Professional development is a remarkably accurate barometer of a school's educational health. It also has a profoundly positive effect upon the amorphous beast we call "staff morale". It is hard to imagine a teaching staff which is passionate about its own learning but is disinterested in the learning of its students.
Effectively including diverse learners in the regular classroom unquestionably poses a demanding challenge. But the nature of this challenge makes it relatively impervious to the traditional teacher training session that follows the transmittal model. Instead, inclusive teaching practice is directly supported by school cultures that encourage reflection, where teachers are provided occasions for critical contemplation of their beliefs about content, their observations on instructional practice and their thoughts about learning itself. Inclusive teaching flourishes when professional development is embedded in the daily collaborative interaction of colleagues, when there are continuous and meaningful conversations about learning and teaching; and when the responsibility and leadership for adult learning come from the individuals most concerned - the teachers themselves.
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