Reforming Teacher Education for Inclusive Education


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Presentation delivered to the Scottish Teacher Education Committee conference 2009 by Lani Florian and Martyn Rouse, School of Education, University of Aberdeen.

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  • Reforming Teacher Education for Inclusive Education

    1. 1. Reforming Teacher Education for Inclusive Education STEC Conference 2009 Lani Florian ( Martyn Rouse (
    2. 2. Background to the Inclusive Practice Project <ul><li>Concerns about underachievement and lack of participation of certain groups of pupils </li></ul><ul><li>International research suggesting that teachers are not sufficiently well prepared to deal with issues of diversity </li></ul><ul><li>The belief that inclusion should be the responsibility of all teachers </li></ul><ul><li>On-going reforms of teacher education at Aberdeen </li></ul><ul><li>Funded by Scottish Government </li></ul>
    3. 3. Some questions about ITE and inclusion <ul><li>What do beginning teachers need to know and be able to do? </li></ul><ul><li>What stops them from doing it when they know what to do? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the tensions between what they learn in the university and what they learn in schools? </li></ul><ul><li>How might these tensions be resolved? </li></ul><ul><li>What is being done at Aberdeen in the IPP? </li></ul>
    4. 4. The Inclusive Practice Project <ul><li>Aims to develop new approaches to training teachers so that they have </li></ul><ul><li>a greater awareness and understanding of the educational and social problems/issues that can affect children’s learning </li></ul><ul><li>developed strategies they can use to support and deal with such difficulties </li></ul>
    5. 5. The IPP <ul><li>Inclusive education - </li></ul><ul><li>the process of accommodating individual differences within the structures and processes that are available to all learners </li></ul><ul><li>rethinking ‘additional support’ by extending what is ‘generally available’ </li></ul>
    6. 6. Initial focus of the reforms <ul><li>Some barriers to inclusion - </li></ul><ul><li>B iological and social deterministic thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Specialist knowledge and professional identities </li></ul><ul><li>Forms of provision </li></ul>
    7. 7. Three key assumptions <ul><li>Difference must be accounted for as an essential aspect of human development in any conceptualisation of learning </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers must be challenged in their thinking that they are not capable of teaching all children </li></ul><ul><li>Learning new strategies for working with others </li></ul>
    8. 8. The PGDE <ul><li>Reforms involve : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>School of Education staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Local authority staff and teachers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recent course graduates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Project advisory group </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>International reference group </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. The PGDE <ul><li>Major changes include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Merging primary and secondary students for professional studies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inclusion addressed from start of course </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For all, not just some </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A new FPS course: Learning without Limits </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. PGDE Programme - Components and Connections Beginning to Teach .....The Developing Professional .....Inclusive Practice Learning Through the Curriculum School Experience Professional Studies Further Professional Studies School Exp Assessments Learning & Teaching in Schools Summative Assessments 1 & 2 Induction Year APS & CPD SITE Pastoral Support Ways of Working
    11. 11. University of Aberdeen PGDE course overview
    12. 12. Research strategy <ul><li>4 areas of research activity </li></ul><ul><li>The content and reform of the curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>PGDE students’ attitudes and practices </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher educators’ attitudes and practices </li></ul><ul><li>Follow-up studies of graduates in schools </li></ul>
    13. 13. Study Procedures: curriculum reform <ul><ul><ul><li>Research questions related to key challenges </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Video and audio taping </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Full transcription and field notes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Coding </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Member checking </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Transana </li></ul></ul></ul>
    14. 14. IPP coding frame
    15. 15. Students’ attitudes, beliefs and practices <ul><li>Entry/exit survey </li></ul><ul><li>Overwhelmingly pro-inclusion </li></ul><ul><li>Some demographic and subject differences </li></ul><ul><li>Pro-inclusion attitudes mostly survive school placement - particularly for the ‘Learning without Limits’ group </li></ul>
    16. 16. <ul><li>Reform is complex and long-term process </li></ul><ul><li>The relationship between teacher education and educational equity requires examination </li></ul><ul><li>Reform of ITE is but the first step </li></ul><ul><li>The need to explore the tensions between what students learn in the university and what they learn in school </li></ul><ul><li>Progressive, coherent CPD and school development is also required </li></ul><ul><li>See Teaching and Teacher Education 25 (4) a special edition on teacher education and inclusion, May 2009 </li></ul>Some concluding thoughts