Developing Inclusive Teacher Education

Developing Inclusive Teacher Education

Developing Inclusive Teacher Education

Developing Inclusive Teacher Education

Synopsis

Inclusion concerns the overcoming of barriers to learning and participation for all, regardless of ability or disability, and is now a central tenet of basic education policy globally. Increasingly, teachers need to be able to implement inclusion into their daily practice. This book stems from its contributors' shared attitude towards education based on the values of equity, entitlement, community, participation and diversity, and examines the ways in which teachers are prepared for inclusion in teacher education institutions as much as schools. Using examples of practice from schools and teaching institutions across the UK, Norway, New Zealand and the USA, the contributors use a valuable comparative approach to explore crucial questions, such as: * How are ideas and practices of inclusive schools reflected in the curriculum of teacher education? * What tools do teachers need to implement inclusion? * What are the policy and cultural contexts for the development of inclusion? * How are the barriers to learning and participation overcome in teacher education itself? This book provides an insightful analysis of whether inclusion is an achievable aim for the 21st century. Its international array of experienced contributors have put together a text that offers a distinct pedagogical focus, which makes it a key reference tool for academics, students and researchers everywhere.

Excerpt

Tony Booth, Kari Nes and Marit Strømstad

This book arose out of a meeting of the International Research Colloquium on Inclusive Education in Norway in 2000, involving people from five countries: England, New Zealand, Norway, Scotland and USA. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the implications of inclusion for teacher education. The participants at that meeting produced draft papers, which following detailed critical discussion were developed as the chapters for this book (Nes et al. 2002). Previous meetings of the group produced a series of publications looking at a variety of other aspects of inclusion and exclusion in education (Allan 2003; Ballard 1999; Booth and Ainscow 1998; Clark et al. 1995). These previous books were focused, largely, on the activities of schools. It seemed that if we wished to examine the possiblities for the inclusive development of schools we should look more deeply at the possibilities for developing inclusion within and from our own institutions. The development of inclusion in schools depends in part on the way teachers are prepared for their work by teacher educators.

A view of inclusion

Inclusion, as an idea, is a feature of the documents regulating curricula and education systems of many countries, though the meaning that it is given differs from country to country and within different elements of the education systems. On our view, inclusion is about consciously putting into action values based on equity, entitlement, community, participation and respect for diversity. Increasing inclusion is always linked with reducing exclusion. It is concerned with the reduction of inequality, both economic and social, both in starting positions and in opportunities. While commonly inclusion is identified with a concern with disabled students or those categorised as having special educational needs, for us it is about reducing barriers to learning and participation for all learners. It is about reducing discrimination on the basis of gender, class, disability, sexual orientation,

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