be measured by the MTAI-Scale (Stoiber, K.; Gettinger, M. & Goetz, D., 1998), which will allow a comparison between experimental groups, those who receive input or are informed about the project, and control groups consisting of persons who were not involved within project activities. The target groups will be reached via online-questionnaire and invited by professional networks. Differences between the two groups are expected, as the ICF training/information etc. should show an impact on MTAI inclusion-indicators. Outgoing from this data base, guided interviews (Gläser & Laudel, 2010) are conducted (n~12, 3 per country following the recruitment criteria of at least one teacher, one parent, one therapist). If permissible, also pupils will be enrolled in the investigation regarding the special situation of handling research processes with children of young age (Hartnack, 2019). Data will be analysed following a qualitative approach (Kuckartz, 2010).
The main objective of this international research project is the gathering of information about the implication of the ICF and its significance in the context of inclusive educational development (Ainscow, 2010; Dyson, Howes & Roberts, 2004). The study (2018 – 2021) is performed in order to explore the relevance and the impact of the IFC in inclusive school development processes including assessment, support and learning promotion processes as well as addressing all people involved in a team around-the-child. Of particular concern is a significant increase in awareness and estimated increase in knowledge and specific skills for the promotion of inclusion in schools. The main research concern asks if specific inclusive competencies of the people involved – represented by the ICF-items transformed into easy language as a common language for all – are associated with the perceived extent of participation in the common processes and decisions around a child with special or complex needs at school age. This includes a contribution to destigmatisation and full participation of disadvantaged groups within educational and social processes. Rising awareness in the school systems of the respective countries about the basic idea of the usage of the ICF and increasing skills towards exchange and cooperation with other sectors can be understood as strategic process to empower school systems towards inclusion. By means of providing concrete training materials, tools and by supporting parents to see themselves on equal level as teachers indirect push-situations for the school systems towards equal exchange are supported. Furthermore, the ongoing international transformation processes including teacher-training (students enrolled in teacher education) as well as teacher-employment (in-service-teachers) from an exclusive perspective (teacher for a specific subject are school type) towards an inclusive image of the profession (general teacher overtaking responsibility for ALL pupils in the same age) are given special consideration.
Ainscow, M. (2010). Developing inclusive education systems. In: Hick P., Thomas, G. (Eds.): Inclusion and diversity in education. VO. 2 Los Angeles, pp. 1 -13 Clandinin, D. J. & Husu, J. (2017). The SAGE Handbook of Research on Teacher Education. London: Sage. Dyson, A. Howes, A. & Roberts, B. (2004). What Do We Really Know about Inclusive Schools? A Systematic Review of the Research Evidence. In: D. Mitchell (Ed.) Special Education Needs and Inclusive Education: Major Themes in Education. London: Routledge Farmer. EADSNE (2012). Profile of inclusive teachers. Retrieved from http://www.european-agency.org/sites/default/files/Profile-of-Inclusive-Teachers.pdf. Gläser, J. & Laudel, G. (2010). Experteninterviews und qualitative Inhaltsanalyse. Wiesbaden: VS. Hartnack, F. (2019). Qualitative Forschung mit Kindern. Wiesbaden: Springer. Kallus, K. W. (2010). Erstellung von Fragebogen. Wien: facultas. Kuckartz, U. (2010). Einführung in die computergestützte Analyse qualitativer Daten. Wiesbaden: VS. Lani,F. (2014). The SAGE Handbook of Special Education. London: Sage. Mayring, P. (2002). Qualitative Inhaltsanalyse. Weinheim und Basel: Beltz. Nind, M. (2014). What is inclusive research? New York: Bloomsbury. OECD (2015). Education at a glance 2015 - OECD indicators. Paris: OECD Publishing. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/eag-2015-en. Pickl, G; Holzinger, A.; Kopp-Sixt, S. (2015). The special education teacher between the priorities of inclusion and specialization. International journal of inclusive education. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13603116.2015.1115559 Pieper, I.; Frei, P.; Hauenschild K. & Schmied-Thieme, B. (2014). Was der Fall ist. Wiesbaden: Springer. Pretis, M. (2012). Families' First in Early Childhood Intervention. A Theoretical Approach Towards Parent's Involvement and Increase of Efficiency of the Early Childhood Intervention. Journal of Special Education and Rehabilitation 13(1-2), p. 7 – 18. Pretis, M. (2018). Let us be prepared, but wait and see: the use of ICF-CY in early childhood intervention and pediatric social care in Germany and neighbouring countries. In: Castro & Palikara (Eds), An emerging approach for education and care. Implementing a worldwide classification of functioning and disability, (165-178). London: Routlegde. 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. UNESCO (2008). Inclusive education: The way of the future. Reference Document. International Conference on Education, 48th Session, Geneva 25 November. Retrieved from http://www.ibe.unesco.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Policy_Dialogue/48th_ICE/CONFINTED_48-3_English.pdf. World Health Organization. (2007). International classification of functioning, disability and health: children and youth version: ICF-CY. World Health Organization. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/43737
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