Preparing teachers to embrace inclusive education

Anjonet Jordaan -- Tue, 06/23/2015 - 14:50

Preparing teachers to embrace inclusive education

Active inclusion of learners with different needs have received much more focused attention over the past 20 years. The first ever South African Symposium on Teacher Education for Inclusion will take place from 1-2 October 2015 at the Quest Conference Estate in Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng.

The symposium is hosted by the Optentia Research Focus Area of North-West University’s Vaal Triangle Campus and aims to provide attendees with an updated view on both international and national research advances focused on teacher education on inclusive education.

Dealing with a diversity of needs in an inclusive or all-encompassing educational environment remains a big challenge to teachers. Worldwide a lack of appropriate training is sited by teachers as the primary cause for this difficulty. In practice, no drastic changes are evident despite continuing research exploring teacher educators, pre-service and in-service teachers’ feelings, opinions, experiences, frustrations and needs with regard to training. Researchers, policy makers, teacher educators and practitioners (teachers) are therefore compelled to come together to discuss how research and practice can meet to ensure the effective training of pre-service and in-service teachers.

The symposium will create a platform for teacher educators at higher education institutions and teacher in practice to have discussions and establish networks on how to ensure that research on teacher education can influence teaching practice.

The symposium topics will focus on teacher education for inclusive education in: Germany, the United States of America, England, Palestine and South Africa. A wide array of international researchers on inclusive education will deliver keynote presentations at the symposium, they include:

  • Prof Elizabeth Kozleski, University of Kansas, United States of America
  • Prof Rolf Werning, University of Leibniz, Germany
  • Prof Petra Engelbrecht, North-West University, South Africa
  • Prof Hannu Savolainen, University of University of Jyväskylä, Finland
  • Dr Elizabeth Walton, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
  • Prof. Mirna Nel, North-West University, South Africa

The last date for submission of abstracts is 30 June 2015. Please visit Optentia’s website to get closer information on the symposium.

**The Optentia Research Focus Area develops and organises knowledge for the optimal expression of individual, social and institutional potential, with specific interest in the African context. Optentia focuses its research through seven sub-programmes, including two sub-programmes specifically aimed at education:

  • Unlocking Potential in Educational Processes (programme leader: Prof Ike Xaba)
  • Holistic Learner Development in Diverse Contexts (programme leader: Prof Mary Grosser)