Staff Training and Continuing Professional Development

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Developing Inclusive Learning
and Teaching for Disabled
Students: The Importance of Staff
Training and Continuing
Professional Development
Alan Hurst
Trustee
Skill: National Bureau for Students with Disabilities
Plan of Presentation
• Evidence and themes emerging from the
research
• Some questions concerning staff training
and development
Evidence and Themes in the
Research
• Curriculum design
• Learning, teaching and assessment
• Institutional policies and provision
• Individual/personal concerns
Curriculum Design
• The content of courses
• The flexibility of courses
• The requirements of professional bodies
and fitness to practice
• The maintaining of standards
• The inclusion of placements and practical
work
• The possibilities offered by e-learning
Learning, Teaching and
Assessment
• Provision of lecture notes in advance
• Use of Powerpoint
• Lectures as a teaching and learning
strategy
• Use of approaches which demonstrate
principles associated with effective
learning
• Wide range of possible strategies not used
The Institutional Context
• Internal organisation and the
administrative structure
• The physical environment
• Health and safety issues
• The setting of priorities
• The approach to staff training and
continuing professional development
Individual and Personal Factors
• Knowledge of impairments and their
potential impact on studying
• Knowledge of assistive technology and
“reasonable adjustments”
• Lack of prior experience of working with
students with a particular impairment
• Lack of time
Some questions concerning staff
training and development
• Who should deliver?
• Who should receive?
• When should it occur?
• How should it be accomplished?
• What should it include?
Debating Terminology
• Disability awareness?
• Disability training?
• Disability Education?
• Equality or equity?
Who should deliver?
• Involvement of disabled people (linked to
the Disability Discrimination Act 2005)
• Role of mainstream staff developers
• The contribution of specialist disability
services staff
Who should receive?
• All staff
• Targetted groups
• Strategic approach with line managers
• What about students?
When should it occur?
• Before initial contact with students with
impairments
• After some experience of working with
students with impairments
• Continuous and with some incentive to
become involved
How should it be accomplished?
• Electronic self taught
• Face-to-face sessions
• Application of principles associated with effective
learning
• Use of simulations
• Embedding into routine policies and provision
• Compulsion or choice?
Training:
Some Sample Things to Do 1
• Learning is based on knowledge of basic
principles – example – introducing medical
and social models of disability
• Learning develops confidence – example
– ideas inventory (word association)
• Learning improves knowledge – using a
true/false questionnaire
• Learning is based on real life situationsexample - using case studies of students
Training:
Some Sample Things to Do 2
• Learning is effective when
relevance/usefulness seen –approaches
to teaching students with dyslexia
• Learning is effective if the approach is
varied – using dvd/video/publications and
publicity
• Learning is effective when it is enjoyable –
using cartoons for example by Callahan
Some Potentially Positive
Developments in 2009
Revision of the Quality Assurance Agency Code
of Practice: Section 3 Students with Disabilities –
to be used on regular visits to check on quality
after September 2009
Review of Higher Education Funding Council for
England policies on disability between 19972007 – has the funding given to support policy
and provision for disabled students been used
effectively?
Closing Comments
• No HEI which can claim to have implemented
and embedded a successful, effective
programme of initial disability education and
continuing professional development
• No HEI where disability services seen as valueadded provision rather than an optional,
additional source of institutional expense
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