Continuous Training for Teachers in Italy
What were the main aims of the initiative?
The teacher training process outlined in this example combines an inclusive approach with on-going self-assessment. The relationship between self-assessment, thought and action provides an analysis-, choice- and action-oriented training which can create and sustain the inclusive power of school, organisation and teaching practices. In this perspective, continuous training is the most consistent format to support the outlined processes, variables and any changes. The training process is structured on an individual level and also on a second level within a network of teachers and schools that provides opportunities to share ideas, language, methods, results and inclusive practices.
The teacher training process has the following aims:
Location, setting, Scope, key events etc.
The relationship between training, education and learning processes and the social and institutional affiliation of the school is a topic that nowadays characterises the inclusive idea: it shifts the focus from the integration of an individual into a specific context to the general processes of cohesion through which memberships are defined and in which aspirations, expectations and meanings of people with disabilities and their families are expressed. In this perspective, teachers’ self-assessment of cultures, school organisation and teaching practices plays a key role.
What issues/challenges does the example address?
Teacher self-assessment and related actions require knowledge, theoretical and methodological skills in order to understand how to define education as ‘inclusive’. Relevant skills are also required to detect and analyse the organisational and didactic processes of the schools and to make appropriate choices, in order to overcome barriers to the participation and learning of all pupils and students.
The outlined model is not only limited to a macro process for the self-assessment of cultures, mission and organisation of the school, but it also involves micro processes related to teaching in the classroom.
The course outlined in this example provides training to teachers in the form of blended learning (in face to face and online activities throughout). The main objective of both types of training is to support reflection upon inclusive topics and sustain the application of shared self-assessment tools through comparisons, consultations and comprehensive material such as papers, experiences and analyses conducted by the trainees.
How was the Initiative implemented?
The training model is planned for teachers and is divided into four phases:
PHASE 1. Training in face to face and online activities with the aim of sharing inclusive theoretical backgrounds and self-assessment tools: SADI and INDEX FOR INCLUSION (see attachment 1: SADI, in Italian only)
This phase includes:
PHASE 2. Online support to reflection and implement the shared tools and the data collected through their use (see attachment 2: online material, in Italian only)
This phase includes:
PHASE 3. Feedback (see attachment 3, in Italian only)
This phase includes:
PHASE 4. Monitoring
This phase includes:
What where the key Outcomes? What impact/added value did they prove? What were the biggest challenges?
Mariachiara Rossi, Pedagogue, school counsellor - Istituto Gallio (Como: nursery school, secondary school- first level, secondary school-second level) presents the self-analysis experience related to the inclusive prospective of school and teaching.
The Index for Inclusion (Booth T. and Ainscow M, 2002, 2011) is used as tool for the macro self-analysis and the SADI (Strumento di Autovalutazione della didattica Inclusiva, Medeghini R. 2015) for the micro self-analysis in the class.
Elena Della Corte, teacher in primary school (Torino) analyses the relationship between inclusion and new technologies. The self-analysis experience produced by the school underlines that new technologies do not produce inclusive improvements if they are not involved in the class change (organization, times, methodologies, relationship among students and relationship between students and teachers).
Josha Miotto, PhD at University of Padova presents a project with the aim to evaluate the accessibility giving particular attention to new technologies. Data from the focus groups with 15 people with disabilities highlight a sub-use of these tools
Mariagrazia Massara, Pedagogue, counsellor - Gazza Ladra (Gozzano, Novara - a center dealing with disability and special educational needs) , presents the self-analysis experience produced by the équipe that deals with training and planning. The topics concern the inclusive idea and the professional power idea of each équipe component.
Alessandra Galletti, PhD student in Architecture (Università di Ferrara) proposes the evaluation of structures and the spatial organization in nursery and primary schools. The tool used comes from the Index for Inclusion and it aims to make architects aware of the influence that space can have on student needs.
Key outcomes include the following:
Has the initiative been evaluated or are there plans for this in the future?
A focus group and activity reports have been used to assess the training model. These are summarised in a grid that includes:
The analysis revealed three major difficulties:
Such limits can be attributed to an educational culture that links the idea of difficulty to an individual disorder and not to the idea that context and teaching influence learning outcomes.
The training process outlined here is intended primarily to question the pedagogical assumptions (autonomy, differences, needs, adaptation, skills, and freedom of education) and analyse tools and practices consistent with the inclusive perspective.
Such difficulties have been overcome by:
Have any plans been made for future direction of the initiative?
The following suggestions have been identified in order to further improve the model and to ensure its sustainability:
What are the main learning points?
Some of the reflections on the experience and suggestions on how to support the implementation of similar projects include:
Are there further information about supporting materials?
The project comes with the following attachments:
Bocchi G. & Ceruti M. (2004), Educazione e globalizzazione. Milano: Cortina Editore
Booth, T. & Ainscow, M. (2011) Index for Inclusion: Developing Learning and Participation in Schools. Bristol: CSIE.
Demo H. et al (2013), Index per l’inclusione nella pratica. Index für Inklusion in der Praxis. Milano: FrancoAngeli
Medeghini R. (2011) L’inclusione nella prospettiva ecologica delle relazioni. In Medeghini R., Fornasa W. (a cura di). L’educazione inclusiva. Culture e pratiche nei contesti educativi e scolastici: una prospettiva psicopedagogica. Milano: Angeli Editore, pp.95-127
Medeghini R., D’Alessio S.et al. (2015). L’approccio dei Disability Studies per lo sviluppo delle pratiche scolastiche inclusive in Italia. In Vianello R., Di Novo S. Oltre le posizioni ideologiche: risultati della ricerca. Trento: Centro Studi Erickson, pp.151-179
Morin E. (1999), Educare gli educatori. Roma: Primeraro Editrice
Morin E. (2014), Insegnare a vivere. Milano: Cortina Editore