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Inclusion and Teacher Preparation in Portugal

The Núcleo de Estudos em Inclusão Social e Educativa (NEISE) of the Centro de Estudos Interdisciplinares em Educação e Desenvolvimento (CEIED) organized, in November 21 to 23 2022, a Symposium called “Inclusion and Teacher Training”. Registration was free of charge for all participants.

The Symposium was held in a webinar format and considered the following questions:

  • How to respond to the lack of qualified teachers and to the importance of reviewing models of initial teacher training in the light of the concept of inclusion.This is one of the most important debates in educational policies in Portugal, as well as in the world.
  • How can new legal frameworks respond to these concerns, giving way to new fields of research and experimentation that welcome a diversity of training models as well as more inclusive forms of access to professionalization.

A total of 738 registrations was received, with a maximum of simultaneous participation being observed on Nov 22nd, with a total of 526 participants. Registrations originated from the following countries: Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Macau, Guinea Bissau and China.

The Symposium was guided by the concept of inclusion which should help create learning opportunities for everyone regardless of their individual characteristics, while respecting diversity, both as a resource and a value for inclusion .

Following the keynote conference, the Symposium was organized around three central themes:

  • Teacher Training Policies for Inclusion
  • Special Education, Inclusive Education and Teacher Training
  • Special Education, Inclusive Education and Professional Development

Discussions resulting from the initial presentation focused on aspects related to three kinds of training: initial training, specialized training and in-service training. The concept of inclusion was considered as transversal to all types of training, allowing for the acquisition or the development of competencies supporting inclusive, student-centered practices.

The role of schools and teachers was also highlighted as elements of a contextualizing training which needs to be isomorphic and oriented towards the competences of trainees. It is up to each school and its teachers to define a school model, characterized by incentives and empowerment which help create opportunities for the changes that are expected in schools.

An inclusion perspective requires teachers to assume the role of both human rights agents and managers of learning environments, in a demanding, reflective and also contextualized way which supports an ongoing investment in their own personal and professional development.

The symposium was accredited as a short-term training offer.


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