01 SES 14, Symposium: Responding to Diversity
Across Europe a challenge facing teachers is that of responding to learner diversity (Booth and Ainscow, 1998; UNESCO, 2010). Increased population movement between countries has added to the urgency, with schools in most countries admitting more young people with ethnic, cultural and linguistic differences. There is also widespread concern regarding the progress of students defined as having special educational needs and those from economically poor backgrounds who tend to lose out most starkly, achieve the worst results and attend the lowest performing schools.
This symposium is focused on this crucial agenda. It will be based around findings from the first phase of a study being carried out in Spain, Portugal and the UK, funded through the European Union Comenius Multilateral Projects programme. The overall aim is to develop an innovative approach to in-service development that will support teachers in developing inclusive classroom practices by engaging with the views of students in such a way so as to ensure that personal and social circumstances – for example gender, socio-economic status or ethnic origin – are not an obstacle to participation and learning. Therefore, the aims of the study relate directly to the conference theme by illustrating how research can champion education and development for all.
The study sets out to address the following research questions:
- How can an engagement with the views of students be used to stimulate inclusive practices amongst teachers?
- What techniques and strategies can be used as part of teacher development activities? and
- How can these techniques and strategies be used in different national contexts?
It involves two cycles of collaborative action research, carried out by teachers and researchers in the three countries. It involves a total of eight secondary schools and four universities. Each team is experimenting with ways of collecting and engaging with the views of students in order to foster the development of more inclusive classroom practices (Ainscow and Kaplan, 2005; Messiou, 2012). The use of ‘lesson study’ approach is used to foster teacher development (Hiebert, Gallimore and Stigler, 2002; Pérez, Soto and Servan, 2010). Then, through processes of networking they share their experiences and findings. Earlier work indicates that this will provide potentially rich opportunities for learning, as practitioners reflect on similarities and differences between the various contexts (Ainscow et al., 2012).
The university researchers support these activities, particularly in respect to the writing of evaluative accounts. From a methodological point of view, triangulation is ensured by comparing and contrasting evidence from different sources - teachers, students, researchers -. In this way validity of the findings is ensured. Use is made of audit trails that explain how evidence has been used to support claims in respect to the impact on teacher thinking and practice, and on student outcomes. An external evaluator interrogates these audit trails, offering a written critical evaluation of their trustworthiness. The papers will report initial findings in regards to the processes involved in the project in a way that is intended to stimulate debate within the symposium.
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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