Experiences that shape the development of inclusive instruction in preservice teachers: An international comparison
European Journal of Special Education Research
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Preservice teacher education programs are vital in teachers’ development of instructional practices for inclusive classrooms. In previous research, preservice teachers in Canada had higher scores on measures of experience with people with disabilities when compared to those in Germany. The current study investigated the proposition that differences existed because of experiences of inclusion in the respective countries. Participants were 18 Canadian preservice teachers from faculties of education in Ontario, Canada and 29 German preservice teachers from a Bavarian university. A Group Concept Mapping (GCM) technique was employed. Both groups identified Practicum Experiences, Education Program, Past Jobs, and Personal Life Experiences as contributing to the development of their inclusive practice. Only the Canadian sample identified Mentoring Relationships and Professional Development. Differences and similarities in teacher education programs are highlighted as possible contributors to the differences in Canadian and German preservice teachers’ perceptions of experiences useful for shaping their instructional practice.
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