Teacher Education for Inclusion

Swedish member of the project team: Professor Bengt Persson

During the last few years the topic of teachers’ abilities and competencies to deal with pupil differences in the classroom has been frequently discussed. The project Teacher Education for Inclusion has been developed by The European Agency for Development in Special Needs Education with support from the European Commission. The project will last for three years with activities beginning in 2009 and running until October 2012.

The following key issues are being addressed in the project:

  • What kind of teachers do we need for an inclusive society in a 21st century school?
  • What are the essential teacher competences for inclusive education?

Project activities are focussed upon:

  • The training of mainstream, general teachers and how they are prepared to work in inclusive settings;
  • The initial training phase as a priority.

The essential question for consideration is: how mainstream teachers are prepared via their initial training to be 'inclusive'.

These Agency member countries are participating in project activities: Austria, Belgium (covering both the Flemish and French speaking communities), Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK (England), UK (Northern Ireland), UK (Scotland) and UK (Wales).

Sweden is represented by The University of Borås. A country study visit was held in Borås in May 2010 with representatives from nine countries.

In addition representatives from European Commission, DG Education and Culture, UNESCO-International Bureau of Education and OECD-CERI participate in project activities as observers.

Background Information

In order to put the Agency project activities into a wider context, an extensive review of literature has been undertaken and two documents are now available:

  1. a review of international policy statements impacting upon teacher education. This document presents information on documents, reports and project write-ups from key international organisations: mainly the European Council, Parliament and Commission, UNESCO, OECD and the Council of Europe.
  2. a review of international research literature in the field of teacher education generally and teacher education for inclusion specifically. The review has been developed with input from representatives of the European Commission, DG Education and Culture, UNESCO International Bureau of Education and OECD-CERI. Most importantly, a review of research information has been conducted by experts from 18 countries participating in the Agency project and this is also included in the review document.

Website: Teacher Education for Inclusion


  • The European Agency for Development in Special Needs Education (2012) Lärarutbildning för Inkluderande Undervisning i Europa. Odense: European Agency for Development in Special Needs Education
  • Further publications can be found on the Agency’s website including a report on Swedish Teacher Education and literature reviews from all 25 participating countries.


Pedagogiskt arbete


Lärarutbildning och pedagogisk yrkesverksamhet


Persson, Bengt