The Difficulties of Inclusive Pedagogy for Initial Teacher Education and Some Thoughts on the Way Forward

May. 10, 2009

Source: Teaching and Teacher Education, Volume 25, Issue 4, pages 602-608 (May 2009).

In most western countries, the problems of effective university-controlled and largely university-based initial teacher education (ITE) have been apparent for many decades: whatever is achieved in the university, the teaching practices and attitudes that student–teachers usually learn to adopt are those currently dominant in the schools. So it is difficult to introduce innovations such as inclusive pedagogy through conventional ITE programs.
The solution to this problem is widely recognized to be the much stronger involvement of schools in ITE partnerships (e.g. the Holmes Group's Professional Development Schools in the USA, the Oxford internship scheme in England, the long-forgotten Learning to Teach (1978) Sneddon Report in Scotland). However, research and experience have suggested that real barriers stand in the way of the kind of partnership that is needed. Nonetheless, given the opportunity, the resources and most of all the necessary respect, the teaching profession has much more to offer than twentieth century teacher educators were generally willing to accept; and if an open and exploratory approach is adopted, there is every reason for optimism.

Updated: Jun. 01, 2009