New online professional learning community to help teachers make their classrooms more inclusive

18th May 2020

inclusionED, a major new online professional learning community developed by QUT and Autism CRC, will help Australian educators make their classrooms more inclusive.

In the average Australian classroom, at least three children have a learning difficulty or neurodevelopmental disability. The support and scaffolding these children receive during school can set the trajectory for the rest of their lives, but many teachers don't feel equipped to effectively support the learning of all students in their classrooms.

Professor Suzanne Carrington, School Years Program Director at Autism CRC and Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Education at QUT, said inclusionED will play an important role in the national approach to addressing these challenges.

"inclusionED will be a hugely valuable resource for teachers across the nation, supporting them to make education inclusive for all learners, including those with learning difficulties or neurodevelopmental disabilities. I encourage Australia's educators to get online and explore the site," Professor Carrington said.

"Co-designed with educators, for educators, inclusionED provides evidence-based and research informed teaching practices, videos, printable templates and other resources.

"inclusionED is an online platform that assists educators and parents to support students, whether they are at school or at home.

"Underpinned by the principles of Universal Design for Learning, inclusionED supports flexible approaches that can be customised for individualised learning.”

Educators with early access to the platform are thrilled about what inclusionED offers them. Danni Bysouth, Learning Enhancement Teacher at Chapel Hill State School, says that inclusionED takes best practice and puts it into the classroom environment with demonstrated, realistic models.

"This can all be accessed at my convenience and I can select key areas that I feel are important for my students' needs and my professional development," Ms Bysouth said.

The platform also provides a national community of practice, enabling social sharing and educator reviews on the experience of implementing specific teaching practices.

"Imagine a whole community beyond your school, region, and state all sharing ideas, suggestions, and journeys. That's an enormous and practical resource," Ms Bysouth said.

"As teachers of inclusive classrooms, we not only support our diverse learners to fulfil their true potential in a nurturing classroom environment, but we are also cultivating acceptance and supportive environments outside our classroom doors and school gates," she said.

Andrew Davis, Autism CRC CEO, said that the research underpinning inclusionED's practices has been undertaken through 25 Autism CRC projects over six years.

"On behalf of the Autism CRC, I would like to thank the many researchers and organisations, and the hundreds of schools – their students, teachers and other personnel, and parent communities – who have contributed to (and continue to contribute to) our School Years Program. Without your contributions, inclusionED would not have been possible," Mr Davis said.

The inclusionED platform has been delivered through a collaboration between Autism CRC and QUT.


Media contacts:

Cally Jackson (Marketing and Communication Manager, Autism CRC), 0428 390 705, cjackson@autismcrc.com.au

Nhi Pham (Communications Officer, QUT Faculty of Education, 07 3138 3545, nhi.pham@qut.edu.au

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