Some Aspects of Collaboration in Inclusive Education - Teachers' Experiences

By Bouillet, Dejana | CEPS Journal : Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal, April 1, 2013 | Go to article overview

Some Aspects of Collaboration in Inclusive Education - Teachers' Experiences


Bouillet, Dejana, CEPS Journal : Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal


The main aim of the present article is to analyse some aspects of collaboration in inclusive educational practice in Croatian schools by analysing teachers' experiences. Special attention is devoted to the professional support resources available to teachers, as well as to teachers' views on the content and usefulness of the professional support they utilise. The article presents partial results of a larger research project regarding various components of inclusive practice in Croatian primary schools, organised at the Faculty of Teacher Education in Zagreb. A total of 69 primary school teachers were interviewed regarding the elements of inclusive practices in their own schools. Each teacher also completed a short questionnaire about their opinions on elements that weaken inclusive practices in their school, as well as on some general data about schools. The data obtained were analysed on both the qualitative and the quantitative levels. The results suggest that, at the present time, collaboration in Croatian schools is not well organised and defined. It is shown that only a relatively small number of various professionals who could support teachers and students in inclusive processes work in schools. Furthermore, it is established that schools do not compensate for this problem with stronger collaboration between schools and professionals in local communities. Teachers would like to receive more specific advice, as well as more concrete assistance in the education of students with disabilities. The author concludes that a better conceptualisation of collaboration between schools and local communities is needed (especially a higher level of team work). This would certainly contribute to improving the quality of inclusive education in Croatian schools.

Keywords: Collaboration; Inclusive education; Teachers' experiences; Professional support

Izbrani vidiki sodelovanja v inkluzivnem izobrazevanju - izkusnje uciteljev

Dejana Bouillet

V prispevku so na podlagi analize izkusenj uciteljev predstavljeni izbrani vidiki sodelovanja v inkluzivnem izobrazevanju v hrvaskih solah. Posebna pozornost je namenjena virom strokovne podpore, ki je na voljo uciteljem, ter njihovim mnenjem glede vsebine in uporabnosti obstojecih oblik podpore. Prispevek predstavi delne izsledke sirsega raziskovalnega projekta o razlicnih komponentah inkluzivne prakse v hrvaskih osnovnih solah, ki ga je izvedla Pedagoska fakulteta v Zagrebu. O elementih inkluzivne prakse na soli je bilo intervjuvanih 69 uciteljev. Vsak je izpolnil tudi kratek vprasalnik o lastnem pogledu na elemente, ki negativno vplivajo na inkluzivno prakso njihove sole, ter o soli podal nekaj osnovnih podatkov. Izvedeni sta bili kvantitativna in kvalitativna analiza vseh podatkov. Na podlagi izsledkov lahko sklepamo, da trenutno sodelovanje pri inkluzivnem delu v hrvaskih solah ni dovolj dobro organizirano in definirano. V solah je prisotnih le malo strokovnjakov, ki bi lahko uciteljem in ucencem nudili podporo pri inkluziji. Ugotovimo tudi, da sole za nadomescanje tega primanjkljaja ne sodelujejo s strokovnjaki v lokalnih skupnostih. Ucitelji bi zeleli bolj specificne nasvete in konkretnejso pomoc pri izobrazevanju otrok s posebnimi potrebami. Avtorica ugotavlja, da je potrebna boljsa konceptualizacija sodelovanja med solami in lokalnimi skupnostmi (se posebej visja raven timskega dela), kar bi prispevalo k izboljsanju kakovosti inkluzivnega izobrazevanja v hrvaskih solah.

Kljucne besede: sodelovanje; inkluzivno izobrazevanje; izkusnje uciteljev; strokovna podpora

Introduction

It is well known that, over the last three decades, school populations have become increasingly diverse, with students coming from a broad range of cultures, socioeconomic backgrounds, language environments and family structures, as well as having a wide range of abilities (Meadan & Konda- Amaya, 2008). Providing a quality education for all students in an inclusive setting is therefore acknowledged as the most challenging issue in education today (Amer et al. …

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