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Results of IE+ research presented at European Educational Research Association Conference in Hamburg

The research was the result of an analysis of inclusive education in five different European countries and identified the overarching themes that were present in their transition towards inclusive systems.

On the 3rd September IE+ project partner, the University of Gent, presented the results of project’s research at the European Educational Research Association’s 2019 Conference in Hamburg.
The conference, which this year aimed to explore the future role of educational research, is organised for emerging, as well as experienced, researchers and provides a platform for initiating, reporting, discussing and promoting high quality educational research.
The University of Gent’s workshop presented the summary report of the IE+ project and looked to understand what can be learnt from analysing the situation of inclusive education in five different countries. This analysis is the result of research, conducted by the IE+ project partners, into the state of play of inclusive education in 5 European countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Spain, Portugal, Greece.
The report highlighted that across European it is still not yet possible to speak about ‘real inclusion’ for children with (intellectual) disabilities. Key challenges to making ‘real inclusion’ a reality were also identified in the report. In particular, it was found that:

  • A lot of barriers to inclusion are created by education, health and support practitioners working in traditional silos, rather than across disciplinary boundaries.
  • The medical/ individual models of diagnosis and labels still prevails, creating a danger that disability will continue to be viewed as an individual’s problem.
  • There is a serve lack of statistics concerning children with (intellectual) disabilities and the reality of inclusive education in different countries.
  • In many countries attempts to realise inclusive education are based on organizing inclusive education in connection with remaining parts of special education.
  • Changing the attitudes of teachers, parents and careers towards inclusive education is key and it is vital that the correct training and support is made available to facilitate this change.   

Following the conference, the summary report will be made available to the public and published in the International Journal on Inclusive Education.
To read the 5 national reports click here.

Editor’s note:

The ‘Promoting positive attitudes and evidence-based policy for inclusive education’ (IE+) project is a Erasmus+ project which started in 2018 and will end in 2021. The project aims to provide decision-makers (including policy-makers and education providers) with the information, training and tools that allow for evidence-based policy making that will support the transition towards inclusive education for children with intellectual disabilities aged between 3-18 years old. The project has brought together seven partners including: the European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities, Inclusion Europe, Ghent University, the University of Salamanca, the National Association of Resource Teachers in Bulgaria, Kentro Koinonikis Frontidas Atomon Me Noitiki Ysterisi and Centro de Educação para o Cidadão com Deficiência, who will work together during the 3 year project alongside local partners Plena inclusion and UNIA.