Teachers for the future - Teacher development for inclusive education in the Western Balkans

26 May 2011

The Regional report Teachers for the Future prepared for the European Training Foundation (ETF) analyses policies and practices of teacher development for inclusive education in the Western Balkans region against the European trends and the latest international research in the field. The study identified a spread in the region of an overly narrow concept of inclusive education as bringing children and young people with special education needs (SEN) – especially those with disabilities and, less frequently, Roma – into education, usually mainstream schools but sometimes special classes, while there is little reference to the prevalent cultural, linguistic, geographic and socioeconomic reasons for educational disadvantage and exclusion.

With regard to teacher development the problem with such narrowly understood inclusive education is that it is seen to involve special competences and the separate special preparation of teachers, while a number of generic competences identified in the literature as essential for the broader understanding of inclusive education, such as teachers’ reflexivity, remain unaddressed.

The Report identifies as one of the biggest challenges sustaining motivation in those teachers whose deeply held beliefs about the organisation of education and society are threatened by the wider paradigm of inclusive education. A number of recommendations for addressing this and numerous related challenges are made for policy-makers, international agencies, teachers, teacher educators and other revenant players.

Download the full report here.

The Regional report is based on the findings of seven Country studies conducted in the following countries: