Preparing teachers to teach pupils with special educational needs in more inclusive schools: evaluating a PGCE development
University of Exeter
British Journal of Special Education
As we move towards a more inclusive education system in the UK, there is a real need to equip teachers to work in more diverse classrooms from the start of their teaching careers. In this article, Gill Golder, teaching and research fellow (physical education), Brahm Norwich, Professor of Educational Psychology and Special Educational Needs, and Phil Bayliss, senior lecturer in special educational needs and education studies, all based in the School of Education and Lifelong Learning at the University of Exeter, describe developments in Exeter's secondary phase Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) programme. The authors set their account in the context of policy requirements in England and international trends towards more inclusive teacher education. They report on an initiative designed to enhance the knowledge, skills and attitudes of trainee teachers and to equip them to differentiate their teaching to meet the individual needs of all pupils, including those with special educational needs. This initiative involved all trainees working intensively with one pupil, supported by the SENCo in their teaching practice school. Building towards a form of dispersed teacher preparation that may have applications in other contexts, the programme offered student teachers a systematic strategy for individualised teaching and the support of web-based resources. Gill Golder, Brahm Norwich and Phil Bayliss include evaluations from student teachers, SENCos and principal subject tutors in their report. They conclude that this is a promising way of working, which highlights the national and international need to develop practical ways of enhancing initial teacher education in relation to special educational needs and inclusion.
This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article 'Preparing teachers to teach pupils with special educational needs in more inclusive schools: evaluating a PGCE development' British Journal of Special Education 32(2) pp.92-99, which has been published in final form at http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/118704489/abstract