To make inclusive education a reality, all teachers must be able to support all learners. Teachers should be aware of the vision for inclusive education and their role in achieving it. Policy frameworks for developing inclusive education systems should therefore include teacher professional learning (TPL) for inclusion.
The Teacher Professional Learning for Inclusion (TPL4I) project aims to identify the essential policy elements needed to prepare all teachers to include all learners.
Within the project, the term ‘teacher professional learning’ covers the full TPL continuum, from initial teacher education through to continuing professional development, including induction and in-school learning opportunities.
The project is concerned with all teachers in early, primary, secondary, vocational and adult education, as well as teacher educators, and specialists collaborating with classroom or subject teachers. It is also concerned with all learners, including those of migrant, refugee or disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds, those with disabilities and non-native language speakers.
The project started in 2018 and will conclude in 2021.
The TPL4I project aims to suggest a policy framework for preparing all teachers to include all learners. It aims to answer the following questions:
- What current policy priorities for TPL can be identified in international and European-level documents and in the research literature?
- What national policy frameworks for TPL are in place in participating Agency member countries and how are these situated within different national contexts (i.e. within ministries, qualifications agencies, professional bodies, etc.)?
- What policy elements/frameworks are needed to prepare all teachers to include all learners?
- What policy priorities for TPL for inclusion need further investigation at European level?
Phase 1 (2018–2020)
The first phase of the TPL4I project involved 26 Agency member countries in an exploration and analysis of national policies on TPL for inclusion. In the project’s first phase, it produced:
- a literature review on international policy for TPL for inclusion and research policy recommendations;
- policy mapping grids outlining countries’ policy information on TPL for inclusion;
- a policy self-review tool for TPL for inclusion based on the initial mapping grid;
- a project synthesis report summarising policy development in Europe;
- a methodology report describing the approach behind the TPL4I work;
- a final summary report covering phase 1 findings.
Phase 2 (2021)
Phase 1 of the TPL4I project found that the Agency’s Profile of Inclusive Teachers (2012) remains a useful tool for TPL policy development. The Profile highlights the essential core values of initial teacher education and competence areas for inclusive teachers. Its use can be expanded to cover the full continuum of TPL for inclusion opportunities and to inform related policy discussions.
In 2021, a new activity will investigate the application of the Profile’s core values and competence areas across the TPL for inclusion continuum. Activities will include:
- a short questionnaire sent to countries, exploring their needs, barriers and experiences with the Profile;
- a cluster activity inviting four countries to consider the Profile’s core values and competence areas, and its relevance for teachers at different stages of the profession, among interdisciplinary groups of education professionals and for collaborative learner support in inclusive education;
- an analysis of the cluster activity, contributing to a revised Profile that will be circulated to countries for feedback and input.