Policy to promote ICT for inclusion must consider access, entitlements, training, research and monitoring.
The ICT for Inclusion project analysis identified the following critical issues for ICT in education policies:
- bridging the digital divide in order to ensure all learners benefit from ICT as a tool for their learning;
- ICT4I must be seen as a cross-sectoral issue and be considered and visible in all relevant policy fields;
- the availability and take-up of comprehensive and integrated pathways of teacher training in ICT4I is a vital ‘pre-condition’ for any ICT4I initiative;
- the perceived gap between ICT4I-related research findings and evidence and classroom practice;
- the challenge of making meaningful data – both qualitative and quantitative – available for monitoring and informing policy and practice in ICT4I.
These issues are fully discussed in the ICT4I project summary report.
The vision of a more equitable education system requires teachers who are equipped with the competences to meet a range of diverse needs.
Teacher education for inclusion – equipping all teachers to meet the increasingly diverse needs of learners – makes a major contribution to a range of policy issues, including addressing educational disadvantage and early school leaving, raising achievement and breaking down barriers experienced by vulnerable groups.
The Teacher Education for Inclusion (TE4I) Agency project identified four core values as the basis for the necessary competences for teachers working in inclusive education:
- valuing pupil diversity
- supporting all learners
- working with others
- continuing personal professional development
During the European Hearing organised by the Agency in co-operation with the Luxembourg Presidency of the European Union in 2015, the young delegates discussed about the importance of ‘Breaking down stereotypes’.
They highlighted that if we accept that everybody is different, then who is ‘normal’? Good information is required, among others about anti-discrimination and anti-bullying, to ensure this important idea is accepted. Relevant information needs to be addressed to teachers, school staff – including management – classmates, families and any services involved in the school, in order to change attitudes.
The best result will be mutual respect and tolerance. Diversity is not a challenge, but a positive and normal situation; disability is not abnormal; tolerance is based on understanding each other. They highlighted that attitudes need to change to be considered for what they CAN do and not for their disability.
For more information on the European Hearing entitled ‘Inclusive Education: Take Action! Luxembourg Recommendations’, visit the event’s web area.