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Teacher education for inclusion

Chris Forlin
Special Education, Edith Cowan University
Debate on the need for teacher education, at both preservice and inservice levels, to focus more closely on the skills required to include children with special needs into regular classrooms, continues to be at the foreground. With the increasing change in philosophy that has resulted in greater inclusion of students with disabilities in regular classes, there is continued concern that pedagogical changes are not adequately addressing this paradigm shift in education. There is also concern that teacher education continues to separate training into a dual teaching approach that caters for either 'regular' or 'special' class children and that this is not appropriately meeting the needs of teachers.

To commence serious debate on these issues and to look at addressing them in education courses, an initial forum was held at ECU in November 2002. Thirty-six people, including teachers, administrators, parents, teacher educators and representatives from various disability groups had an initial meeting to discuss essential components of teacher education for inclusion.

This presentation will report the outcomes from that Forum, focusing on the six key themes that emerged, namely, support, collaboration, knowledge of disability, attitudes and beliefs, classroom structure and organisation, and classroom practice. It is anticipated that this will inform further discussion on teacher education for greater diversity including children with a range of other special needs. Delegates are invited to be active participants in this interactive session.

Please cite as: Forlin, C. (2003). Teacher education for inclusion. In Partners in Learning. Proceedings of the 12th Annual Teaching Learning Forum, 11-12 February 2003. Perth: Edith Cowan University. http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2003/abstracts/forlin-abs.html


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Last revision: 13 Jan 2003. This URL: http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2003/abstracts/forlin-abs.html