University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Developing Teacher Education Across Europe: Experiences of Partnership Working

Hewston, Ruth, Smith, Sharon and Woolley, Richard ORCID: (2015) Developing Teacher Education Across Europe: Experiences of Partnership Working. In: Teacher Education Policy in Europe Network (TEPE) 2015 Conference, 16th May 2015, University of Dundee.

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Research suggests that EU countries have different approaches to supporting learning for those within additional needs in the mainstream setting. Furthermore, across the European Union (EU), training approaches and professional development in areas of SEN vary greatly. The paper presents the experiences of an EU funded research project aimed to identify current provision of best practice, teacher’s professional development and professionals experience in supporting learners with additional needs in five partner countries. The outcome of the project was to develop a cross European training programme to support teachers continuing professional development (CPD) in this area. This paper discusses the challenges of working in partnership, particularly in relation to the differing discourses surrounding additional needs adopted in UK, Italy, Spain, Poland and Romania. Four key themes and challenges are identified. Theme one identifies the differing use of terminology and language between countries, challenging our assumptions about shared understanding of definitions and discourses in SEN. Theme two suggests that, while teachers in the partner countries experience similar challenges in meeting the needs of a diverse range of learners, concepts of inclusion vary greatly between the partners. Theme three identifies challenging models of disability used across Europe and shifting thinking in best practice and provision. Theme four challenges the impact of policy and how this is implemented. Within the project it was highlighted that cultural perspective may impinge of policy being implemented; regional focus on policy may also impact on the educational practice and policy appears to be more diluted in rural communities; this was particularly seen when the focusing on the EU understanding of inclusion. The paper concludes by recommending a theoretical framework to underpin future EU partnership project working to develop professional development opportunities for teachers across Europe.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: learning support, additional needs, European Training Programme, SEN, teacher education
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Education
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Depositing User: Ruth Hewston
Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2015 11:02
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 17:07

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