Country information for Greece - Teacher education for inclusive education
A series of legislative measures defines the framework for the education and qualifications of educators.
Initial teacher training
Initial training for primary and secondary education teachers falls under the Higher Education University sector. All teachers in primary education, including kindergarten and elementary school, and secondary education hold at least a first cycle degree (Law 4589/2019 came into force in school year 2019–2020 with regard to conditions of service and terms of employment).
All teachers who provide support to learners with disabilities on an individualised basis (parallel support, inclusive classes, teachers who work in special schools or in the Centres for Educational and Counselling Support – KESY) have special education qualifications. This is explicitly defined in Law 3699/2008, article 16. It refers to high standards of qualifications, i.e. academic qualifications (MA or PHD) or relevant teaching experience (at least five years’ in-service teaching in Special Education). Mainstream teachers also acquire qualifications on individualised support for learners with disabilities and inclusive education through Master’s degrees, training seminars and distance learning programmes provided by universities and other certified institutions. Training of teachers in modified forms of communication is considered an additional qualification for placement in special school units for learners with autism. In addition, in recent years, there has been a distinct tendency to enrich the BA teaching syllabi for all teachers with material concerning learners with disabilities and inclusive education.
Continuing professional development
In-service training is provided in the form of various educational programmes implemented by educational bodies on approval of the Ministry of Education.
The main education bodies are:
The Institute of Educational Policy
The Institute of Educational Policy (IEP) is the operational scientific body that supports the Ministry of Education and its supervised entities in ensuring equal access to education for all learners. It deals with matters concerning:
- primary, secondary and post-secondary education;
- the transition from secondary to tertiary education;
- teacher training;
- tackling school drop-out, (defined by Law 4547, article 53).
In order to fulfil its mission, IEP is responsible, among other things, for:
- training primary, secondary and post-secondary education teachers;
- systematically reviewing matters related to planning, implementing and developing the educational policy on teacher training and other relevant actions;
- designing a national strategy for teacher training and monitoring its implementation.
The IEP has implemented teacher training programmes for several years. There are teacher training seminars on new accessible educational material and on differentiated instruction for special education teachers, counsellors and professionals working at the evaluation and support services. A ‘Training on Supporting Students with Differentiated Teaching Practices’ programme involves the development of a Register of Teacher Trainers. The goal is to train 22,000 mainstream teachers in both primary and secondary education.
Regional Centres for Educational Planning (PEKES)
Among other things, Regional Centres for Educational Planning (PEKES):
- support teachers in their work;
- organise training programmes (including in-service training) on contemporary scientific, pedagogical, teaching and evaluation matters;
- promote sharing of good practices among schools and teachers;
- design co-operation programmes among schools, Centres for Educational and Counselling Support (KESYs), Sustainability Educational Centres (KEAs) and higher education institutions in their area;
- support planning of and self-reflection on schools’ educational work at regional level.
In this context, teachers receive in-service training from PEKES’ Co-ordinators of Educational Matters on issues of inclusive education as formally defined in Law 4547/2018. They also receive organised training meetings on differentiated pedagogy (Ministerial Decision 158733/GD4/24-09-2018, par. 3, article 3, GG 4299 B/2018).
A ‘Training the Co-ordinators of Pedagogical Task of PEKES’ Partnership Agreement Programme was implemented during 2018–2019. It aimed to enhance the capacity of stakeholders to provide teacher training with an inclusive focus. It involved a three-day seminar/workshop for PEKES Co-ordinators and KESY staff on issues of pedagogy, including differentiated/adapted pedagogy.
Last updated 07/02/2020