ERG SES D 01, Inclusive Education
In times of uncertainty and risk, education has an important role to play in preparing young people for their future lives in society. Particular attention must be paid to young people with special educational needs in order to give them equal access to the job market and skills and capacities to live and act under given social conditions. Since the amendment of the school laws following the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (The United Nations, 2006), the education system, including teacher training, must face the new challenges of including students with special educational needs in regular schools. Educational research is needed to identify success factors for inclusive education and to implement the resulting concepts in education and teacher training. Scales to investigate the connections between attitudes, concerns and self-efficacy assumptions in the field of inclusion are used internationally with pre-service and in-service teachers. The scales Attitudes to Inclusion Scale (AIS) and Intentions to Teach in Inclusive Classrooms Scale (ITICS) were developed by Sharma & Jacobs (2016) (Sharma & Jacobs, 2016). The main finding of the study by Sharma and Jacobs (2016) was that teachers who feel confident in their actions in inclusive class settings had a more positive attitude to inclusion than less confident teachers (Sharma & Jacobs, 2016). This result took place in both Australia and India revealing independence of the framework conditions of the education system in both countries. From this, Sharma & Jacobs (2016) advocate for a stronger implementation of inclusive practice in teacher education and training (ibid.). To investigate the self-efficacy assumption, the Teachers Efficacy in Implementing Inclusive Practices scale (TEIP) from Sharma, Loreman, and Forlin (2012) was used in many international studies. A longitudinal study in Canada showed that the self-efficacy assumption, as well as the attitude, was significantly higher and concerns were significantly reduced following a teacher education course on inclusion (Sharma & Sokal, 2015). Inclusion concerns were measured using the Concerns about Inclusive Education Scale (CIES) by Sharma and Desai (2002). To explore the relationships between affective variables such as attitudes, self-efficacy and concerns about inclusion and actual teaching practice, the Inclusive Practices Classroom Observation Scale (IPCOS) was designed (Sharma & Sokal, 2016). The study revealed a significant negative correlation between concerns and the use of inclusive teaching practices (ibid.). The IPCOS scale was transformed into a self-rating scale, Inclusive Practices Rating Scale (IPRS) to be used in surveys independent from observations (Loreman, Sharma, Sokal, & Forlin, unpublished). In addition to the studies described, the scales were used internationally in various constellations or in combination with other scales (Miesera, DeVries, Jungjohann, & Gebhardt, 2018; Specht et al., 2016). The connection between attitudes and inclusive practice illustrates the urgency of implementing inclusion in teacher training. The European Agency for Development in Special Needs Education names prerequisites for the training of inclusive teachers, whereby the areas of competence to be promoted are also based on the attitude towards inclusion, which in turn is based on the knowledge about inclusion and skills to implement this knowledge (European Agency for Development in Special Needs Education, 2012). The question arises if the differences inherent in teacher education programs relative to the type of school, plays a role in attitudes, self-efficacy assumptions, concerns and self-ratings in the inclusive practice of student teachers. Because there are different student clientele expected at every school type there may be other prerequisites for preparing inclusive teachers. In addition, do the various framework conditions such as a various understandings of inclusion in Germany's federal states influence the variables mentioned?
For the study, 147 students from the Technical University Munich (Bavaria, Germany) were interviewed with the results compared to those obtained from 270 students from the TU Dortmund University (North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany). All students had intended to specialize as secondary (Gymnasium) or vocational school teachers. The international scales AIS, ITICS, TEIP, CIES and IPRS were translated to German and used. The AIS scale consists of 10 items focused on feelings and beliefs about inclusion (Sharma & Jacobs, 2016). It is a seven-point Likert scale from (1) strongly disagree to (7) strongly agree. The ITICS scale contains 7 items measuring willingness to extend effort to implement inclusive school practice, in addition to the regular workload with two factors: 'Intentions to Implement Curriculum Changes' and 'Intentions to Consult with Others' (ibid.). The ITICS scale is a seven-point Likert scale, ranging from (1) extremely reluctantly to (7) extremely gladly. Together these two scales were used to measure attitude about inclusion. To measure self-efficacy, the TEIP scale consists of 18 items and a six-point Likert scale ranging from (1) strongly disagree to (6) strongly agree. It focusses on efficacy in inclusive instruction, managing behaviour and collaboration (Sharma et al., 2012). The CIES scale measures concerns about inclusion (Sharma & Desai, 2002). The scale comprises 21 items and has a four-point Likert scale, ranging from (1) extremely concerned to (4) not concerned at all (ibid.). The CIES scale focuses on a four-factor model: concerns about resources, concerns about acceptance of students with disabilities, concerns about academic standards and concerns about increasing workload (ibid.). The IPRS scale is a self-assessment of inclusive action in the classroom. Possible participant responses are explained at the beginning of the instrument. Itemized, concrete instructional activities representative of typical teaching are presented, for which the participant considers their abilities. The instrument provides a four-point Likert scale with the possible answers: (1) novice, (2) developing, (3) proficient, (4) expert or 'not applicable'. The scale consists of 35 items (ibid.). In addition to the described study, teachers and pre-service teachers are currently being surveyed about their self-rating in inclusive practice in order to investigate the influence of practical experience. Factors such as attended events on inclusion at university or in the workplace are also recorded.
The reliability analyses of the scales consistently yielded values >.7, suggesting a good internal consistency of the scales in the German version. The scale for self-efficacy (TEIP) correlates positively with the scales for attitude (AIS & ITICS) and practice (IPRS) and negatively with the scale concerns (CIES). The scales attitude and practice do not correlate with each other, but show a negative correlation with the scale concerns. The scale concerns correlates negatively with the three other scales, as expected. There were found neither significant differences in the scales between secondary school student teachers and vocational school student teachers at Technical University Munich nor significant differences in the scales between the federal states. This matches the foregoing results showing no differences in the scales despite different framework conditions in the educational systems (Sharma & Jacobs, 2016). Instead, the positive influence of increased teaching practice on student teachers’ self-efficacy was shown. Further, a positive influence of joining inclusion training courses on participant self-rating, as shown in Sharma and Sokal (2015), was revealed. The results demonstrate the effectiveness of participating in courses on inclusion and of training teaching practice in school during the degree programme. This leads to the need to implement more mandatory courses in degree programmes and, as advocated by the European Agency, to promote the development of inclusive teachers. Based on these outcomes, it is expected that pre-service teachers and practicing teachers, due to their greater teaching experience, will assess themselves significantly stronger than students in a teacher training programme, with the expected effect being greatest among practicing teachers. Teacher education courses on inclusion, which were undertaken during the teacher training programme or alongside the teaching activity are also expected to have a positive impact on the self-assessment.
European Agency for Development in Special Needs Education. (2012). Teacher Education for Inclusion. Profile of Inclusive Teachers. Retrieved from https://www.european-agency.org/sites/default/files/te4i-profile-of-inclusive-teachers_Profile-of-Inclusive-Teachers-EN.pdf Loreman, T., Sharma, U., Sokal, L., & Forlin, C. (unpublished). A Survey of Educators' Perceptions about Inclusive Education. Miesera, S., DeVries, J. M., Jungjohann, J., & Gebhardt, M. (2018). Correlation between attitudes, concerns, self-efficacy and teaching intentions in inclusive education evidence from German pre-service teachers using international scales. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, 12, 132. https://doi.org/10.1111/1471-3802.12432 Sharma, U., & Desai, I. (2002). Measuring concerns about integrated education in India. The Asia-Pacific Journal on Disabilities, 5. Sharma, U., & Jacobs, D. K. (2016). Predicting in-service educators' intentions to teach in inclusive classrooms in India and Australia. Teaching and Teacher Education, 55, 13–23. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2015.12.004 Sharma, U., Loreman, T., & Forlin, C. (2012). Measuring teacher efficacy to implement inclusive practices. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, 12, 12–21. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-3802.2011.01200.x Sharma, U., & Sokal, L. (2015). The impact of a teacher education course on pre-service teachers' beliefs about inclusion: An international comparison. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, 15, 276–284. https://doi.org/10.1111/1471-3802.12043 Sharma, U., & Sokal, L. (2016). Can teachers’ self-reported efficacy, concerns, and attitudes toward inclusion scores predict their actual inclusive classroom practices? Australasian Journal of Special Education, 40, 21–38. https://doi.org/10.1017/jse.2015.14 Specht, J., McGhie-Richmond, D., Loreman, T., Mirenda, P., Bennett, S., Gallagher, T., . . . Cloutier, S. (2016). Teaching in inclusive classrooms: Efficacy and beliefs of Canadian preservice teachers. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 20, 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1080/13603116.2015.1059501 The United Nations. (2006). Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Treaty Series, 2515, 3.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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