Start date: Sep 1, 2014,
End date: Aug 31, 2017
Already in October 2008, the European Commission decided on promoting a strategy aiming at the active inclusion of people most excluded from the labour market.
This has, until the very day, profound consequences for the organisation of schools, curricula and teaching as well as learning strategies, leaving a true challenge for schools. To enable every student, above all the most disadvantaged, to fully participate in society, including having a job, schools must develop educational approaches and programmes that lead to a general inclusive policy at schools.
This calls for a 5-dimensional approach in realising the successful implementation of inclusive teaching and learning as being aimed at in 'INCORPORATED' : Teachers (dimension 1/D1), learners (dimension 2/D2), non-educational staff and/or institutions (dimension 3/D3) and schoolboards/political decision makers (dimension 4/D4). All of the participants involved (D1-D4) have to develop a broader understanding of practices, policies and systems in training and education for reinforced interaction between them (D1-4). Apart from that the communicative culture between the educational system and the business sector calls for intensification (D5). What are the expectations on behalf of companies with regard to competences of their trainees especially SEN students? What can schools do to support disadvantaged students to improve their future job prospects? What kind of joint actions are possible between schools, extracurricular organisations and the business sector in this field?
Teachers and learners (D1/2) likewise have to understand differences among learners as a normal part in the educational culture, and to create an atmosphere of motivation, commitment and satisfaction in daily work. This can only be realized when pedagogical methods and educational materials meet the individual needs of every student through individualized diagnostics, assessment and counselling by increasing the quality of education and training for the most disadvantaged. Therefore teachers need advanced training in this field to continuously develop professionally and to meet the demands of inclusive teaching and learning scenarios.
Moreover students have to understand and accept differences among them as a normal part in the educational culture. This can only be realized when schools put more focus on the development of social competences in the everyday educational culture at schools. Not only students wit special educational needs profit from an inclusive approach then, by fully participating in school life, including getting a school-leaving diploma and having better job prospects, but “normal” students learn a greater understanding and responsiveness to social diversity and actively participate in society as mature citizens.
On the other hand we need a different learning atmosphere being defined by co-operation, teamwork – an improved interaction between teachers and learners, between practice and policy (D3/4) in the educational field and a high level of communication in the single school (in lessons, in internal organisation of school practice), but above all outside the classroom (school boards, political levels, extracurricular educational institutions and organizations) as well. Political decisionmakers and the administrative sphere being occupied with managing and strategic planning of the educational sector have to be involved more deeply in the operative everyday processes of schools. They need to understand what kind of problems and consequences schools have to face according to the decisionn for establishing a general inclusive policy at schools. They need to understand the steps taken by schools, by teachers, by students and by specially trained staff to meet the demands of such a policy and how they can support the taken measures (more) effectively. Moreover especially teachers and politicians have to gain a better understanding of the demands of a business sector (D5) and what they can do better to meet the demands especially with regard to enabling students, above all the most disadvantaged, to fully participate in the world of work.
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