04 SES 01 B, Teacher Views
The aim of this paper is to explore what characterizes the ideas of regular classroom teachers in compulsory education schools about the interplay of professionalism and inclusive education. The focus is on how teachers express their own ideas about their work, which is here referred to as teachers’ professional theory – and to what extent that coincides with their ideas on inclusive education ideology and policy. The theoretical focus is based on social constructionism and post structuralism, both of which engage with how humans create and recreate meaning (Denzin, 2005). These approaches are helpful for the critical exploration of how teachers construct their understanding and experience on issues regarding professionalism and inclusive education.
The paper explores if and in what way teachers’ ideas about their own professionalism coincide with inclusive education ideas and practice. The paper applies a broad definition of the concept inclusive education. This approach sees inclusion as an approach to democratic schooling, social justice, equity, and quality education for all children, and where an active participation of diverse students is taken to be an asset (Allan, 2012; Armstrong, Armstrong & Spandagou, 2011; Artiles, Kozleski & Waitoller, 2011).
The focus of the paper is on teachers´ own professional theory and how that coincides with inclusive education policy, theoretical approaches and practice. Teachers´ professionalism refers to how teachers´ talk about and explain their work. In order to promote professionalism, it is important for teachers to reflect upon their own actions and thoughts, and try to understand why they act as they do, grow in what they do well and find ways to improve their practice. This kind of reflection shapes professional educators and is indeed considered to be a prerequisite for teachers´ professional theory (Bjarnadóttir, 2008; Hoyle, 2001; Schön, 1991; Whitty, 2008). Teachers´ professional theory is one of the main pillars for building teachers´ professionalism. It can be both conscious and unconscious, and is the foundation for teachers´ professional development
The research questions are:
- What characterizes classroom teachers´ ideas about their own professionalism?
- What characterizes classroom teachers´ ideas about inclusive education?
- In what way does classroom teachers´ professional theory coincide with their practice and current ideas and principles on inclusive education?
Allan, J. (2012). The inclusion challenge. In T. Barow & D. Östlund (eds). Bildning för alla! En pedagogisk utmaning (pp.109-120). Kristianstad: Kristianstad University Press. Armstrong, D., Armstrong, A. C. & Spandagou, I. (2011). Inclusion: By Choice or By Chance?. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 15(1), 29–39. DOI:10.1080/13603116.2010.496192 Artiles, A.J., Kozleski, E.B., & Waitoller, F.R. (eds.).(2011). Inclusive education. Examing equity on five continents. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard Education Press. Bjarnadóttir, R. (2008). Makmið kennaranáms: Starfshæfni og fagmennska [The aim of teacher education: Competence and professionalism]. Tímarit um menntarannsóknir, 5, 93–106. Denzin N.K., & Lincoln, Y.S. (2005). The Sage handbook of qualitative research (3rd ed.) Thousands Oaks, CA: Sage Hoyle, E. (2001). Teaching: Prestige, Status and Esteem. Educational Management Administration & Leadership 29(2), 139–152. DOI: 10.1177/0263211X010292001 Schön, D. A. (1991). The reflective practitioner : how professionals think in action. Aldershot : Ashgate. ATH: endurprentað 2009 Whitty, G. (2008). Changing modes of teacher professionalism: Traditional, managerial, collaborative and democratic. In B. Cunningham (Ed.), Exploring professionalism (pp.28–49). London: Bedford Way Press.
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