THE TEAMS FOR INCLUSIVE EDUCATION AS A CONTEXT OF PRESCHOOL TEACHERS’ HORIZONTAL LEARNING

Isidora Korać

DOI Number
-
First page
401
Last page
416

Abstract


 

Statutory legislation, as a form of support to inclusive practice in preschools, defines the establishing of an professional team for inclusive education and a team for providing additional support to the child. The tasks of these teams require a high degree of cooperation between different stakeholders within and outside the institution. In this regard, the paper discusses the problems related to the current practice of the teams for inclusive education in preschool institutions as contexts for teachers’ horizontal learning. More specifically, the aim of the research was to determine how teachers assess the contribution of teams for inclusive education and teams for providing additional support to the child in developing their professional competencies for the implementation of inclusive education and how, in their view, the process of horizontal learning within the institution is realized through them. The study included 80 preschool teachers employed in preschools in different cities in Serbia. For research purposes, a questionnaire which included open-ended questions was developed. Qualitative analysis of the collected material was applied. Research findings suggest that preschool teachers recognize the following as the greatest professional gain from participating in these teams: providing and obtaining assistance from colleagues within the team, the collective understanding of the problem, additional self-confidence in the job they do, reviewing, developing and upgrading existing competencies needed to work in an inclusive environment. There is a need for the organization of professional development programs that focus on the development of communication skills as well as teamwork skills where the entire team of a preschool and all interested parents could participate. The existence of a network of teachers, who are motivated to learn horizontally and grow, can foster a systemic change in the direction of inclusiveness of the entire preschool institution.

Keywords: horizontal learning, preschool teacher, team for inclusive education, team for providing additional support to the child, inclusive education.


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References


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