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Teacher Professional Development for Inclusive Education


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Outline of the current issues and debates on how teacher professional development should be organized in order to achieve an inclusive education system

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Teacher Professional Development for Inclusive Education

  1. 1. Teacher Professional Development for Inclusive Education: Current Issues & Debates Seminar Teacher Professional Development for Inclusive Education SACE, Centurion, 19 April 2016
  2. 2. Current Issues & Debates Policy Current beliefs BACKGROUND CPTD Changing attitudes & beliefs Inclusive Pedagogy Effectiveness of CPTD Contextual and systemic factors Implementation gap
  3. 3. International policy framework • International Salamanca Statement (UNESCO, 1994) – Importance of regular schools with inclusive orientation as the best means of building an inclusive society and achieving education for all. – Access to quality education for vulnerable groups, including girls, children from minorities, children from poor and remote communities, children with disabilities. • Other relevant international frameworks - Education for All (EFA) - Millennium & Sustainable Development Goals (MDG/SDG) - United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  4. 4. South African Policy Framework • Constitution of Republic of South Africa (Act 108 of 1996, Section 29(1)) – “Everyone has the right to a basic education, including adult basic education and to further education, which the state through reasonable measures must make progressively available and accessible” • White Paper 6 (2001) – Legislative and policy framework for the implementation of inclusive education – Focus on addressing and accommodating learners who experience barriers to learning in mainstream classrooms – Shift from ‘special needs education’ to ‘barriers to learning’ – Recognising and respecting learner diversity – Continuum of support: low-intensive, moderate and high-intensive support
  5. 5. Inclusive Schools Inclusive schools are about belonging, nurturing and educating all students, regardless of their differences in ability, culture, gender, language, class and ethnicity. Engelbrecht et al., 2015
  6. 6. Strong Case for Inclusive Education • Human right • Social justice (social mobility) • Social cohesion (diverse society) • Self-worth & motivation • Economic rationale (learning outcomes, drop-outs)
  7. 7. Current Issues & Debates: Outline Policy Current beliefs BACKGROUND CPTD Changing attitudes & beliefs Inclusive Pedagogy Effectiveness of CPTD Contextual and systemic factors Implementation gap
  8. 8. Beliefs about Education • Traditional (entrenched) views on Education – Deterministic: bell-curve thinking about ability – Deficit-based: focus on differences, barriers are intrinsic – Stems from special-needs orientation and teacher-centred approach (often from ITE) – Belief that learners with barriers need specialist teaching that ‘ordinary’ teachers have not been trained to provide.
  9. 9. Beliefs about Inclusive Education • Confusion – Inclusive practice not well articulated (what do teachers need to know) – Questions about its soundness for all learners (lack of dissemination of research findings) – Belief that presence of learners with disabilities negatively impacts learning outcomes of other learners. – Problematic metaphors (inclusion as a goal, a process, hospitality) (Walton and Lloyd, 2011)
  10. 10. Current Issues & Debates: Outline Policy Current beliefs BACKGROUND CPTD Changing attitudes & beliefs Inclusive Pedagogy Effectiveness of CPTD Contextual and systemic factors Implementation gap
  11. 11. Implementation Gap There have been minimal implementations on the ground despite the major policy shifts towards an inclusive pedagogic discourse (Ntombela, 2011). The model of inclusive education with reference to the role of all levels of systems support continues to reflect the influence of special needs education (Makoelle, 2015). The road from formal policy documents to actual practice is rarely a straight one as it is seldom free of inconsistencies and contradictions (Levin, 1998)
  12. 12. Current Issues & Debates: Outline Policy Current beliefs BACKGROUND CPTD Changing attitudes & beliefs Inclusive Pedagogy Effectiveness of CPTD Contextual and systemic factors Implementation gap
  13. 13. Priorities for CPTD Changing teachers’ attitudes and beliefs (and school leaders’ !) – Informed by own experiences and by their training – Empowerment: difficulties in learning as professional challenges – Self-efficacy
  14. 14. Inclusive Pedagogy “The development of a rich learning community characterised by learning opportunities that are sufficiently made available for everyone, so that all learners are able to participate in classroom life.” Florian and Black-Hawkins, 2008: 818
  15. 15. Inclusive Pedagogy • “Diagnoses”  careful assessment of the interaction between learner and environment • Attending to individual differences, while avoiding the stigma of marking some learners as different. • Avoid limiting expectations of both teacher and learners. • Not separate, “specialist” pedagogy • Not about the choice of a strategy but in its use • Differentiation in content, processes and products
  16. 16. Inclusive Pedagogy Strengthening teachers’ skills – Cooperation and collaboration – Innovation – Creativity – Nurturing – Communities of Enquiry (action research) – Reflection – Open to educational change
  17. 17. Inclusive Pedagogy • Balancing theory and practice It was very clear that rather than expecting student teachers to learn responses to all eventualities, they must be equipped instead with a set of principles from which they can draw to interpret the situations in which they find themselves and to respond in ways which align with the inclusive pedagogy. (Spratt and Florian, 2013) • Importance of craft knowledge (Black-Hawkins & Florian, 2012)
  18. 18. Inclusive Pedagogy Aspects of student-centred (or active) learning – Differentiation of learning tasks – Creating options within activities (low threshold, high ceiling) – Consulting with learners on how to help – Self-directed learning (scaffolding) – Providing additional supports and scaffolds – Collaboration among learners – Formative assessment (observation report, tasks…)
  19. 19. Current Issues & Debates Policy Current beliefs BACKGROUND CPTD Changing attitudes & beliefs Inclusive Pedagogy Effectiveness of CPTD Contextual and systemic factors Implementation gap
  20. 20. Contextualising Inclusiveness • Systemic contextual factors and barriers – Policies at various levels – Inflexible curriculum – Language – Lack of resources – Class sizes • School-based Support Teams (SBST) – Focus on identification of learners with special educational needs and referring them to specialists usually based at the district office – Little attention for teaching methodology
  21. 21. Improving effectiveness of CPTD 1. Recognizing principles of (educational) change 2. Principles of effective CPD 3. Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)
  22. 22. Educational Change Higher-order change – Dealing with resistance – Requires (un)learning – Challenging beliefs – Need for ownership – Cannot be imposed – Complex (not linear process) “Change happens by degree not decree” (Spanbauer)
  23. 23. Hurricane Metaphor “ In classrooms both change and continuity unfold in regular, undisturbed patterns. The trend, regardless of what new structures policymakers design, is small alterations over time in stable teaching practices.” Prof. L.Cuban, 2010
  24. 24. Educational Change School leadership – Vision for Inclusive Education – Contextualize policy – Create conditions to support collaboration (peer coaching, PLCs…) Rather than handing practitioners a blueprint for action we sought to work collaboratively with then to explore how their context could be understood and what actions might be possible therein (Ainscow et al., 2006, p.56)
  25. 25. Effective CPD
  26. 26. Observe colleagues Give and receive feedback from colleagues Coach each other Training Plan lessons together Asses learner’s work together PLCs Find a good (external) critical friend Action research Workshop Mentor novice teachers Reflect together with colleagues Effective CPD
  27. 27. Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) • Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) – Put forward in ISPFTED as important instrument for CPD – Development of culture of collaboration and enquiry – Broad impact on motivation and self-efficacy – Teacher-led based on real needs – Recognize complexity of change • Outside support – Bring in expertise – Guide change process
  28. 28. CPTD for Starting Teachers “Schools have to encourage beginning teachers to engage in in-depth conversations and have to create opportunities to share knowledge and experience with other teachers. Lastly, it is crucial that beginning teachers have opportunities to observe good teaching practices so that they are encouraged to ask for information and help during their personal progression toward differentiated teaching.” “Therefore, to realize one of the most important elements of induction arrangements, schools could provide beginning teachers with class- free hours so that they get the chance to visit other teachers’ classrooms.” De Neve & Devos, 2015
  29. 29. Conclusions Creating inclusive schools requires a broad range of CPTD initiatives – Attitudes and beliefs – Leadership – Praxis (craft knowledge & skills) – Action research – Creating a collaborative school culture
  30. 30. VVOB in South Africa PLCs CPTD system Providers M&E School leadership for effective CPD CPD for mathematics teaching M&E, research • Non-profit international organisation • Access to quality education in 10 countries
  31. 31. References • Florian, L. and Black-Hawkins, K. (2011) ‘Exploring inclusive pedagogy’, British Educational Research Journal, 37(5), pp. 813–828. • Walton, E. and Lloyd, G. (2011) ‘An analysis of metaphors used for inclusive education in South Africa’, Acta Academica, 43(3), pp. 1–31. • Levin, B. (1998). An epidemic of education policy: (What) can we learn from each other? Comparative Education, 34, pp. 131–141. • De Neve, D. and Devos, G. (2015) ‘The role of environmental factors in beginning teachers’ professional learning related to differentiated instruction’, School Effectiveness and School Improvement, pp. 1–23. • Spratt, J. and Florian, L. (2013) ‘Applying the principles of inclusive pedagogy in initial teacher education: from university based course to classroom action’, Número Monográfico, p. 133.