Policy Paper: Teachers for All: Inclusive Education for Children with Disabilities
By Ingrid Lewis and Sunit Bagree
Globally we need more well-trained and motivated teachers. Good teachers can help ensure that every child learns to their full potential from an early age and enters adult life well-equipped to be active citizens and support the development of their community and country. Many countries do not have enough teachers, let alone enough teachers who have received sufficiently high quality pre- and in-service training and access to continuing professional development. The lack of well-prepared and motivated teachers impacts on the enrolment, participation and achievement of all children – but can be particularly detrimental to the education of children from marginalised groups, who may need some extra encouragement or assistance to reach their educational potential.
Teachers are often simply not trained or supported to teach children with disabilities, which makes these children among the most marginalised in terms of educational opportunity and attainment. The exclusion of children with disabilities from education and from fair life chances requires urgent and sustained attention. In particular, attention needs to be paid to preparing teachers who are capable of including children with disabilities in the education process.
This paper first provides more detail about the context and scale of the challenge.It then outlines five broad issues that need addressing if we are to prepare, recruit and support enough teachers, with appropriate skills, to educate every child – including those with disabilities.
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