Effective disability-inclusive teacher professional learning neededResearch 31 May 2023 4 minute read
Recent GEM Centre research recommends measuring the effectiveness of teacher professional development initiatives on disability inclusion.
Today, the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Centre, a long-term strategic partnership between ACER and the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), has published a policy brief on disability-inclusive education in low- and middle- income countries (LMICs).
The GEM Centre policy brief highlights 3 key recommendations for policymakers and development organisations to support teacher professional development in disability-inclusive education, including to:
- measure the effectiveness of teacher professional development
- support research on psychosocial wellbeing in schools
- collaborate to collect and share results of program effectiveness.
The recommendations are based on evidence synthesised on teacher professional development programs on disability-inclusion from 2000 to 2021. The evidence demonstrates improvements in teacher and learner outcomes, indicating the need for targeted professional learning programs on disability-inclusion.
Studies mapped through our research greatly vary in their methods and design, and a few studies measure student outcomes. Also, a majority of teacher professional development programs focus on improving teacher attitudes and knowledge.
Through this review, evidence of teacher professional development could only be located in 16 out of 41 countries (included in DFAT’s list of developing partner countries), and these gaps in evidence could be due to ongoing educational reforms in several LMICs.
The evidence and gap map (EGM) from this review will support policymakers and development organisations in their decisions on scaling up and financing of professional learning programs. The EGM will also help Australia to make better investments in disability-inclusive teacher professional development in the Asia-Pacific, strengthening its relationships with countries in the region.
The GEM Centre has also published a learning and development resource kit with guides and handbooks on inclusive education from across the globe. The resources listed are open access and available for free for everyone involved in the education system. Resources for policymakers support them to embed inclusion and equity into educational policies. Classroom educators can use the resources to improve inclusive practices in their classroom.
Find out more about the review of Teacher professional development for disability inclusion in low- and middle-income Asia-Pacific countries: An evidence and gap map.