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Reaching out to all learners: a resource pack for supporting inclusive education

Tools

Description

The ‘Training tools for curriculum development’ resource pack provides a framework to support the development of inclusive schools and classrooms. It provides guidance to support teachers on how to engage all learners.

Beneficiaries

National policymakers, curriculum specialists and developers, teachers, teacher educators, school leaders and district-level administrators.

Countries

Country/ies or organisation that developed the tool

International Bureau of Education (UNESCO)

Date of creation of toolkit and periodicity of updates

2016. No updates.

Purpose of the toolkit

The series ‘Training tools for curriculum development’ provides a comprehensive guidance to support countries’ education and curriculum reforms and development process.

The tool aims at assisting countries in promoting inclusion and fostering greater fairness through policies and practices, influencing and supporting inclusive thinking at all levels of the education system. 

Description of each of the tools

The tool is a resource pack containing 3 interconnected guides:

  • Guide 1. Reviewing national policies – this guide provides a framework for reviewing national policies in order to create a policy context fostering more inclusive schools and classrooms. It comprises:
    • a definition of inclusive education and what inclusive schools should aim at
    • a national review framework, comprising 16 performance indicators organised around 4 overlapping dimensions (1. concepts, 2. policy, 3. structures and systems, and 4. practices) which can be used to determine the stage of development of an education system
    • a set of 4 readings explaining each of the dimensions of the framework. These are summaries of international research which provide the evidence basis used to design the framework
  • Guide 2. Leading inclusive school development - this guide supports head teachers and other senior staff in reviewing and developing their schools, in order to make them more inclusive. It focuses on organisational change and the role of leadership, and comprises:
    • a definition of inclusive education
    • 8 inclusion indicators to be used as a framework for reviewing a school (for each indicator, a set of questions is asked)
    • workshop material to be used in school-based workshops, in order to encourage participants to think about their school and determine the needed changes. There is one set of material for each indicator and 3 elements for each set:
      • readings summarising key ideas from international research
      • accounts of practice, that is stories of schools in relation to the indicator
      • issues for discussion, to encourage those in leadership positions to think about actions to support improvement efforts
  • Guide 3. Developing inclusive classrooms – this guide aims at supporting teachers in developing more effective ways to engage all students in their lessons. It comprises:
    • a definition of inclusive education
    • 8 classroom indicators to help teachers review their own classroom practices (for each indicator, a set of questions is asked)
    • workshop materials:
      • readings, based on experiences and research in different parts of the world
      • activities, that is ways of organising workshops for staff, proposing a step-by-step approach
      • issues for discussion, to encourage the sharing of ideas
  • Appendix comprising:
    • a rating scale with 16 performance indicators, used to review the national development of the education system
    • a rating scale to assess the school’s stage of development through 8 indicators

Type of indicators used in the identification of learners at risk of early leaving

This section includes the most relevant indicators to identify students at risk of early school leaving.

Indicators for policymakers

The national review framework comprises a list of indicators on inclusive education, including among other:

  • Systems are in place to monitor the presence, participation and achievement of all students within the education system.
    • Are there effective systems for collecting statistical data regarding the presence, participation and achievement of all students?
    • Is data analysed in order to determine the impact of efforts to foster greater inclusion?
    • Are actions taken in the light of data analysis to strengthen inclusive practices?
  • There is high quality support for vulnerable groups of students.
    • Are there effective systems to identify vulnerable groups of students?
    • Are there flexible arrangements to ensure that support is available to individuals as/when necessary?
    • Are families seen as partners in supporting the students’ education?
  • Schools have strategies for encouraging the presence, participation and achievement of all students from their local communities.
    • Do teachers use a range of teaching techniques to cater for learning differences?
    • Are there effective procedures to take into account the students’ views on school practices?
  • Schools provide support to students vulnerable to marginalisation, exclusion and underachievement.
    • Are teachers skilled in assessing the progress of individual students?
    • Do teachers (and other school staff) cooperate in supporting individual students?
    • Do teachers (and other school staff) take into account the cultures, interests, and aspirations of all their students, in order to enhance their learning?
    • Do staff, in schools and other learning centres, work closely with families to ensure support for the students?

Indicators for school leaders

Guide 2 comprises a list of indicators including among other:

  • There are high expectations for all students.
    • Do all students feel they’re expected to succeed?
    • Are all students’ achievements celebrated?
  • There is a partnership between staff and families.
    • Is communication between families and the school effective?
    • Do parents feel they are involved in supporting their children’s learning?
  • The school monitors the presence, participation and achievement of all students.
    • Are there systems to check the students’ school attendance?
    • Are students offered opportunities to comment on how it feels to be a member of the school?
    • Are the progress and achievements of every student tracked?

Indicators for teachers

Guide 3 comprises a list of indicators among which:

  • Support is provided when students experience difficulties.
    • Does the teacher keep an eye out for students experiencing difficulties?
    • Do students feel like they can ask for help?
  • Classroom discipline is based on mutual respect.
    • Are there established rules to take turns in speaking and listening?
    • Do students feel that classroom rules are fair?
    • Is bullying discouraged?
  • Students feel that they have somebody to speak to when they’re worried or upset.
    • Are students’ concerned listened to?
    • Do teachers make themselves available for students to talk to them privately?

Type of guidance given to users

To policymakers:

  • It recommends the formation of a national strategy group, encompassing different stakeholders, to review the national development on inclusive education within the education system, and score the indicators on the rating scale to identify strengths and weaknesses.
  • It suggests that the readings can be used to stimulate further discussion within the group as to what actions should be recommended to address weaknesses.
  • Guides 2 and 3 are provided as resources to support such actions.

To school leaders:

  • It recommends using a participatory orientation, called ‘action learning’, through the creation of action learning sets, whose members work on solving problems through cycles of action and reflection.
  • It recommends the lead teacher, other senior colleagues, and if possible someone from outside the school (e.g. inspector, leader of another school, university lecturer, etc.), to carry out an initial review of the school’s stage of development in relation to the 8 indicators.
  • It proposes to use workshop materials in a flexible way, in order to make school more inclusive.

To teachers:

  • It proposes to use Guide 3 as a basis for school-based workshops, in order to develop ideas on how to make practices more inclusive and monitor professional development.

Source of information of the different tools

International Bureau of Education (UNESCO)

Link/s to the toolkit and further information

Related intervention approaches

Downloads

Resource pack for supporting inclusive education