04 SES 13 D, Preparing Teachers to Include All Learners with Head, Heart and Hands: An International Perspective.
It is argued that for regular teachers to include all learners, irrespective of their diversity, we must prepare teachers who are fully committed to teach all learners (i.e. have the heart of inclusive teachers); are knowledgeable about necessary skills to include all learners (i.e. the head of inclusive teachers); and, are able to practice inclusive practices in their classrooms(i.e. have the hands of inclusive teachers) (Rouse, 2010; Shulman, 2004, Sharma, 2018). Preparing teachers with heart, head and hands (i.e. 3H) is not easy. It requires teacher educators to pay close attention to different aspects of the course. Teacher educators need to explicitly create activities that will enhance pre-service teachers’ commitment to teach learners with a range of diversities. University educators also need to make sure that pre-service teachers learn about the critical skills that make them confident in including all learners (Sharma, 2018). Some of these skills include ability to self-reflect, ability to co-teach with other professionals, ability to use a range of teaching strategies such as peer tutoring, cooperative learning and differentiated instruction, ability to adjust curriculum to suit each learner’s needs and capacity (EADSNE, 2010). In addition, pre-service teachers need to learn about how to authentically involve parents and carers in the education of their children. Lastly, pre-service teachers should be able to demonstrate they are inclusive in their teaching practice when they actual teach in a real classroom setting (Florian & Rouse, 2009). Perhaps it (practising inclusion) is the most difficult aspect of pre-service teacher preparation for a number of reasons (Florian & Rouse, 2009; Sharma, 2018). The reasons include lack of placement settings where pre-service teachers could apply the skills acquired as the school may not believe in inclusive education and may not have mentor teachers who have adequate knowledge and skills to include learners with a range of diversities.
In this symposium, we will share our experiences of implementing heart-head-hands framework in three countries Bangladesh, Solomon Islands and Australia. The 3H model was implemented in Bangladesh using a train the trainer model in close collaboration with a national university and Ministry of Education. A three year evaluation of the project revealed significant positive changes in classroom practices of teachers. The 3H model was also used with teacher educators of a national university in Solomon Islands using an infusion model (where inclusion is everyone’s responsibility). Two years after the implementation of the program, positive impacts were noticed in the attitudes, concerns and efficacy of pre-service teachers graduating from the program. Key lessons learnt from Bangladesh and Solomon Islands were used to design a comprehensive project where Monash University partnered with a large secondary school in Victoria, Australia. The partnership involved co-designing and co-teaching with school educators about heart and head aspects. In order to ensure heart and head aspects transformed teaching practices (i.e. hands), some pre-service teachers (n=10) completed their field experience in the partner school. The partnership made a significant impact on all participants (n=125) involved in the course (including those pre-service teachers who completed their field experience in other schools). Each of the other three presentations included in this symposium will report how partnership positively influenced the development of course (Paper 1), how it positively influenced the co-delivery of the course (Paper 2); and how it impacted on attitude, concerns, self efficacy and intentions of pre-service teachers. Each presentation will present implications of the findings for teacher education who are keen to ensure that gaps between theory and practice of inclusive education are addressed when they prepare pre-service teachers who have heart, head and hands of a true inclusive educator.
European Agency for Development in Special Needs Education (EADSNE). (2010). Teacher education for inclusion: International literature review. Denmark: Author. Florian, L., & Rouse, M. (2009). The inclusive practice project in Scotland: Teacher education for inclusive education. Teaching and Teacher Education, 25(4), 594–601. Sharma, U. (2018). Preparing to teach in Inclusive Classrooms. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education. doi:10.1093/acrefore/9780190264093.013.113 Shulman, L. S. (2004). The wisdom of practice: Essays on teaching, learning and learning to teach. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Rouse, M. (2010). Reforming initial teacher education: A necessary but not sufficient condition for developing inclusive practice. In C. Forlin (Ed.), Teacher education for inclusion: Changing paradigms and innovative approaches (pp. 47–55). London: Routledge.
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