This paper presents outcomes from a professional development programme (PDP) in India designed to support inclusion of students with disabilities. 107 practising teachers including general educators, special educators, school leaders, and counsellors, among others participated in a six-month PDP. The programme focused on equipping teachers with Universal Design for Learning (UDL) practices tailored towards the Indian context. The PDP consisted of 24 interactive workshops conducted over six days once a month, along with coaching to support implementation, resource packages, a professional learning community, and visits to the host’s and participants’ settings. Data from questionnaires and audio-visual evidence suggest that participants were able to apply a range of strategies including attention grabbers, energisers, classroom management, and reading fluency strategies to their classrooms. Participants most appreciated the hands-on strategies and contextually relevant resources that were made available at no additional cost as part of the PDP. The paper highlights the need to create and share open education resources (OERs) that all teachers can contribute to and extend the scope of PD programmes to provide follow-up support.
No potential conflict of interest was reported by the author(s).
Notes on contributors
Radhika Misquitta has a PhD in Special Education (Learning Disabilities) from the University of Texas at Austin, and an M.Ed and B.Ed. in Special Education from SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai. She is a founding member of the Gateway School of Mumbai. Her interests are in teacher education, in developing systemic supports for supporting children with disabilities,and in how technology can be harnessed to optimise learning. At Gateway, Radhika teaches Language to the High School students, supports with teacher development, strategic planning, and with the research department.
Rudri Joshi has a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Mumbai University and her B.Ed. in Special Education from SNDT University, Mumbai. At Gateway, drives the Outreach department and is the coordinator of the Professional development programme (PDP) that supports mainstream schools build inclusive practices. Her interests lie in exploring EdTech to optimize learning and facilitate inclusion for all students in the classroom.