04 SES 04 B, Initial Teacher Education And Inclusion: Tales From The Field
This study deals with the developments of the Austrian school system in the journey to be more inclusive. National political and international developments, especially the European recommendations in connection with the implementation of an inclusive school system and their influence in Austria are examined from a historical perspective. Specifically, this presentation focused on the developments of teacher training in Austria, as there have been massive changes through time, which were resulted from the impact of political changes. The impact of political changes on teacher education has been discussed by different scholars (McKinsey & Company, 2007; Sahlberg 2011; Tatto et al., 2017). Using the example of England and the United States, Tatto et al. (2017) explores the different historical, political, and social contexts and exhibits how the professional training of teachers is reshaped by rapid, temporary changes in politics. In the presented study, the formal structures and their influence were examined to shed light on the question of the changes that teacher training for special needs education has undergone over the past decade in Austria. The focus of the document analysis was on the reports of independent monitoring committees, the recommendations of UN Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), publications on teacher education in Austria, official documents on the implementation of model regions for inclusion in Austria as well as the evaluation of National Action Plan Disability. The analysis of the study was carried out according to the qualitative content analysis according to Mayring (2002). Two steps of content analysis, summary and explication, were used, on the one hand, to create a historical timeline and, on the other hand, to explain questionable points with the help of further documents. The analysis found a tension between teacher training and the field of work (school). The documents that were fundamental to the explication show that the reforms in teacher education led to slow and ineffective changes in the education system.
A qualitative design was chosen for the research, which focused on document analysis. This document analysis is characterized by a variety of material (e.g. reports and recommendations from experts, publications from the Federal Ministry of Education, articles and documents that reflect historical developments). The evaluation was based on the qualitative content analysis according to Mayring (2002) including two steps: summary and explication. As a result of the summary, a timeline with the historical milestones on a national and international level was created. The milestones were identified from the different materials and bundled using the texts. They were also defined as categories to evaluate the questionable passages reached at the end of the summary. The next step explication was used, for which additional material was also used, to expand the understanding of questionable passages.
The results of the study showed the tension between teacher training and the future professional field (schools). While the teacher training focuses on inclusive attitudes and corresponding knowledge that prepares students for the diversity of their pupils, the professional field can be characterized as a combination of segregating, integrative and inclusive settings. Based on international recommendations, but also at the European level, changes were made in Austria, which also included pilot projects. In connection with the many pilot projects, the Monitoring Committee (2013) states that although these projects are important, it is time for the implementation of inclusive education. From the current perspective, these developments have to be awaited to see whether the current government will take and implement the necessary measures. When examining the program of the current ruling coalition, however, this remains questionable (The New People's Party and the Greens - the Green Alternative, 2020). In this context, reference can be made to the recently evaluated Austrian National Action Plan for the Disabled, which represented a strategy for the implementation of the CRPD, which refers to the slow and incompetent developments concerning the reform of teacher training and the professional setting in Austria.
Die neue Volkspartei und die Grünen – die Grüne Alternative. (2020). Aus Verantwortung für Österreich. Regierungsprogramm 2020-2024. [Responsibility for Austria. Government program 2020-2024]. Erstellt von der neuen Volkspartei und den Grünen – Die Grüne Alternative. https://www.dieneuevolkspartei.at/Download/Regierungsprogramm_2020.pdf [Accessed August 1, 2020] Mayring, P. (2002). Einführung in die qualitative Sozialforschung. Eine Anleitung zu qualitativem Denken [Introduction to qualitative social research. Instruction for qualitative thinking]. 5. Auflage. Weinheim und Basel: Beltz Verlag. McKinsey & Company. (2007). How the world’s best- performing schools come out on top.Retrieved 5 February 2017, from https://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/mckinsey/industries/public%20and%20social%20sector/our%20insights/how%20the%20worlds%20best%20performing%20school%20systems%20come%20out%20on%20top/how_the_world_s_best-performing_school_systems_come_out_on_top.pdf . Monitoringausschuss. (2013). Bericht des unabhängigen und weisungsfreien Monitoring-ausschusses zur Umsetzung der Konvention über die Rechte von Menschen mit Behinderungen an das Komitee zur Konvention über die Rechte von Menschen mit Behinderungen in Vorbereitung auf den Dialog über den Ersten Staatenbericht Österreichs im September 2013 [Report of independent Monitoring Committee for the application of UN CRPD to the Committee of Convention over the rights of persons with disabilities as a preparation for the dialog over the first state report in Austria in September 2013]. https://www.monitoringausschuss.at/download/berichte/MA_Bericht_an_Vereinte_Nationen.pdf [Accessed November 16, 2020] Sahlberg, P. (2011). Finnish lessons. New York: Teachers’ College. Tatto, M. T., Burn, K., Menter, I., Mutton, T. & Thompson, I. (2017). Learning to Teach in England and the United States. The Evolution of Policy and Practice. London: Routledge.
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