Connected Learning and Research on Inclusive Education (CLeaR on IE)

Locations: Mumbai

Sponsor: Cognizant Foundation

The CLeaR project is a research study on human resource development in inclusive education with a fundamental aim to ensure a more sustainable means of contributing substantially to the knowledge and practice of inclusive education, with a special focus on the education of children with disabilities. The study is intended to go beyond ascertaining challenges and bottle-necks in teacher preparation and focus on specific areas and needs to inform teacher education, both at the systemic level and in the classroom contexts.

The objectives of the project are:

  • To review international and national policies and related literature on teacher professional development for inclusive education so as to identify required teacher competences and document challenges.
  • To study the curriculum of pre-service teacher education programmes being offered by NCTE and RCI vis-à-vis inclusive education, in terms of developing prospective teachers’ awareness, conceptual understanding and pedagogic approaches towards inclusive education.
  • To understand the experiences of select inclusive education resource teachers, prospective and practising teachers and teacher educators in engaging with inclusive education, their perception of their roles and their needs in meeting the aspirations of inclusive education.
  • To document the setting up of Inclusive Education Resource Centres (IERC) in two partnering institutes for supporting inclusive education practice.
    The project is explorative and descriptive in nature with multiple components carried out in different phases.

Phase I - Desk Review

During phase 1, a desk review of normative and empirical literature on teacher preparation for inclusive education will be undertaken. This component is aimed to identify the key teacher competencies for inclusive education practices, gaps in teacher education programs and evidence from policies, practices for effective inclusive education. Consequently, a teacher competency framework will be developed to inform the curriculum analysis and empirical research in the project. This phase of the study is carried out to review the premises and findings in policy documents, academic literature, curriculum framework and technical/research reports on human resource development for inclusive education. The scope of the literature reviewed entails publications in the national and international contexts.

Phase II - Curriculum analysis

Subsequent to the desk review, in this phase a content analysis of the curriculum of teacher education programmes recognised by NCTE and RCI will be undertaken on the basis of the framework developed in the desk review carried out in Phase I of the study. During this phase a review of the curriculum framework of NCTE and the 2-year bachelors programmes of regular B.Ed and B.Ed special education will be carried out. The content analysis of the curricular framework is aimed to help reveal how the regular and special teacher education programs understand inclusivity and also identify the gaps in comparison to the broader framework of teacher competency for inclusive education.

Phase III(a) - Empirical research (Survey)

In this phase, survey research will be carried out with a questionnaire for student teachers and focus group discussion with teacher educators. The sample will comprise of student teachers in their final year/recent graduates of ‘special’ and ‘regular’ B.Ed programs from 5 universities in India (one each from North, South, Central, East and West). Additionally, teachers from ‘regular’ and ‘special’ schools, inclusive education resource teachers and teacher educators in ‘regular’ and ‘special’ teacher education institutes will form the sample for focussed group discussions.

Phase III(b) - Empirical research (Action research)

The process of setting up an IERC in collaboration with partner institutes will be documented to highlight the needs, capacity and agency of multiple stakeholders in establishing a resource center to support effective inclusive education practices. A reflective inquiry of the context, purpose, implementation and operations of the IERC will be furnished in the report to enable scalability.