Teachers feel unprepared to deal with special needs students

More training needed before special needs students become part of regular classrooms, teachers say

Public school teachers do not believe that they have the necessary training to take care of students with special needs. The government’s goal is that special needs students with conditions like ADHD or autism be part of general classrooms by 2015, but teachers do not feel prepared for the job.

“We can see that there is a great need for teachers around the country to be retrained before inclusion can be successful,” Per Sand Pedersen from the Danish Teacher’s Union told DR Nyheder.

An early attempt at inclusion in Vordingborg Council has not been a success.

The Education Ministry criticised the council, saying that only a quarter of the teachers in the area have received more than a one-week course on working with special needs students.

In Aalborg, three out of four teachers said that they have not had enough training.

“It does not surprise me that there are many who feel that way,” said Petersen. “There is no doubt that inclusion is a good thing, but the expectations and framework need to be in place before it can be successful.”

READ MORE: Teacher training decisive for reading scores

Training pays off
The 25 teachers in Randers who have taken an eight-week training course in inclusion and class management said that the extra training paid off.

“I feel better equipped,” said one of the teachers, Pernille Rosenkilde. “I clearly feel that we have some children with special needs who require us to have more knowledge.”

Randers Council plans for 100 more teachers to take the training course this year, and Pedersen wants other councils to follow suit.

“We are looking at similar initiatives,” she said.





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