Reality of competency of professional practice of general teachers on inclusive education in Vietnam

Abstract. Standards of teachers have been passed and enacted in the reality of general education in Vietnam. As with the fact of the implementation of Inclusive Education since the beginning of 1990s, professional standards in general as well as its practical of teachers have not appeared in particular. Based on some results of theoretical reseacrh on this issue, the contents of the paper focuses on analyzing reality of competency of professional practiceof general teachers on inclusive education including 06 standards with 29 criteria in some areas of Vietnam. Therefore, the paper also suggests some solutions to improve these competencies for general teachers in Vietnam

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HNUE JOURNAL OF SCIENCE DOI: 10.18173/2354-1075.2017-0140 Educational Sci., 2017, Vol. 62, Iss. 6, pp. 158-168 This paper is available online at REALITY OF COMPETENCY OF PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE OF GENERAL TEACHERS ON INCLUSIVE EDUCATION IN VIETNAM Nguyen Xuan Hai Faculty of Special Education, Hanoi Natioal University of Education Abstract. Standards of teachers have been passed and enacted in the reality of general education in Vietnam. As with the fact of the implementation of Inclusive Education since the beginning of 1990s, professional standards in general as well as its practical of teachers have not appeared in particular. Based on some results of theoretical reseacrh on this issue, the contents of the paper focuses on analyzing reality of competency of professional practiceof general teachers on inclusive education including 06 standards with 29 criteria in some areas of Vietnam. Therefore, the paper also suggests some solutions to improve these competencies for general teachers in Vietnam Keywords: Inclusive Education; general teacher; competency; professional; practice. 1. Introduction Inclusive Education (IE) for children with disabilities has been implemented since the 1970s of the last century in developed countries such as the United States, Australia, and European countries; from the early 1990s, it has been begun in Vietnam. The main theoretical and practical studies related to professional competency in general, professional practiceof teachers in IE is conducted in the following directions: (i) Research toward the orientation of requesting teachers to conduct education, inclusive teaching responses children’s diversity by Lipsky D., & Gartner A. (United States) [7]; (ii) Research toward the orientation of focusing on the design and implementation of a holistic approach based on understanding the capacity and the needs of children by Marilyn Friend and William Bursuck (United States), World Health Organization (WHO), The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), other Vietnamese authors such as Le Van Tac, Nguyen Duc Minh, Nguyen Xuan Hai, Pham Minh Muc, amd Le Thi Thuy Hang, etc [2, 4, 9]; (iii) Research towards the development of career or professional standards based on job positions of Corn, Hatlen, Heubner, Ryan & Siller (Australia), Le Van Tac, Nguyen Xuan Hai, Le Thi Thuy Hang, Le Van Tac & Sijtze, and Nguyen Van Le, etc [4, 6, 9]. The contents of the article reflect the results of a study by the author on the competency of professional practice in IE of teachers that is sponsored from the National Fund for Science and Technology (NAFFOSTED), not to deepen the argument. It focuses on evaluating the reality of the competency of teachers in some study sites. Received date: 15/2/2017. Published date: 10/6/2017. Contact: Nguyen Xuan Hai, e-mail: haiblackocean@yahoo.co.uk 158 Reality of competency of professional practice of general teachers... 2. Content 2.1. The basic concepts On the concept of competency, various authors have been mentioned and published such as Weinert (2001), European Center for Employment and Labor (2005) [10], Howard Gardner [5], Nguyen Quang Uan [11],... In the scope of the article, we use the concept of competency of the author Tran Khanh Duc when studying the needs and models of training in capacity in the field of education: “Competency is the ability to receive and manipulate effectively all human potential (knowledge, skills, attitudes, beliefs, etc.) to perform a task or deal with a situation. , some states of life and occupational work” [1]. On the concept of professional competency, we use the concept by Phan Van Nhan: Competency in a certain occupational field is the ability to perform activities (tasks, jobs) in the profession according to the standards set for each task. On the concept of competency of professional practice in IE of teachers, as for Nguyen Xuan Hai, it is the ability to carry out activities of caring and educating children with disabilities according to the requirements set for each activity in order to achieve the educational goals for children with disabilities in general schools [3]. This competency can be considered as a specialized form of specific competency based on occupational approach. Based on the analysis above, we believe that, the competency of professional practice of teachers in IE is a type of occupational competency that constitutes the professional competency of teachers in IE; that is the ability to directly perform activities such as caring, intervening, and educating children with disabilities in the inclusive classroom and school environment. Based on analyzes and some research results in the field of IE as mentioned above [3, 4, 6], we have developed and proposed a set of professional practic equalification standards for teacher in IE for children with disabilities that includes 06 standards with 29 criteria [2]. 2.2. Conducting the survey (i) Purpose of the survey Conducting a survey to assess the current status of professional practice in IE of teachers, together with the results of theoretical research, as the basis for the development of the framework description with standards and criteria of the competency of professional practice in IE of teachers. (ii) Survey contents The competency for professional practice in IE for children with disabilities of teachers includes 06 standards with 29 criteria (iii) Target audience and survey area Table 1. Subjects TT Education level Subjects Teachers Managers Children Total 1. Steering Committee of DoET 0 3 0 3 2. Division of Education and Training 0 42 0 42 3. Primary and lower secondary schools 315 90 180 585 Sum 315 135 180 630 159 Nguyen Xuan Hai The survey was conducted at 03 IE Steering Boards for children with disabilities of Departments of Education and Training (DoET), 07 Divisions of Education and Training in 03 provinces, 15 primary schools and 15 lower secondary schools in 3 provinces: Hanoi, Da Nang and Ninh Thuan. The number of subjects/objects surveyed is detailed in the table 1. (iv) The way to conduct the survey - Introduce and guide the participants to fill in the survey form. This phase only ends when all respondents understand and can answer the questionnaire by themselves. The respondents will complete the questionnaire by themselves within 30 minutes. - Personal interviews, semi-structured interviews / small group interviews by target group. - Collect secondary data. (v) Evaluation and processing of survey results All data obtained from the actual study will be processed by mathematical statistics using SPSS or Microsoft Office Excel, then extracted to analyze and draw conclusions. In addition, we use statistics on quantity, %, and apply the calculation of average score (Xaver.). Evaluation of the content results of the survey that was conducted at two levels: the level of necessity and the level of performance of vocational education standards and criteria in IE of teachers. For the necessary level, it is judged according to Very necessary - necessary and not necessary; For performance levels, it is judged to be Fair, Good - Average - Below average. Each level is evaluated in percentage, calculating the mean value with the standard score corresponding to each level is 3 - 2 - 1, respectively. 2.3. Analyzing survey results (i). Evaluating the level of performance and level of performance of the standard 1: Skills to assess the capacity and needs of children with disabilities Includes the following five criteria: a) Select the appropriate assessment tool for the type of disability, the tendency to express the child’s abilities and difficulties. b) Use effective communication with children with disabilities to determine their level of language development, awareness, social skills, behavior, and other related issues. c) Effective use and coordination of different methods to determine the probabilities and causes, and the factors that affect the development of the child. d) Synthesize information on assessing children with disabilities in a scientific and systematic manner, facilitate the exploitation and use for the next steps. e) Understand and exploit effectively collected information to help draw conclusions about children’s abilities and needs accurately. Results of the survey data of this content are shown in the diagram 1. The results of this survey are shown in the diagram above that managers and teachers highly valued the need for criteria of standard 1 with the lowest Xaver. of 2.43 (criterion 4) and the highest one is 2.77 (criterion 2), and there is no significant difference in scores between the criteria in this standard. However, assessing the level of performance or level of achievement of the skills / criteria of this standard shows a relatively low level when only three criteria are rated at a low level, they are criteria 1, 2 and 5 (corresponding to Xaver. respectively 1.57, 1.58 and 1.57). The two underrated criteria are criteria 3 and 4 (corresponding to Xaver. 1.33 and 1.42, respectively). 160 Reality of competency of professional practice of general teachers... Figure 1. Necessity and level of ability to assess the abilities and needs of children with disabilities The ability to assess the capacity and needs of children with disabilities can be considered as the basic skill of a teacher who integrates into children with disabilities. Assessing children with disabilities requires teachers to have a variety of skills (in turn as listed above). However, the survey results show that despite the awareness of the needs, vocational skills for assessing the capacity and needs of children with disabilities in IE of teachers are limited, especially skills 3 and 4. (ii) Evaluating the level of need and level of standard 2: Skills for developing an individualized educational plan for children with disabilities Includes 05 criteria as below: a) Identify and select the correct target for educating and teaching children with disabilities in each period (long-term and short-term goals) and each sector (knowledge, skills). b) Ensure relevance between long-term and short-term goals, and at the same time, ensure logistical and intellectual systems for knowledge and skill objectives. c) Focus on identifying priority goals and areas to respond effectively to the competency and needs of children with disabilities at each stage of development. d) Calculate the conditions of facilities, equipment, and documents, etc., of classrooms and schools for the successful implementation of the objectives of education and teaching. e) Identify the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders such as classroom teachers, subject teachers, and peer group of children with disabilities, family members, and community members in achieving educational goals in teaching children with disabilities. Similar to the survey results for criterion 1, the results of this survey data shown in the chart above show that managers and teachers highly valued the necessity of building skills. Make an individualized educational plan for children with disabilities in IE, showing the lowest Xaver. is 2.25 (criterion 5) and the highest is 2.72 (criterion 1). However, the level of performance / attainment of the teacher’s skills / criteria is underestimated, with clear differences between the required level and level of performance. 3/5 of the criteria were rated below the mean of Criteria 1, Criteria 2, and Criteria 5 (Xaver. of these 3 criteria are 1.42, 1.42, and 1.46 respectively). In particular, Criteria 1 and Criterion 2 are considered very important and fundamental skills to any inclusive teacher. 161 Nguyen Xuan Hai Figure 2. Necessity and performance level of the individualized educational plan development skills for children with disabilities Only two criteria were assessed for the low level of performance: Criteria 3 and Criteria 4, respectively, for the Xaver. were 1.54 and 1.95. Developing an individualized education plan is a must for every school and teacher when children with disabilities study in inclusive schools. Construction must follow the steps, technical requirements and with the participation of different members of the school and the families of children with disabilities. Similar to the results of the standard survey 1, the results of the standard survey 2 show that, despite being aware of the need, the competency for professional practicein developing an individualized educational plan for children with disabilities in IE of teachers is limited. (iii) Evaluating the level of necessity and level of performance of the standard 3: Skills to identify activities to implement educational and teaching plan in IE for children with disabilities Includes the following four criteria: a) Identify target-oriented chains / systems, focus on identifying activities that achieve the priority goals of each stage of development. b) Identify sequences / systems of educational and instructional activities. c) Identify priority activities based on priority objectives. d) Consider the integration, adaptation of activities to the progress of the child. The skills to identify activities in the implementation of the educational and teaching in IE for children with disabilities in children with disabilities are carried out in accordance with the general plan for education and teaching of teachers in the classroom. When teachers are equipped with this skill in IE, this can be considered as an important design step to help prepare the process as in standard 1 and standard 2 into a direct interaction between subjects in the process of education and teaching in IE for children with disabilities. The results of the survey data that obtained for the assessment of criterion 3 show that all managers and teachers highly valued the required level of skills / criteria in implementing the plan, with the lowest Xavereage is 2.46 (criterion 3) and the highest one is 2.77 (criterion 1). However, the level of demonstration of skills / criteria in determining the activities of the teacher’s plan implementation was underestimated in all four criteria, including two under-scoring 162 Reality of competency of professional practice of general teachers... Figure 3. Level of necessity and level of skills of identifying activities for implementation of educational and teaching plan in IE for children with disabilities criteria (criteria 1 and 3 - corresponding to Xaver. are 1.47 and 1.42, respectively) and the remaining 2 criteria were at low average scores (criteria 2 and 4 - corresponding to Xaver. respectively 1.56 and 1.61). Thus, the criteria of the skill specification defining the activities of the implementation of education and training programs for the integration of children with disabilities can be said to be the strengths of the general teacher, but when applied in education and teaching. Integration of these skills / criteria is assessed to a limited extent. (iv) Evaluate the level of necessity and level of standardization 4: Skills to implement directly educational and teaching activities in IE for children with disabilities Includes the following seven specific criteria: a) Communicate effectively with all children in the classroom, ensuring that every child engages positively in learning activities, etc. b) Effectively use different teaching strategies (individual, group, whole class) to influence the different developmental areas of all children in the classroom (language, behavior and cognition, etc). c) Maintain the organization of activities aimed at education and teaching goals that have been identified, in accordance with the different levels of awareness of all children in the classroom. d) Implement a unified operational structure that will help students to identify activities to be undertaken, the sequence of activities, activities that have been completed, and follow-up activities, etc. e) Instruct children to deal with different tasks effectively. g) Intervene and adjust children’s behaviors through strategies and measures to reinforce, extinguish behaviors, use image support systems, or substitute actions through activity. h) Use reward systems for all children in the classroom, focus on motivating and rewarding children with disabilities. This is considered to be the most important skill for the teacher. All preparatory activities and the entire process of teacher preparation are done through classroom activities, in-school 163 Nguyen Xuan Hai Figure 4. Level of necessity and level of demonstration of direct skills in implementing educational and teaching activities in IE for children with disabilities. activities, and classroom integration activities. A good preparation with good skills will ensure the effectiveness of the class, but good preparation and poor skills are unlikely to lead to a good class time. The results of the survey data obtained by evaluating criterion 4 with the seven criteria shown in the graph above show that there is a clear difference between the cognitive assessment and the performance level of the criteria/skill. All criteria were rated at a high level of awareness, showing the lowest Xaver. is 2.60 (criterion 4) and highest Xaver. is 2.92 (criterion 7). Although there is a clear difference to the required level of criteria, the criteria at the level of the direct demonstration of of direct skills in implementing educational and teaching activities in IE for children with disabilities have been assessed that above average. This is also different from the criteria of standards 1, 2 and 3. In particular, criterion 5 is rated highest with Xaveragge = 2.01 and the lowest criterion is criterion 6 with Xaveragge = 1.66. This can be easily understood and appreciated because interventions to regulate the behavior of children with disabilities with behavioral problems in IE are always the greatest challenge for teachers. However, the scores achieved in criterion 6 were also rated at an average level. As such, both management staff and teachers are well aware of the needs to implement educational activities (in the classroom and at school) and to teach integration in the classroom. The assessment of the necessity of the criteria of this standard is quite high. No criteria for performance skills are rated below average, although scores are not high for implementing this skill of the teacher. This can be considered as a relatively strength in vocational competency in IE by teachers in the surveyed area. (v). Evaluating the level of necessity and level of standardization 5: Skills of using facilities and equipment in support of inclusive education Includes the following four specific criteria: a) Select equipment that suitable to the operation contents. b) Select the facilities and equipment that appropriate for the physical needs, communication, awareness and activities of children with disabilities and other children in the 164 Reality of competency of professional practice of general teachers... classroom. c) Use equipment in a timely manner, in the right places, at the correct frequency, and for the right purposes. d) Use facilities and equipment to ensure safety, aesthetics and pedagogy. Figure 5. The level of necessity and level of demonstration of using skills and equipment in inclusive education The equipment of education and training in IE for children with disabilities including common necessities, specific utensils of children with disabilities (if any) and special utensils are self-renewable suitable for children with disabilities studying at school. The use of facilities and equipment in education and teaching in IE for children with
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