04 SES 08 B, New Dilemmas And Potentialities Of Inclusive Teaching: A View From The Field
Promoting an inclusive education that guarantees equity, quality and success for all is an objective on a global level. This has been highlighted by organizations such as UNESCO (2017), which has pointed out the importance of education in transforming the lives of people and building an inclusive society and a better world for all. Hence, the need to guarantee from early infancy and for the rest of the life of every person, an inclusive education that promotes learning opportunities for all, including those who have serious and permanent special educational needs. Inclusion becomes a challenge to be pursued, as authors such as Ainscow, Dyson and Weiner (2016), the European Agency for Special Educational Needs and Inclusive Education (2014), and Slee (2018) have shown.
To achieve this goal and develop day to day inclusive practices in schools, we need teachers and professionals trained with the necessary skills to meet these challenges. In this way, the training of new and established teaching staff becomes the key element in the promotion of an equitable quality education for all, as has once again been pointed out by the European Agency for Special Educational Needs and Inclusive Education (2011). This training must embrace new models from collaborative action frameworks and be linked to the processes of change and the on-going improvement of educational centres, considering educational inclusion as a continuous process of action (Ainscow and Dyson, 2002, Krischesky and Murillo, 2018), where the development of collaborative networks can be promoted (Arnaiz, De Haro, and Azorín, 2018).
Explicitly, this work places its focus on teacher training as a means of promoting inclusive education. This reflection is carried out within the research group Inclusive education: school for all of the University of Murcia (Spain), and through the research project Specific measures of attention to diversity: evaluation of specialized open classrooms in the Region of Murcia (Spain) subsidized by the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competition (EDU2016-78102-R).
The specialized open classrooms arose in order to guarantee the right of students with serious and permanent special educational needs to receive an equitable quality education in a normalized environment. In this way, the classrooms in special education centres are replaced by specialized classrooms in mainstream centres, where the students enrolled in these units are always assigned a mainstream classroom to share space, time and learning with all students in order to promote inclusion.
The objective of the study is to analyse and evaluate the organisation, operation and educational responses offered in these classrooms by the educational community (teachers, families, students, management teams, etc.). Specifically, in this paper, we intend to shed light on the assessment carried out by different educational agents (open classroom tutors, reference classroom tutors, teaching team and management teams) in relation to the initial training received in order to meet the educational needs of these students and the promotion of an inclusive education as well as evaluate the incentives offered by the centres in promoting training processes. The research questions are:
Does the initial training of teachers provide adequate educational responses for students with serious and permanent special educational needs?
Do schools support ongoing training in relation to the serious and permanent special educational needs of students?
Population and sample The population consists of the 101 existing specialized open classrooms during the 2017/18 academic year, in 78 educational centres in the Region of Murcia (Spain), where compulsory schooling is provided. For this study, we had the participation of 244 teachers (73 tutors of the open classrooms (30%), 66 tutors of the reference or mainstream classrooms (27%), and 105 teachers (43%) who form, together with the tutors, the teaching team that offers the educational response to these students and through whose efforts an inclusive education is promoted). Research design The research design is a quantitative, non-experimental, narrative type survey aimed at observing and analysing the schooling of students with serious and permanent special educational needs enrolled in mainstream schools in the 2017/18 academic year. Instruments and information analysis strategies The instrument for collecting information were three questionnaires with similar characteristics aimed at different groups (open classroom tutors, reference classroom tutors and teaching staff). These instruments have the following dimensions of analysis: identifying data, experience and training; organization and operation of the open classroom; planning and development of the intervention; and evaluation. The work presented here is focused on the dimension called training. The data obtained were analysed with the statistical package SPSS version 22. Descriptive statistics (frequencies and percentages), cross-referenced tables, as well as the Chi-square coefficient or quadratic contingency were produced.
46.72% of the total of participating teachers considered the initial training they received to be inadequate in helping to support the students of the open classroom and promoting an inclusive education. These data become more relevant, if we take into account that this lack of training is voiced by 71.2% of the mainstream classroom tutors who have severely affected students enrolled in their classrooms. Equally noteworthy is that 34.2% of the tutors of open classrooms claim to have the same training shortfall in providing appropriate educational practices for the students they accommodate, as well as their interventions with them. In any case, the perception of the existing shortfall differs significantly among the three groups analysed (X2<.001), highlighting the distinctiveness of different teaching qualifications. 82.46% of all teachers consider that their educational centre assists their ongoing training in relation to the SEN of the students under study. At the specific level, the group that asserts that the centre plays a lesser role in its ongoing professional development and growth, is that of the teaching team, of which 27.6% consider that the centre does not assist their ongoing training in SEN. Looking more deeply into this aspect, we find that 62% of both reference classroom tutors and the rest of the teaching team who participate in the educational process of the open classroom indicate that they need training in order to address the distinctive demands of the open classroom. This concern becomes a problem when we find that 48.5% of both groups feel less able to support students with SEN from open classrooms, than to respond to the demands of the rest of the students. In an analysis by groups, it can be seen that the tutors are, to a greater extent, those who feel this lack of competence (X2 = .001).
Ainscow, M., Dyson, A. & Weiner, S. (2013). From Exclusion to Inclusion: a review of international literature on ways of responding to students with special educational needs in schools. En-clave pedagógica: Revista Internacional de Investigación e Innovación Educativa, 13, 13-30. Arnaiz, P., De Haro, R. y Azorín, C. M. (2018). Redes de apoyo y colaboración para la mejora de la Educación Inclusiva. Revista de Currículum y Formación del Profesorado, 22(2), 29-49. Booth, T. & Ainscow, M. (2002). Index for inclusion: Developing learning and participation in schools. Bristol, England: Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education. European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education (2011). Teacher Education for Inclusion Across Europe – Challenges and Opportunities. Odense, Denmark: European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education. European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education (2014). Five Key Messages for Inclusive Education. Putting Theory into Practice. Odense, Denmark: European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education. Krischesky, G. J. y Murrillo, F. J. (2018). La colaboración docente como factor de aprendizaje y promotor de mejora. Un estudio de casos. Educación XXI, 21 (1),135-156. Slee, R. (2018). The inclusive education workbook. Teaching, learning and research in the irregular school. London: Routledge. UNESCO (2017). La educación transforma vidas. Paris, Francia: UNESCO.
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