About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 8759-8766
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-617-8491-2
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2017.2078

Conference name: 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2017
Location: Valencia, Spain

TOWARDS AN EVIDENCE-BASED MODEL OF TEACHER TRAINING FOR INCLUSIVE CLASSROOMS IN THE UAE: PRELIMINARY FINDINGS

M. Ewen

Zayed University (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES)
This paper reports on provisional findings from data collected over the initial two years of a programme focusing specifically on teacher training for inclusive education in the UAE. Run collaboratively between University and a non profit charitable organization for promoting medical education and research in the United Arab Emirates, the programme aims to enhance the inclusive educational experiences of children with additional needs for support/special needs and has, thus far, provided training for 136 practising teachers across 33 schools in Dubai.

The UAE’s education system is relatively young in international terms, universal services having been made possible by oil wealth created in the 1970s. Considering the timescale, undoubtedly, it has come a tremendous way in a very short time in terms of its educational philosophy and practice (Ewen, 2015). UAE Vision 2021, point 4.2 First-rate education, states that, ‘Education will provide equality of opportunity and balanced outcomes for all students. Special needs students will be properly integrated within the education system with the benefit of support programs and infrastructure that guarantee fair access.’ UAE Federal Law No 29 (2006) (the disability act) provides the legal framework, requiring all public authorities to promote equality of opportunity for people with disabilities. As a result, inclusion has become a key policy objective.

Yet reports that 68% of school teachers in Dubai are negative about teaching children with special needs (The National, 2016) suggest that practice does not equate with rhetoric, worry about lack of expertise and specialist training a central issue (Gaad and Thabet, 2009). Following a 14 month nationwide study on inclusive education in the UAE, they found that teachers cited the ‘need for more training in the field of special education, various special needs disabilities, teaching methodologies, and specialized people in this field to guide and assist them,’ suggesting that teachers felt unprepared and for new roles and responsibilities relating to inclusion in terms of skills and expertise, training and resources. Thus, whilst relevant legislation and policies were in place, inclusive practice was as yet at an early stage.

One of the key missing components has been a rigorous evaluation and understanding of best evidence-based practice in training teachers for inclusion in a UAE context, to enable the country to move forward with its educational inclusion agenda, confident that its teachers are equipped to promote the learning of all of its students, ensuring that no group suffers discrimination or marginalization. Findings portrayed in this paper contribute to the initial phase of research designed to establish an evidence-based ‘ideal model’ of teacher training for inclusive classrooms for the UAE. Data collected (n= 136) suggests positive reception of all training aspects with practical implementation of strategies evident in the classroom and whole school context. Cross-school collaborations were also identified along with critical elements which may contribute to a broader, evidence-based 'ideal model'.
@InProceedings{EWEN2017TOW,
author = {Ewen, M.},
title = {TOWARDS AN EVIDENCE-BASED MODEL OF TEACHER TRAINING FOR INCLUSIVE CLASSROOMS IN THE UAE: PRELIMINARY FINDINGS},
series = {11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2017 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-8491-2},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2017.2078},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2017.2078},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {6-8 March, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {8759-8766}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Ewen
TI - TOWARDS AN EVIDENCE-BASED MODEL OF TEACHER TRAINING FOR INCLUSIVE CLASSROOMS IN THE UAE: PRELIMINARY FINDINGS
SN - 978-84-617-8491-2/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2017.2078
PY - 2017
Y1 - 6-8 March, 2017
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2017 Proceedings
SP - 8759
EP - 8766
ER -
M. Ewen (2017) TOWARDS AN EVIDENCE-BASED MODEL OF TEACHER TRAINING FOR INCLUSIVE CLASSROOMS IN THE UAE: PRELIMINARY FINDINGS, INTED2017 Proceedings, pp. 8759-8766.
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