The visit forms part of the "Promoting inclusive education through curriculum development and teacher education in China" (INCLUTE) project, in which the UAB participates through its SIdis research group at the UAB Department of Applied Pedagogy.
The project's objective is to promote the training of Chinese primary school teachers in inclusive education. For this reason, the European project works on learning about the inclusive practices in educational and social contexts in China, developing the competences of teachers related to the inclusive education in Chinese universities, designing, developing and implementing a continuous training programme (master's degree) in inclusive education for primary school teachers in China, and create an international network on inclusive education.
During their stay, the lecturers will also visit three schools in which inclusive education practices are applied: L’Escoleta, at the Bellaterra campus (Cerdanyola del Vallès); Pere Calders, in the town of Polinyà; and El Turonet, in Sant Quirze del Vallès.
According to lecturer Josep Maria Sanahuja, of the UAB Department of Applied Pedagogy, Chinese schools have special difficulties in putting into practice inclusive education strategies: very high teacher/student ratios, schools with little relation with the education community (organisations, PTAs, etc.), little training for teachers in these matters and a very vertical and hierarchical school structure.
The European project included a survey of 6,432 primary school teachers in China, with 36 personal interviews and 4 focus groups, in which primary school teachers, families, NGOs and local and regional government members participated in February 2017. This survey confirmed the need for teachers prepared to meet the educational needs existing in Chinese classrooms.
The "Promoting inclusive education through curriculum development and teacher education in China" (INCLUTE) project, in which the UAB participates through the SIdis research group of the UAB Department of Applied Pedagogy, will end one year from now and was begun in October 2015.
In addition to the UAB, the partner universities participating are University of Bath, the Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa, Trinity College of Dublin, and the four Chinese universities where the lecturers work: the Southwest University (project coordinator), the Guangxi Normal University, the Sichuan Normal University and the Tibet University for Nationalities.
The visit of Chinese university lecturers to the UAB forms part of the training programme European partners are offering to university teaching staff of these four universities.