Inclusive kindergarten/school: Lots of questions, dilemmas
and everyday challenges
The Institute for Contemporary Education’s Center for Professional Development organized a lecture “The Position and Role of Expert Associates in Inclusive Kindergarten/School” on Thursday, February 27. The lecture was given by MEd Marinela Šćepanović, special education teacher (defectologist), pedagogical counselor, doctoral student of special education and rehabilitation, member of the Mensa Serbia, leader of the Society of Defectologists of Vojvodina and Alliance of Educators of Serbia, as well as a member of the Institute for Contemporary Education.
A large number of preschool, elementary and secondary school teachers were interested in this topic. Expert associates and teachers from Serbia had the opportunity to learn how the concept of inclusive education is defined in professional literature and legislation, as well as in practice. The lecture focused on the position and status of children with disabilities, and gifted children and students. It also touched on the situation of other children and students in inclusive education, i.e. migrant children, refugees, asylum seekers, Roma children, children without parental care, children of addicts, and other children with similar life circumstances.
Results of the research on inclusive practice in Serbia drew special attention of the attendees. The results can be viewed as indicators of effectiveness of a nine-year cycle of inclusive education implementation, and include the opinions of practitioners who work both with children and students with disabilities, and with gifted children on daily bases. The lecturer particularly highlighted and explained the results referring to:
- education employees’ readiness and preparedness for work with children with disabilities,
- preparedness of institutions for inclusive education (equipment),
- suitability of teaching methods for children with disabilities, and gifted children,
- participation in the development of IEP (Individual Education Plan) 1, 2 and 3,
- shortage of qualified special education teachers (defectologists) in educational institutions,
- additional payment for working with children with atypical development,
- overburdening red tape in educational institutions, and
- effectiveness of inclusive education.
The lecture sparked an extensive discussion about the position and role of expert associates in inclusive education among the attendees. During the 1.5-hour lecture, the lecturer repeatedly underlined the importance of continuous development and creation of an inclusive culture, continuous professional development of teachers, and the need to improve the competences of expert associates working in kindergartens and schools.
At the end of the lecture, the Institute for Contemporary Education announced an accredited seminar “Gifted Students in Inclusive Education”, approved by the Pedagogical Institute of Vojvodina under No. 1054, which will be given by MEd Marinela Šćepanović and Snežana Nišević, PhD. The seminar will be held on March 14, and the members of the Institute for Contemporary Education will be able to attend this helpful accredited seminar at a special price. You should apply for annual membership and ensure 12 months of professional development opportunities and benefits for the price of a single package. Don’t miss the special offer for ICE Premium membership package at a discounted price!
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