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When differences are made into likenesses: the normative documentation and assessment culture of the preschool

KARLSUDD, Peter
2021

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This article is based on studies carried out within the Young children’s learning research education programme. This undertaking involved five graduate students, all recruited from the Swedish preschool system. The licentiate thesis makes up the final product of their education programme, and the focus of each candidate’s licentiate thesis was preschool-level documentation. Using the results of all five theses, a re-analysis was conducted with the concept of normality as the common starting point. The purpose was to investigate whether documentation and assessment can change the view of normality in preschools, and furthermore, what consequences there may be for preschool activity. ‘The narrow preschool and the wide preschool’ is the model used to support the analysis, which is a model used in previous studies to review and discuss educational choices and conditions in the school system. Results of the present investigation show that the documents and assessments performed in preschool have a strong focus on the individual child and a traditional, school-oriented learning is highly valued. The documentation and assessment practices that take place now in our preschools, therefore, most likely influence the preschool view of normality and restrict the acceptance of differences.

Using the Service-Learning approach to bridge the gap between theory and practice in teacher education

RESCH, K
SCHRITTESSER, I
2021

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Service-Learning stands out as a teaching approach that connects theory and practice by giving students the opportunity both to participate in a service that meets community needs and to reflect on the experience in class in order to gain a deeper understanding of the course content and an enhanced sense of civic engagement. The advantages of Service-Learning for inclusive education have recently been underpinned by studies, in which pre-service teachers are exposed to diverse population groups in schools or communities. Our study explores how Service-Learning is applied in teacher education in Austria. It is based on a series of semi-structured interviews with 13 teacher educators who apply this form of teaching in cooperative projects with schools. Our findings suggest that teacher educators distinguish between five orientations in Service-Learning (connecting theory and practice, engagement, community needs, job-related skills, learning outside the classroom), take on distinct expert and support roles, and see multiple benefits in Service-Learning. Our study underlines the importance of Service-Learning for inclusive education and the value of preparing pre-service teachers for dealing with diverse groups of pupils by allowing them to experience the real-world problems that confront schools.

The invisible minority: why do textbook authors avoid people with disabilities in their books?

JENSEN, Magne Skibsted
HERREBRØDEN, Marte
ANDREASSEN, Ulf Rune
2021

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Representation of disability in school textbooks may influence pupils’ knowledge and perceptions of people with disabilities. The aim of this study was to investigate representation of people with disabilities in school textbooks. The study employed a mixed-methods approach. Quantitative frequency analysis was used to investigate the extent of representation of disabilities in texts and pictures in 78 Norwegian textbooks for Grades 5–10. Regarding texts, the results showed that people with disabilities were represented in less than half of these textbooks (49%). Concerning pictures, people with disabilities were even less represented, appearing in only 29% of the textbooks. These quantitative findings were supplemented by a qualitative survey of textbook authors, who were asked to explain the marked absence of disability references in their own books and in school textbooks in general. The two most frequent explanations were that textbook authors had either overlooked people with disabilities, or that the Norwegian National Curriculum (Kunnskapsdepartementet 2006. Lærerplanverket for Kunnskapsløftet (LK06) [The Norwegian National Curriculum]. https://www.udir.no/lk20/overordnet-del/) did not explicitly mention this minority. We discuss these explanations as expressions of conscious considerations rather than unconscious omissions.

Social classroom climate and personalised instruction as predictors of students’ social participation

ZURBRIGGEN, Carmen L A
HOFMANN, Verena
LEHOFER, Mike
SCHWAB, Susanne
2021

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Previous research has repeatedly confirmed that students with special educational needs (SEN) are generally less accepted by their peers. Although inclusive teaching strategies and classroom characteristics are frequently hypothesised to improve students’ social participation, empirical evidence is scarce. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to investigate classroom characteristics and teaching practices that can help foster social participation, in general, and reduce the effect of lower social participation among students with SEN, in particular. The sample includes 518 students in 31 Grade 4 and 7 classes from Austria, of whom 99 are students with SEN. The results show that students with SEN receive fewer peer nominations and perceive their social participation to be lower compared to their peers without SEN. However, the association between SEN and self-perceived social participation is moderated by the social classroom climate, i.e. the difference becomes smaller when the social classroom climate is more positive. Furthermore, the higher the personalised instruction was rated by a student, the higher was his or her social status. The results suggest that interventions should focus not only on the improvement of individual students (with SEN) but also on changing the whole classroom environment.

Accessible to All: Creating learning materials for children with disabilities in Cambodia, Kenya, Rwanda, and Tajikistan

EducationLinks
December 2020

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Examples are outlined of how good practices in the provision of accessible learning materials are being put into practice by USAID in partnership with organisations addressing the education needs of students with disabilities:

  • Expanding access through Universal Design for Learning in Cambodia: All Children Reading
  • Applying a user-centered design approach in Kenya: eKitabu and Deaf-led Sign Language Video Stories
  • Promoting sustainable accessible standards in Rwanda: Soma Umenye
  • Supporting underserved languages in accessible formats: The Global Digital Library
  • Fostering parental involvement in Tajikistan: USAID Read with Me

 

Teachers’ and parents’ attitudes towards inclusion of pupils with a first language other than the language of instruction

KAST, Julia
SCHWAB, Susanne
2020

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Due to the rising linguistic heterogeneity in schools, the inclusion of pupils with a first language other than the language of instruction is one of the major challenges of education systems all over the world. In this paper, attitudes of in-service teachers, pre-service teachers and parents towards the inclusion of pupils with a first language other than the language of instruction are examined. Additionally, as the paper focused on how the participants perceive the development of this pupils in different school settings (fully included, partly included, fully segregated).


Data from 1501 participants were investigated. Descriptive results showed that pre-service teachers’ attitudes towards the inclusive schooling of pupils with different language skills in composite classes were rather positive, while attitudes of in-service teachers and parents rather tend to be neutral. Regarding the results concerning the participants’ attitudes towards the pupils’ development in different school settings, all three sub-groups belief that pupils with German as first language would develop in a more positive way, compared to pupils without German as first language. Moreover, the migration background of pre-service teachers and parents had a positive influence on the participants’ attitudes.
 

The impact of special education resources and the general and the special education teacher’s competence on pupil mathematical achievement gain in inclusive classrooms

OPITZ, Elisabeth Moser
SCHNEPEL, Susanne
KRÄHENMANN, Helena
JANDL, Sarah
FELDER, Franziska
DESSEMONTET, Rachel Sermier
2020

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Research in inclusive settings is complicated by the nested relationships between the general education teacher (GET), the special education teacher (SET) and pupils. In this study, the impact of SET resource and selected variables of teacher competence (professional mathematical knowledge SET, attitude towards inclusion GET, classroom management GET) on the mathematical achievement gain of typically developing pupils (TYP) and pupils with intellectual disability (ID) was examined. Mathematical achievement was tested at the beginning of the school year (t1) and the end (t2) in 34 inclusive classrooms (sample ID: n = 42; sample TYP n = 525). IQ and gender – and the average mathematical achievement at class level in the sample TYP – were included as control variables. For pupils with ID, hierarchical regression modelling revealed that the mathematical knowledge at t1 explained most of the variance in mathematical achievement gain. For the group TYP, the results of a multi-level analysis showed that mathematical knowledge at t1, IQ and the average mathematical achievement at class level all had a positive effect on mathematical achievement gain. The more hours a SET was present in the classroom, the more the mathematical achievement of the group TYP increased. The other teacher competence variables had no apparent impact.

Pre-Primary and Primary Inclusive Education for Tanzania (PPPIET) – Foundation phase : Desk Review presented by the Task Team February 2020

JUDGE, Emma
August 2020

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The Disability Inclusive Development (DID) consortium is working together on the Pre-Primary and Primary Inclusive Education in Tanzania (PPPIET) programme whose ultimate goal is to foster quality sustainable inclusive education for all children with disabilities (CWD) at scale across Tanzania in mainstream pre-primary and primary government schools.  To achieve this, it aims to support collective, coordinated systems change by establishing an agreed common model of basic inclusive pre-primary and primary education in mainstream government schools, and galvanising significant progress in spreading its systematic implementation for all CWD across Tanzania over six years.

 

This task requires the cooperation of government, civil society and DPOs to achieve real change.  No single organisation or government department can achieve inclusive education on its own.  Cooperation between all government ministries, including education, health, finance and social welfare are key to providing individual support to learners with disabilities.  Pooling the skills and resources, and exchanging learnings to achieve quality inclusive education of children can help all involved.  Working together will build collective commitment and action, not just amongst DID consortium members but also across government, donors, education actors and the private sector. 

 

The first part in this process was for the Task Team to conduct a desk review to establish an overview of the current educational context with regards to children with disabilities, including legislative, policies and practice, inclusive education strategies, disability contexts, cultural perspective, interventions, existing assessment and quality assurance processes, and opportunities and challenges. 

Discussion about inclusive education considering IDA report "What an inclusive, equitable, quality education means to us" and Global Education Monitoring (GEM) report 2020

Hosted by: INTERNATIONAL DISABILITY ALLIANCE (IDA)
July 2020

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A discussion of inclusive education based on Global Education Monitoring (GEM) report: "Inclusion and education: All means all. Global Education Monitoring (GEM) report 2020", published Jun 2020 and IDA report:  "What an inclusive, equitable, quality education means to us", published Mar 2020.

Guidance note 1: Inclusive digital learning

McGEOWN, Julia
BOISSEAU, Sandra
BOHAN-JACQUOT, Sandrine
April 2020

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This guidance is part of a series to provide support during the Covid-19 crisis. The guidance notes include: #1- Inclusive Digital learning; #2 - Teacher resources; and #3 Home support

 

To help with the vast range of information on distance learning, here are some recommendations about helpful resources that are simple to use to complement learning, do not require subscriptions, include resources in a range of languages (used in the context of HI programs), and are free to the user.

 

Ten top tips are given on inclusive digital learning with a focus on children with disabilities with resources to follow

Guidance note 2: Teacher resources

McGEOWN, Julia
BOISSEAU, Sandra
BOHAN-JACQUOT, Sandrine
April 2020

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This guidance is part of a series to provide support during the Covid-19 crisis. The guidance notes include: #1- Inclusive Digital learning; #2 - Teacher resources; and #3 Home support.

 

To help teachers support their students during school closure, and to improve both wellbeing and learning outcomes for girls and boys affected by the COVID 19 crisis, a wide range of resources have been developed.

 

10 tips for teaching children with disabilities during COVID-19 are given with links to various resources.

Ensuring inclusive education during COVID-19

RICHLER, Diane
TESNI, Sian
McGEOWN, Julia
et al
April 2020

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 Practical recommendations and examples for supporting inclusive education approaches in the COVID-19 response, with a particular focus on supporting children and young people with disabilities are presented

Catering for ‘very different kids’: distance education teachers’ understandings of and strategies for student engagement

HARRIS, Lois
DARGUSCH, Joanne
AMES, Kate
BLOOMFIELD, Corey
2020

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Compulsory distance education has always sought to be inclusive, providing educational opportunities for K-12 students unable to attend mainstream, face-to-face schools for medical, geographical, or personal reasons. However, how to effectively engage these diverse learners has remained a perpetual challenge, with a need for further investigation into the nature of student engagement with compulsory school distance contexts and how teachers can best support it. This qualitative study used focus groups (n=2 groups, n=16 participants) to examine teacher definitions and student engagement strategies within eKindy-12 distance education in Queensland, Australia. Categorical analysis was conducted using a priori codes for definitions, focusing on four previously established engagement types (i.e. behavioural, emotional, cognitive, and agentic engagement), and in vivo codes for strategies. Teacher definitions focused strongly on behavioural engagement, but most also contained elements of emotional and cognitive engagement; agentic engagement was only occasionally evidenced via practice descriptions. Teachers described engaging students by: building relationships, creating a safe classroom environment through differentiation, using inclusive technological tools to facilitate interaction and monitor progress, making learning fun and relevant, drawing on school-wide pedagogical frameworks and teaching strategies, and encourage self-regulation. Findings suggest distance education teachers face unique challenges around evidencing engagement and supporting student agency.

What an inclusive, equitable, quality education means to us : report of the International Disability Alliance

INTERNATIONAL DISABILITY ALLIANCE (IDA)
March 2020

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This report is the result of a process aimed at building a cross-disability consensus on strategic recommendations to commonly advocate for the realisation of the rights of all learners to quality, inclusive education, including all learners with disabilities.

 

Through three technical workshops, which included exchanges with consultants, education sector stakeholders, inclusive education allies in particular the IDDC Inclusive Education Task Group, global, regional and national level OPDs, a consensus position was developed on how to best achieve SDG4 in compliance with UNCRPD Article 24.

 

The report calls for an inclusive education system where all learners with and without disabilities learn together with their peers in schools and classes in their community schools, receiving the support they need in inclusive facilities.

 

Representatives of four IDA members formed the technical task team to guide the initiative and its framing of inclusive and equitable quality education. The four members are Inclusion International, the International Federation of Hard of Hearing People, the World Blind Union and the World Federation of the Deaf. While this report is endorsed by the Alliance as a whole, examples used in this report reflect a perspective on the commonly agreed position as illustrated by the four IDA member organisations who engaged actively in the technical task team.

Learning support strategies for learners with neurodevelopmental disorders: Perspectives of recently qualified teachers

YORO, Amarachi J
FOURIE, Jean V
VAN DER MERWE, Martyn
February 2020

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Background: Inclusive education envisages the improvement of the quality of education for all learners. This further implies that schools must adjust all systems of teaching and learning to accommodate all learners regardless of their diverse needs. The reduction of educational inequalities through inclusive practices is aimed at supporting the accomplishment of academic outcomes for all. Learners presenting with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) place specific requirements on teachers, particularly when they find themselves in mainstream classrooms.

 

Objectives: This study focused on the learning support strategies used by recently qualified teachers in accommodating learners with NDDs in mainstream classrooms in the Gauteng province of South Africa.

 

Method: A qualitative approach was used to explore the support strategies used by recently qualified teachers in mainstream classrooms when dealing with learners with NDDs. Purposive sampling was used to select six recently qualified teachers from different mainstream classroom. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews, observations and critical incident reports.

 

Results: The findings revealed that teachers employ a variety of support strategies such as cooperative learning, peer learning, ability grouping, extensive visual aids and curriculum differentiation in an attempt to support learners. The support provided by the teachers was evident in their performance as learners with NDD were able to learn and understand the lessons irrespective for their barrier to learning.

 

Conclusion: Contrary to literature findings that teachers do not support learners with diverse needs because of lack of skills, training and knowledge, this study revealed that recently qualified teachers employ a variety of support strategies to support learners with NDDs. However, it appeared that these support strategies were rather general teaching and learning strategies. More support strategies should be applied to help learners with NDD in the mainstream classroom.

 

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 9, 2020 

Activity bank for disabilities

EDUCATION ABOVE ALL INNOVATION DEVELOPMENT DIRECTORATE
2020

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Since the COVID-19 crisis has been particularly challenging for children with special needs, the Education Above All Innovation Development Directorate (IDD), in collaboration with experts in the field has developed the Activity Bank for Disabilities (ABD), an activity bank for children that require additional and specialized care, in order to support their continued development and learning.

The resources in the ABD have been developed for children with multiple needs. The domains and activities are meant to be chosen, customised and adapted by parents and caregivers depending on the learner needs and abilities. It is recommended that the activities are done under the constant supervision of the caregiver or parent.

Video Storybooks from eKitabu

eKitabu
2020

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eKitabu’s Studio KSL and Studio RSL create Kenyan Sign Language and Rwandan Sign Language videos and video storybooks to support accessible, early grade reading

Teachers’ strategies for enhancing shy children's engagement in oral activities: necessary, but insufficient?

NYBORG, Geir
MJELVE, Liv Heidi
EDWARDS, Anne
CROZIER, W R
2020

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Shy children can present challenges for teachers aiming at inclusive classrooms. Their educational attainments can be lower than their peers, they may have difficulties in adjustment to school and they can be at risk of meeting clinical criteria for social anxiety disorder. One recurrent finding is that they are often quiet across a range of school situations. The study reported here focused on teachers’ strategies to engage shy students in frequently occurring oral activities, such as group work, in elementary school classrooms. Data were gathered through post-observation stimulated-recall interviews with eight teachers who had experience of success with shy students and three focus groups with 11 similarly experienced teachers. The analysis examined teachers’ actions with these children to enhance their visible engagement in activities that require oral participation. The findings suggest that although teachers attended to the psychosocial aspects of student engagement, there was little emphasis on the pedagogic purposes of oral activities with these children. We conclude that more attention should be paid to the academic aspects of oral activities when aiming at inclusion for shy children.

Global education monitoring report, 2020, Latin America and the Caribbean: inclusion and education: all means all

GLOBAL EDUCATION MONITORING REPORT TEAM
LABORATORY OF EDUCATION RESEARCH AND INNOVATION FOR LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN (SUMMA)
UNESCO OFFICE SANTIAGO AND REGIONAL BUREAU FOR EDUCATION IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN (OREALC/UNESCO)
2020

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This regional report on inclusion and education in Latin America and the Caribbean offers a deep dive into the core challenges and key solutions for greater inclusion, in a region characterized for having the largest and most challenging socio-economic inequalities in the world.

In the framework of this report, 29 in-depth case studies from the region covering 8 dimensions of exclusion were prepared. The Report covers access to education of Venezuelan migrants in Colombia and Haitians in Dominican Republic; remoteness in Suriname and Brazil; disability in Nicaragua; girls in Peru and boys in Jamaica; sexual orientation in Mexico and Chile; and youth incarceration in Uruguay. It also explores how the Covid-19 pandemic has further exposed and deepened the disparities that already existed in education.

Chapter 2 analyses the role of legal tools in supporting the development of inclusive education. Chapter 3 addresses governance and finance. Chapter 4 discusses the politically complicated issue of how curricula and learning materials are adapted to the principles of inclusive education. Chapter 5 looks at ways teachers can support the case for inclusion, considers their needs, and examines how well governments help them prepare to meet the inclusion challenge.  Chapter 6 examines school-level factors. Chapter 7 examines communities’ crucial role in achieving inclusive education. After these chapters addressing the main inclusion challenges, Chapter 8 looks at them all through the lens of COVID-19. 

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