A Darley woman is calling on teachers to share their experiences and give feedback on inclusion and inclusive education for a research project.
Janette Trento is completing a masters in educational psychology and has recruited 19 teachers to participate in her study looking into the issue – but she needs more.
Ms Trento chose to explore inclusion in schools based on her own experience as a mother of two adult children with special needs.
“It’s a very important area for me and it’s one that I am very passionate about,” Ms Trento said.
“I’ve had a lot to do with education and I’ve done a lot of advocacy on inclusion in the education system and issues with equity and diversity. A lot of the issues that arise come back to knowledge and training.”
Ms Trento said she hopes her research can be used to help teachers feel confident and prepared to support students of all abilities in mainstream classrooms.
“To reduce or eliminate this fear of the unknown, or overwhelming concern about what impact inclusive education could have on us individually, requires improved understanding and knowledge,” she said.
“We need to identify the current understanding and attitudes towards inclusion and inclusive education.
“We also need to identify what the barriers to inclusive education are, and communicate this to the government … and ensure that effective training and support is provided to the teachers.”
She said her research won’t be limited to just the education of special needs students, but all students from all walks of life including refugees and different cultural backgrounds.