This project used global learning about common weaknesses in inclusive education teacher training to develop an alternative approach.
Inclusive education training for teachers is often very limited. In many countries, teachers receive inadequate training on inclusion during their pre-service training. Teachers start their careers largely unaware of learners’ inclusion rights or of the teacher’s responsibility and potential to be inclusive.
Teachers who do learn about inclusive education often do so through short, one-off, in-service courses. Such courses might raise their awareness of inclusion (often with a focus on specific disability issues), but are usually not sufficiently comprehensive to equip teachers with the new skills and confidence they need to change how they work in school and class.
Using evidence from past project evaluations, Norwegian Association for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (NFU) and Norwegian Association of Disabled (NAD) recognised these common problems with teacher training and sought to trial a different approach through its partnership programmes.
With technical support from EENET, the NFU/NAD-funded inclusive education programmes in Zambia and Zanzibar have developed an approach with three key characteristics:
- Teacher training modules are developed and tested collaboratively by the trainers who will deliver them, with support from EENET, rather than being written entirely by an external ‘expert’. The trainers experience, and practise facilitating, participatory training activities so that they can use more learner-centred approaches when training teachers.
- The training modules offer teachers a gradual immersion in inclusive education. The modules build teachers’ knowledge, skills and commitment through a series of short courses that progress from general to more specific topics. The teachers learn through a diverse range of active-learning activities which helps them to use more learner-centred approaches when teaching in their own classrooms.
- Pre-service trainers are involved from the start, to improve the likelihood that the new training resources will be relevant for and taken up by pre-service teacher training institutions.
Briefing paper: ‘Innovation in Inclusive Education Teacher Training. Sharing our Experiences’
This paper answers a lot of frequently asked questions about the training approach. If you have any questions that are not answered by this paper, please contact us.
You can also now read a comprehensive report from the project learning review that took place in 2019.
This project is a collaboration between NAD and EENET.