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Inclusion requires continuous education

Learning through personal experience is one of the most effective methods of acquiring knowledge. For Radica Blagojević - Radovanović, a psychologist from the primary school “Aleksa Dejović” from Sevojno, Serbia, learning through experience is particularly important for school staff and for teachers.

Her school recently hosted a study visit, where some 15 teachers, parents and various school staff that also participated on a peer exchange meeting held in Belgrade 18-20 February, came to learn how inclusive education is being put into practice in Sevojno. The goal of the peer exchange meeting and the study visit was to enable teachers to learn from each other about inclusive culture, practices and policies.

“Personal experiences and lifelong education are essential for people working in schools. This is why I believe that the peer exchange visits encourage the professional and personal development of school employees, because a person can see directly how work with children, methods and actual teaching is being implemented in a real environment”, says Radovanović  “It is a great opportunity for them to gain information that will help them solve difficulties or dilemmas that they might have had previously and also to learn new things that they can integrate in their own practice.”

During the meeting, the participants discussed numerous inclusive education related issues, from models which have been proven as successful, to legislation, school organisation, values and culture in their schools, teaching methodologies, didactic materials and mechanisms for support of vulnerable children and pedagogical documentation.

“I started working as a teacher quite recently and for me, every additional training or learning opportunity is of great benefit. These kinds of close co-operation opportunities, like the peer exchange meeting is great for meeting colleagues from different environments that face similar problems as I do. So, we exchange experience, materials and we discuss various problems and achievements in our work”, says Sandra Popović, teacher in the Primary School "Branko Ćopić", from Prnjavor, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Both Radovanović and Popović agree that working on inclusive education demands continuous education.

“It is cooperation with colleagues from different schools that stimulates the horizontal learning process through the exchange of experience and good practices, which at the end of the day, directly affects the quality of the education for every child”, they say.

More photos of the study visit can be found on our Facebook page: