Teachers for All: Inclusive Teaching for Children with Disabilities

This paper discusses recommendations for the provision of teachers who are sufficiently trained and motivated to include children with disabilities (and children from other marginalised groups) in regular schools.

  • In order to develop the skills, experience and confidence to be inclusive of all children, teachers need to learn about and practise inclusive education during pre‑service and in-service training, and they need to be given opportunities for continuing professional development (which extends beyond simply attending training courses) throughout their careers.

 

  • Governments and donors need to strengthen investments in educational improvement, and prioritise improving the educational opportunities of marginalised children and communities.

 

  • Policy-makers and trainers responsible for developing and delivering teacher training and for recruiting teachers need to understand inclusive education and its importance in any drive for educational improvement. They need to grasp the concept of inclusive education as a twin-track approach which can improve the quality of education for all yet also provide specialised support where needed for children with disabilities.

 

  • Every teacher needs to learn about inclusive education, from day one of their training. This should be achieved by embedding inclusion, rights and equality throughout all training and not simply covering these issues through stand-alone courses.

 

  • Every teacher also needs opportunities for inclusive education practicum during their training, and to feel supported (for instance by specialist colleagues) to continue trying new ideas throughout their employment. There needs to be an effective balance of theoretical and practical learning for teachers at pre‑service and in‑service stages.

 

  • Inclusive education training and continuous professional development need to be designed and delivered with inputs from diverse stakeholders, in particular community members and professionals with disabilities, to give a stronger sense of reality to teachers’ learning experiences.

 

  • The teaching workforce needs to be more diverse, and targeted efforts are needed to ensure that people with disabilities can train as teachers, find work and be supported in their jobs.

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