Why do teachers assign projects

Monitor teacher education

1. Specify the understanding of inclusion and implement it in the teacher training course!

Both the term “inclusion” and the goals associated with the implementation of inclusion must be defined more precisely and explicitly than before. Inclusion should not be reduced to the heterogeneity dimension of the disability, but it includes all individual development needs, be it linguistic deficits or specific needs due to giftedness. Student teachers have to develop a basic pedagogical understanding that the child is the focus of their work and that the involvement of all students in a common lesson is a matter of course.

The determination of the training content requires the definition of the necessary values ​​and competencies of prospective teachers - these in turn are derived from the requirements in an inclusive school system. Inclusion concepts and measures to be tested must be built on and developed on the basis of a nationwide uniform understanding.

Practical example
Project Teacher Education for Inclusion (TE4I)
This project by the European Agency for Development in Special Needs Education (EA) defined specific competences, attitudes, knowledge and skills that all teachers need for their work in inclusive schools. The results are intended to serve as guidelines for the design and implementation of initial training programs.

"Inclusion is becoming normal in Germany too, most teachers will teach children with special needs. Inclusion goes beyond that. All children need a learning environment in which they get exactly the support they need for their development. This extended We should anchor the term inclusion in the study curricula of all types of teaching post. "

Dr. Jörg Dräger, Member of the Executive Board of the Bertelsmann Foundation

2. Approach change pragmatically and courageously!

The introduction of inclusion means a fundamental paradigm shift for the German school system. This process must be consciously designed and accompanied. Since prospective teachers now have to be prepared for inclusion immediately, it is not possible to wait a few years for scientifically founded effectiveness studies.

For a transition phase, which must now begin with all its might, pragmatic action is required first. The actors involved should be given the space they need to try out innovative ideas and approaches in teacher training. If necessary, international experiences offer transferable suggestions. Research is necessary in order to evaluate and optimize the impact of implemented initiatives. It must sensibly take place as an accompanying measure, so that in the next few years it will be scientifically examined which forms of inclusive teacher training best lead to the development of necessary values ​​and competencies. In the federal-state agreement on the “teacher training quality offensive”, the “further development of teacher training with regard to the requirements of heterogeneity and inclusion” is explicitly named as a program objective alongside other aspects1 and in the first round of approval there are several projects that focus on these aspects2. This is an indication that projects related to inclusion should receive more support.

Practical example
Teaching qualification with integrated special needs education plus advanced master's degree "Teaching qualification for special needs education"
At the University of Siegen there are currently two types of teacher training courses with integrated special education. These courses of study are characterized by two special features: On the one hand, the students attend events in the context of educational sciences with a content-related focus on “emotional and social development” and “learning”. On the other hand, after completing the ten-semester teacher training course with integrated special needs pedagogy, students can complete a two-semester further education master’s degree in “Teaching for special needs education”, which concludes with the additional acquisition of a teaching qualification for special needs education.

"Unfortunately, in practice there is still this assumption that there is a model or concept that works in every class. There is still the idea that something like a uniform framework for how inclusion works can be developed. Inclusion, of course, looks from it Classroom to classroom varies depending on which children and young people you have in the class, which learning needs, skills and strengths, but also which framework conditions for the design of learning you encounter. Last but not least, the implementation of inclusion also depends on which ones Competencies that teachers have to work with the unpredictable conditions. "

Prof. in Dr. Kerstin Merz-Atalik, Professor of Education for Disabilities and Disadvantage / Inclusion, Ludwigsburg University of Education

3. Prepare teacher trainers for teaching inclusion!

The current restructuring also means that teacher trainers must be qualified for appropriate inclusion-oriented teaching. University lecturers and the teaching staff already employed at the schools must therefore be trained and qualified accordingly, for example through further education master’s courses. All training, further education and training should convey a broad didactic and methodical repertoire as well as the use of new and alternative teaching methods.

Practical example
Teaching qualification for the primary level with a focus on inclusion education (LPI)
At the University of Potsdam, prospective primary school teachers study the core subjects of German and mathematics as well as compulsory parts of the course in the specialization areas of "language", "learning" and "emotional and social development". They should be able to diagnose the special needs of all children, develop individual learning plans and professionally support the acquisition of basic written language and mathematical skills. But you should also learn when and where your own limits are reached and help from other professions must be called in.

"So that teachers can be prepared for the heterogeneity of the student body on a long-term and sustainable basis, the teacher-trainers must be trained accordingly. The aim must be for inclusion to become a matter of course in teacher training and to be adequately taken into account."

Prof. Dr. Frank Ziegele, Managing Director of the CHE Center for University Development

4. Interpret the role of teachers in a contemporary way!

With the implementation of an inclusive education system, the job description of teachers is also changing. A number of new expectations are placed on them and additional skills are required. At the same time, it is not about every teacher becoming an expert in everything: The work in inclusive schools is more dependent than before on successful teamwork between all pedagogical specialists as well as an inclusion-oriented school and lesson development. This makes an updated and differentiated definition of the roles of the actors involved necessary. A productive exchange with other experts must be learned and prepared3 - this includes in particular the ability to work together in multi-professional teams. Multi-professionalism goes beyond the cooperation between regular school teachers and special school teachers and also includes other internal and external contacts from social workers to craftsmen.

Practical example
Teacher training for special needs education
This course was set up at the University of Paderborn in the winter semester 2014/15. It is intended to prepare students with parallel training in subjects for inclusion-relevant aspects of teaching in a mainstream school class. This instructs students to use their special educational skills in teams at mainstream schools, while at the same time being able to design and conduct regular lessons.

"All teachers must have basic pedagogical and didactic qualifications for dealing with heterogeneity and inclusion as well as the basics of remedial diagnostics, not just special education teachers. We want all specialist teachers to be able to classify who is sitting in front of them. Of course they should But then, in the course of multi-professional cooperation, you can get help from others who have in-depth knowledge in certain funding areas.

Aart Pabst, Head of UAG inclusion of the Conference of Ministers of Education

5. Strengthen practical relevance!

The transfer of knowledge about basic ideas and theories as well as the development of appropriate attitudes and competencies for inclusion are a necessary but not a sufficient condition for the implementation of such a comprehensive change as inclusion. It is at least as important to be able to apply this knowledge in practice during the teacher training course, to gather concrete experience and to dovetail it with the theory. Practical experience in inclusive settings can promote the skills for the application of inclusive didactics, the subject didactic competencies and the development of one's own methodological ideas as well as a professional self-image. Studies show that sufficient and adequately accompanied practical experience can generally positively change attitudes towards inclusive education and inclusion and are one of the most important conditions for success4.

The sooner the student teachers get into an inclusive school setting, the better. A structured follow-up turns out to be very useful. Any negative experiences experienced can be reflected on and attitudes and subjective theories gained can be scientifically substantiated. Individual experiences and competencies should be reflected on based on the inclusion experiences of the students and teachers but also through the work on pedagogical cases and teaching experiences of third parties.

Thus, university teacher training is required to network with inclusive schools, to enable practical experience in an inclusive environment at an early stage and to support the students with targeted preparation and follow-up as well as support.

Practical example
Teaching students in tandems at the Würzburg primary school
The learning workshop of the University of Würzburg realizes project seminars in which student teachers work with inclusion and tandem classes from the Würzburg Heuchelhof primary school - classes in which pupils with and without disabilities learn together. Students from all teaching posts prepare materials and topics for teaching in projects.
Practical example
Learning workshop inclusion at the PH Heidelberg
In the learning workshop, the areas of university didactics, school practice and research are combined so that student teachers can develop and expand their individual skills for inclusive teaching.

"The practical phases help the students to gain a professional focus on teaching and school. Of course, it is important that such practical phases are scientifically accompanied, that they are reflexively oriented and not on an exclusive school such as the grammar school (which often runs parallel to a comprehensive school, community school or district school exists). Opportunities must be created to gain experience in heterogeneous learning groups and to gain impressions of the professional cooperation required there. "

Aart Pabst, Head of UAG inclusion of the Conference of Ministers of Education

"When it comes to practical relevance, it is not just a matter of students acquiring skills for the design of inclusive schools; rather, they should develop a positive attitude towards inclusion as early as possible - and be able to experience inclusion as students themselves. The universities are challenged to this end, for their part, inclusive education according to the definition of the German UNESCO Commission. "

Bettina Jorzik, Program Manager for Teaching, Young Academics, Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft

6. Implement a cross-phase overall concept that includes all actors!

As a subject of teacher training, the subject of inclusion must be fully integrated into all areas. All student teachers must be made familiar with measures and initiatives for inclusive teacher training. Appropriate approaches should not, however, be limited to the first phase of teacher training. The development of inclusive competencies and the necessary practical experience can only be sustained through the cooperation of all those involved in teacher training5. Offers and content should build on one another, be long-term, be able to be actively shaped and be characterized by a change between input, trial and reflection phases6.

Practical example
Workplace Diversity and Lesson Development - Didactic Workshop
The didactic workshop of the University of Frankfurt sees itself as a link between the phases of teacher training. It follows the principle of inquiry-based learning. With teacher training students, working teachers, teachers in preparatory service, teacher trainers and schoolchildren, individual subject-didactic and diagnostic competencies for inclusive teaching are to be further developed.
Practical example
Development association for teacher training - diagnosis and promotion of heterogeneous learning groups
With this project, the four universities of Bremen, Dortmund, Gießen and Oldenburg are pursuing the goal of preparing STEM teacher training students specifically for dealing with heterogeneous learning groups. To this end, the topics of “diagnosis and individual support” (DiF) are to be anchored in the specialist sciences, specialist didactics and practical school studies of the teacher training course. In this way, a higher professionalization of future teachers should be achieved with regard to their diagnostic ability and their competence to act.

"In the first phase of teacher training, we certainly cannot provide a sound basis for everything that teachers need later in their school practice. In any case, we must work harder to ensure that it is also in the third phase of teacher training, i.e. in teacher training and education. further education offers many offers and concepts to further professionalise oneself for the very specific inclusion requirements in one's own practice while working. "

Prof. in Dr. Kerstin Merz-Atalik, Professor of Education for Disabilities and Disadvantage / Inclusion, Ludwigsburg University of Education

"We have to qualify the teachers who are in the system today for inclusive work through further training. However, further training will only be effective if it is part of a comprehensive school development process that aims at an inclusive school. Are they in an institutional and collegial one? Embedded in context, they can permanently change the teaching. "

Dr. Ekkehard Winter, Managing Director of the Deutsche Telekom Foundation
  1. See Joint Science Conference (2013): Bund-Länder agreement on a joint program “Quality Offensive Teacher Education” in accordance with Article 91b of the Basic Law. http://bit.ly/1GHtfLZ.
  2. See Joint Science Conference (2015): A breath of fresh air for teacher training. The first successful universities in the "Teacher Training Quality Offensive" have been confirmed. http://bit.ly/1zUE4VF.
  3. Cf. Buholzer / Joller-Graf (2011): Integration and Inclusion in Swiss Schools. In: Journal for Teacher Education 11th issue 4/2011; Keßler / Volkholz (2013): Expert commission on the further development of teacher training in Baden-Württemberg. Ed .: Ministry for Science, Research and Art Baden-Württemberg. P. 35f.
  4. Cf. Stellbrink (2012): Inclusion as a challenge for the development of teaching, schools and teacher training. In: Fürstenau (Ed.) Intercultural Pedagogy and Language Education; Schöler / Merz-Atalik / Dorrance (2010): On the way to school for everyone? The implementation of the UN Disability Rights Convention in the field of education.Comparison of selected European countries and recommendations for inclusive education in Bavaria. http://bit.ly/1Gbz3A0.
  5. See Lindmeier (2014): Current educational policy efforts for an inclusion-oriented renewal of German teacher education. In: Journal for curative education. Issue 3/2014.
  6. Cf. Altrichter (2010): Further training for teachers in the context of changes in the school system. In: Müller / Eichenbauer / Lüders / Mayr (ed.): Teachers learn. Concepts and findings for teacher training; Lipowski (2010): Learning at work. Empirical findings on the effectiveness of teacher training. Teachers learn. Concepts and findings for teacher training. In: Müller / Eichenberger / Lüders / Mayr (eds.): Loc.