Continuing professional development (CPD) as a means to reducing barriers to inclusive education: Research study of the education of refugee children in the Czech Republic

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The article supports the view that teachers are key to quality inclusive education and that continuing professional development (CPD) plays an essential role in promoting pro-inclusion changes in education systems. It reports and uses the findings from a research study focused on the educational experiences of two groups of Myanmar (Burmese) refugee children in the Czech Republic to explore the generic and specific teacher development requirements in a country where pro-inclusive education development still faces a range of barriers. The authors describe a specifically designed refugee-relevant CPD seminar participated in by teachers and other professionals involved with the second group of refugee children. The outcomes from the seminar, including improved support for children’s learning, teacher’s grasp of relevant information, inter-teacher and inter-agency collaboration, and school staff’s willingness to undertake further relevant CPD, are discussed. Alongside such positive developments, some exclusive practices were faced by the refugee children and their parents in both groups. These are contextualised within the post-socialist socio/cultural/political environment of the Czech Republic that impacts on the education system, schools and teachers and on the prospects for educational inclusion. The article recognises the urgent need for systemic reform of national teacher development. The authors conclude by arguing for existing Czech pro-inclusion practices to be promoted alongside international practices and policies in teacher development.

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About This Study:

Intervention(s): Teacher Professional Development
Intervention Duration: Varies
Relevant ORR Program: Refugee School Impact Program
Study Type: Suggestive evidence
Full Text Availability: Paid
Direction of Evidence: Positive impact
Strength of Evidence: Suggestive
Population(s): Other
Gender(s) of Participants: All
Age(s) of Participants: Adults
Region(s) of Origin of Participants: Europe - East

Relevant Evidence Summaries:

The evidence was reviewed and included in the following summaries: