Instructional Collaboration in International Inclusive Education Contexts: Volume 17
Table of contents(16 chapters)
While the chapters in this book present insights on collaborative instructional practices from a cross section of international perspectives, this introductory chapter frames a commentary for the following chapters. The work of instructional collaborative practices internationally shifts the responsibility from the deficits within the student to the instructional decisions made as teachers, as well as policies, procedures, and decisions made by educational institutions. We highlight influential scholars whose work can inform the inclusive and collaborative instructional practices occurring worldwide. As teacher educators, we conclude that a collaborative approach to instruction empowers teachers with the knowledge that they have the ability, given a little ingenuity, to include students regardless of the unique learning needs they may present. Further, we examine sociopolitical current trends which support and constrain the work of collaborative inclusive practice in the field. Finally, we provide an overview of the chapters to come, all of which provide evidence for the need to invest in and cultivate collaborative instructional practices for the benefit of all students.
Inclusive education can be viewed as an ongoing active process or journey that is impacted by changes in policy, practices, and values (Anderson & Boyle, 2020). This “journey toward inclusion” is not always an easy undertaking, but rather a progression that requires modification to systems, structures, and functioning in schools. Nauru, a small Pacific republic situated in the Micronesian central Pacific Ocean, has worked in partnership with Australian education providers since 2011 to improve educational learning experiences for all Nauruan students. More recently, initiatives by the Nauru Government resulted in the commissioning of a national project to develop a Nauru policy on inclusive education and also to deliver professional development for teachers that would be needed to support inclusion. Inclusive education staff at the University of England, Australia, guided the development of the project which culminated in the Nauru Inclusive Education Policy and Guidelines (2017) (Page, 2018). From this policy, a series of workshops were delivered on unpacking the policy directions, guidelines, and roles and responsibilities for teaching staff in Nauru. This chapter describes the university staff who are working in collaboration with Nauruan teachers in order to develop their capacity to create inclusive classrooms. In doing so, we embraced approaches that incorporated culturally responsive practices into our work, using the framework of Ekereri (educational approaches that embody the core values of Nauruan culture) into our practices. With this chapter, we hope to further the understanding of how contextual factors influence the collaboration and implementation of educational partnerships between culturally distinctive groups of people.
Using Collaborative Instructional Approaches to Prepare Competent Inclusive Education Student Teachers
The remarkable achievements being promoted through inclusive education practices make the deficiencies associated with educational exclusion all the more noticeable. Despite many schools adopting the philosophy of inclusion, avoidable educational exclusion of students with special needs still persists in educational systems worldwide. This is because the preparation of competent teachers to respond to variations in student populations in schools is very difficult to achieve. A major reason for this difficulty is that most student education programs fail to nurture collaborative instructional practice culture in student teachers, which can enable them to work well with others to teach all students. Utilizing the status, certainty, autonomy, relatedness, and fairness (SCARF) model developed by David Rock, this chapter contributes to existing knowledge on student teacher development by theorizing and offering practical ways to enact collaborative instructional practices in inclusive education. The chapter addresses this issue by reporting student teachers' experiences in a course unit on inclusive education in one Australian university that adopted a collaborative instructional practice, deepening their understanding and practice of inclusion.
This chapter aims to shed light on some aspects of instructional collaboration with the purpose of providing further understanding of how teachers collaborate and what hinders their collaboration in Saudi inclusive and mainstream schools. Instructional collaboration among teachers in Saudi educational settings has not been thoroughly reviewed, nor has it been adequately considered as an essential component in assuring the implementation of inclusive education. The voice of two special education teachers and two college professors are presented and discussed in order to explain and clarify aspects of instructional collaboration. The last part of the chapter delineates proposed changes that may motivate teachers and aid them in developing a clear understanding of how to practice instructional collaboration in inclusive and mainstream settings, namely, provision of professional development for special and general education teachers, endorsement of legislation and regulations to promote instructional collaboration, and development of teacher education programs.
Collaboration Is the Key – The Role of Special Educators in Inclusive Schools in Germany
Inclusive education is about creating beneficial environments for all students (Booth & Ainscow, 2011). Within Germany, the role of special education within inclusive schools has been widely discussed (Powell et al., 2016). Educators worldwide consider collaborative teaching between special educators and general educators to be a fundamental precondition for inclusive education (Hoppey & McLeskey, 2014).
The history of the German school system, however, is characterized by a rigorous division of special and regular schools that is reflective of broad divisions in teacher education. Since the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in Germany in 2009, more students with special educational needs, as well as special educators, have begun to attend and work in inclusive schools. While cooperation between general and special educators is a key to the development of inclusive schools, many teachers report that responsibilities are divided between special and general teachers, while various challenges exist regarding cooperation (Urban & Lütje-Klose, 2014). Nevertheless, dysfunctional cooperation can foster mechanisms of separation and exclusion even in “inclusive” settings (Idel et al., 2019).
The present chapter offers a reflection on the different roles of special educators and the current state of research on interdisciplinary and multiprofessional cooperation in inclusive schools in Germany. It also provides a discussion of relevant implications for the development of inclusive schools and teacher training.
Social Innovation through Collaboration for Enabling Educational Inclusive EcoSystems: Following Italy's Lead
This chapter aims to investigate how a range of emerging trends within the international community can be used to build a connective educational ecosystem based on an inclusive and universal process (Biggeri et al., 2017; Ziegler, 2017). The starting question is: how multidisciplinary teams in Italy could take action toward inclusive education?
Partnering is becoming a central system organization strategy for schools to adopt for successful innovative teams with creative educational ideas (Kelly et al., 2002), and here it is declined in the Italian context in which inclusive education was officially embraced in 1977 as a national policy (D'Alessio, 2011). National legislation (104/92 Law) made explicit the mandate that students with disabilities receive their education (to the maximum extent possible) with nondisabled peers in the general education classroom using appropriate supplemental aids and services in the least-restrictive environment (Anastasiou et al., 2015; Canevaro & de Anna, 2010).
It is crucial to encourage new forms of practice which require collaboration capabilities (Hattie, 2015; Vangrieken et al., 2015) between multidisciplinary teams that comprised general teachers, special education teachers, health professionals, school psychologists, school leaders, and the students' family (Meirink et al., 2010). These resources could be distributed across inclusive ecosystems to support all students by enabling them to prosper in an increasingly diversified and complex environment in which creativity, ability to innovate, entrepreneurship, and a commitment to continuous learning are joint and connective (EU, 2008). This creates a state of positive multiagency collaboration that promotes the well-being of students and the system.
Collaboration in Context: Instructional Coaching to Support Inclusive Classrooms, an American Perspective
Changes in American public education can be linked to wider social movements. New policies and practices have historically emanated from a variety of social problems such as racism and the marginalization and exclusion of populations of children who differ by ability, economic class, and ethnic heritage. In the era of a global pandemic (COVID-19), the authors embrace the context of civil unrest in the United States as it directly relates to the factors necessary to build effective collaborative relationships in public institutions shaped by history and culture. In this chapter, we position school inclusion in the United States as an issue of social justice. In sharing our positionality and professional experiences as educators, we discuss instructional coaching as a collaborative lever to support inclusion in American classrooms. Our experiences, combined with the literature, serve as evidence that the formation of deeply meaningful professional relationships rooted in authentic empathy may serve as a powerful collaborative action to transform unjust structures. These relationships as actions in and of themselves, thus, form a psychological foundation (community consciousness) needed to effect positive change. The chapter is organized into three sections that examine instructional coaching for inclusion on marcopolicy, mezzo-academic, and microsituational levels. The chapter ends with a call to action applicable to PK–12 educators and leaders, as well as instructors and professors in teacher preparation programs.
The Collaborative Partnership between Teachers and Occupational Therapists in Public Special Schools in South Africa
With the advent of democratic government in South Africa in 1994, the government has been making strides toward ensuring that education is accessible to all, including children with disabilities. The South African Constitution, under the Bill of Rights, alludes to the fact that the government has the responsibility to ensure that education is accessible and all are given the necessary support. The Department of Basic Education has developed a variety of legislation, policies, and guidelines to improve the inclusion of children with disabilities in schools. The launch of Education White Paper 6: Building an Inclusive Education and Training System: Special Needs Education, 2001, further led to the development of several policies, strategies, guidelines, and interventions in order to support the development of an inclusive education and training system. The objective of education White Paper 6 is to build an inclusive education system in the country. This requires stakeholders with various relevant expertise to work as teams in order to make education accessible and offer support to those learners with barriers to learning in classrooms. Collaboration between teachers and occupational therapists in a classroom is seen as vital.
Inclusive Education in Lesotho and the Current Challenges in Implementing It through Instructional Collaboration
The pursuit of promoting inclusive education is rippling across Africa, and governments are working hard to ensure that all students are in schools and receive quality education, especially with the impetus of the Sustainable Development Goals. The importance of providing education to all children is essential, and collaboration is necessary. Collaboration between different professionals enhances the learning outcomes of all children through better identification, assessment, and appropriate placements. Lesotho is one example of countries that strive to provide all children with equal access to education, including those with disabilities. Although children with disabilities are sent to schools in Lesotho, teachers face challenges in teaching those students, which underscores the need for instructional collaboration between available special needs education professionals. This chapter describes inclusive education in Lesotho and provides an overview of the challenges related to implementing it through a multidisciplinary special education team. Finally, the chapter concludes that collaboration in teaching all students should be pursued by Lesotho to ensure sharing of ideas and building of relationships for the success of inclusive education.
Education of Children with Disabilities in Cambodia: Trends, Collaborations, and Challenges
Cambodia has been listed among the countries with the highest rates of people with disabilities. From the end of the civil war in 1979, various nongovernment organizations and government agencies have actively worked to provide not only rehabilitation services to the victims of landmines and combats, but also special education services to children with disabilities. This chapter aims to disclose the trends, collaborations, and challenges in the implementation of special education and inclusive education in Cambodia. Secondary data such as scholarly journals, reports, and legal documents were collected through a search of the databases of the Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC), Science Direct, Google Scholar, and the websites of related organizations. The analysis of the literature was carried out by focusing on various themes, including the support services for people with disabilities, special education and inclusive education in Cambodia, collaborations, and professionals in the domain of special education and inclusive education, as well as the laws and policies for people with disabilities. To date, Cambodia continues to have limited capacity to implement various legal provisions and collaborations among professionals. The inclusive education notion that prevails in the Cambodian context remains rudimentary. Furthermore, various emerging barriers hinder the implementation of the inclusive education system.
The Government of Indonesia has started committing to promoting inclusive education since the release of the Minister of National Education of Indonesia's Regulation Number 70 of 2009, which focuses on discussing inclusive education. Indonesia has been facing some challenges with implementing inclusive education, including teachers' attitudes and skills, community acceptance, and support systems. However, considerable efforts have been made by related parties to implement this type of education. Besides issuing regulations, the government has produced and developed many programs regarding inclusive education. School members, professionals, and therapists work hand in hand to help special needs children in an inclusive school setting. Furthermore, the community has played its role as advisors, supporters, controllers, and mediators of the lives of children with special needs. At last, international organizations have been taking part in programs dedicated to inclusive education in Indonesia. It is hoped that all these collaborations will highly benefit the implementation of this education system.
Improvements in special education and the implementation of inclusive education are a significant focus in Myanmar. Legislation toward these goals was officially enacted in the National Education Law, which was amended in 2015. While the Ministry of Education has adopted a policy of inclusive education, which states that all students with disabilities could attend mainstream school classes, classroom settings are not adequately equipped to support students with disabilities. The Department of Social Welfare does not have an inclusive education program. The department's role is to support the training of schools as a part of special education for such students, providing primary special education via different teaching methods and appropriate therapies for students with disabilities. After students pass the primary education exam, they can join middle school, high school, and higher education levels of inclusive education, which run under the Ministry of Education. All special schools in Myanmar focus their different occupational therapies on enhancing students' physical and mental capabilities and collaborating with outside professionals in relevant areas. The Ministry of Education aims to develop the knowledge and skills of teacher educators and teachers, so they can effectively adopt more inclusive teaching practices. Currently, Myanmar's basic education reforms are being carried out through the National Education Strategic Plan (2016–2021). The ministry is currently working to implement a new 4-year pre-service degree program as well as the Basic Education School Quality Assurance Standards Framework. Such a movement to enhance the quality of teachers became a bridge to collaborate between inclusive and special education within two ministries.
According to the revised School Education Act enacted in April 2007, special needs schools in Japan are to provide education for enrolled students as well as any necessary advice or assistance requested by local kindergartens, elementary, junior high, and other schools so that they may educate students who require special educational support. This means that special needs schools must take on the role of special needs education (SNE) centers in the community. Specific assistance that can enhance SNE at elementary, junior high, or other schools, such as promoting understanding of students with disabilities, providing specialized guidance in the form of educational content and methods, and establishing a school support system, may be obtained from special needs schools. In elementary, junior high, and other schools, the number of faculty members and state of facilities and equipment are not always sufficient, and each school has limited support. Therefore, collaboration with special needs schools and medical and welfare institutions is important. This chapter provides a brief overview of the current SNE system in Japan and introduces the roles of SNE coordinators, current issues facing the system, and future perspectives of collaboration to better serve SNE.
Different strategies for expanding access to education of children with special needs (CSNs) are being implemented in the Philippines. With the existing definitions, policies, and programs for the country's inclusive education, collaboration between stakeholders will serve as a vital component in achieving a more inclusive environment. Specifically, the journey of CSNs toward full inclusion will depend on the available professional services, easy access to these services, and the mechanisms to address conflicts that may arise in accessing these services. This chapter provides a critical reflection on the impact of existing policies, culture, and practices on the collaborations of professionals and other stakeholders of inclusive education. Additionally, a model of collaboration is proposed in this chapter based on the stakeholders' experiences, accomplishments, issues, and challenges in providing inclusive education to CSNs including the future perspectives on ensuring a more inclusive environment.
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- International Perspectives on Inclusive Education
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- Emerald Publishing Limited
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