Diversity and Heterogeneity at School on the Example of a “Neue Mittelschule” in Carinthia, Austria
Inclusive education is strongly intertwined with issues of diversity and heterogeneity.Consequently, it raises the question of how to address students with a varietyof background, learning styles and abilities in classroom. According toJoller-Graf (2010), a diverse group of pupils demands lessons to be carried outwith flexibility, using a wide range of methods and trying to accommodate thevarious needs of pupils. The cooperative school with "inclusiveclasses" offers an ideal research field for inclusive education. Researchaims and questions The main aim of the research project is to gain knowledge oninclusive teaching strategies that can be applied when dealing with diversityin classrooms. In addition, two partial objectives are determined: first, toobtain findings about the methods of differentiation; and second, to definefurther imperative aspects for a successful performance in "inclusiveclassrooms." The outcomes of the study are to be presented to teachers atschool and to students in teacher education. Furthermore, the findings shouldencourage a broader embedding of the topic in the curriculum of teacher education.In line with these aims the following research questions can be deducted: -Which inclusive teaching strategies are essential when dealing with diversityin classrooms? - Which methods of differentiation should be used for asuccessful inclusive teaching? - Which are the main findings that should beembedded in teacher education and be used as didactic advice? Theoreticalframework and methods The Index of Inclusion (Tony Booth and Mel Ainscow, 2002)represents one of the central theoretical frameworks. To obtain practicaldidactic advice that can be used in teacher education, Criteria of GoodInstruction (Hilbert Mayer, 2006) will be consulted. According to the researchdesign of Grounded Theory, methods such as qualitative interviews, observationand questionnaires will be applied. Guidelines for the development of questionsused in these methods will be leaned on the Index of Inclusion.
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