The background of "Empowering teachers: EMPOWERING LEARNERS"

This Inclusive Education in Action: Empowering Teachers: Empowering Learners website, developed by the European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education and UNESCO, forms part of the UNESCO knowledge-base on inclusive teaching and learning. It aims to provide on-line materials for the target groups of policy makers and other key stakeholders working to develop equity and equal opportunities for all within education systems - with a particular focus on teacher education policy and practice.

The European Training Foundation (2010) states that large discrepancies remain between international understandings of inclusion, as expressed in high-level policies, and understandings conveyed in national or local level teacher education practices and policies.

These materials attempt to address the knowledge gap with authentic examples by policy makers and teacher educators, for policy makers and teacher educators to help empower teachers to address learner diversity through more inclusive practice.



The examples on this website link to the UNESCO policy guidelines in the area of teacher education and cover the following themes:

Examples can also be searched by geographical region:

The criteria for the IEA project have been identified in order to find 'good examples of practice' – with the emphasis on the quality of information provided – rather than examples of 'good practice' where judgments regarding the quality of the practice being described are made. This approach has been taken as, due to the wide variety of settings and contexts, any sort of qualitative comparison is inappropriate.

In order to make expectations clear and the process more transparent to colleagues, the criteria for the selection of examples forms the basis for the template used to collect material.



Further examples of good practice



In 2015, this website was completely re-worked, due to a shift in focus specifically on teacher education. The previous ‘Inclusive Education in Action’ (IEA) website was based on a joint project conducted by UNESCO and the European Agency and aimed to bridge the ‘policy to practice’ gap. It showed some of the actions taken by people in a whole range of settings and situations to address the policy concerns outlined in the UNESCO Policy Guidelines on Inclusion in Education (2009).

The IEA project aimed to support policymakers by providing some interesting and inspirational examples to serve as a stimulus for ideas and discussion.

Although many of these examples fall outside the current project focus on teacher education, they are still excellent resources used by many people around the world.

Since its initial launch, the IEA website with nearly 70 examples from all regions of the world has attracted about 170 000 visitors, and has averaged about 280 visits per day recently. These new pages also address the increasing percentage of mobile and tablet users, who now account for about 25% of all visitors.

Access the archive of examples previously showcased at the IEA website


Online resources

The following resources are available on line to support initial teacher education and professional development.

If you have further relevant resources to add, please send details via the feedback form below.


In this section, you will find links to European and international organisations involved in teacher education and professional development.

About US


UNESCO has developed the ‘Policy Guidelines on Inclusion in Education’ which were accepted at the International Conference on Education (ICE) in Geneva 2008.

Inclusive education is the responsibility of the Division for the Promotion of Basic Education, Section for Inclusion and Quality Enhancement. Further information about UNESCO ’s work on inclusive education and developing quality education for all can be found online.

Or contact the regional offices:

European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education

The European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education is an independent and self-governing organisation, established by member countries to act as a platform for collaboration between professionals and decision-makers at both national and European levels, on policies and practice in special needs education. The Agency is maintained by the Ministries of Education in member countries and also supported by the European Institutions (Commission and Parliament). The Agency’s aim is to improve educational policy and practice for learners with special educational needs.

Member countries as of 2015: Austria, Belgium (Flemish and French speaking communities), Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales).

Information on publications in member country languages is available online.

Information about member countries is available from National Co-ordinators or Representative Board members, for contact details click here.

Questions about the work of the Agency should be directed to our Secretariat:

European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education
Østre Stationsvej 33,
DK-5000, Odense C, Denmark

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