About the BMBF funding directive „Qualification of educational professionals for inclusive education“

An inclusion-oriented education lays the foundation for  the equal and social participation of people with different learning and performance requirements. The necessary institutional and conceptual reforms pose new challenges for pedagogical specialists, which raise fundamental questions of the professionalisation and qualification of pedagogical specialists. The most precise, scientific description of these requirements is the basis for the development of new concepts of education, training and further education.

Inclusive education – respectively the joint teaching-learning processes of people with different learning and performance requirements – is one of the central concerns of current education policy. It forms the basis for personal development, social participation and equal access to working life.

In 2009, Germany ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) and committed itself to ensuring an inclusive education system at all levels. The goal is to provide people with disabilities across all stages of education – from early childhood and school education to vocational and continuing education – equal access to quality education.

To this end, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research announced the funding directive “Qualification of educational professionals for inclusive education” in 2016. The aim is to better align the qualification of educational professionals in all areas of education with inclusive teaching-learning processes. The funding directive will fund 39 research projects (21 individual projects and 18 collaborative projects). The first projects started in October 2017.

Meta project under the BMBF funding directive „Qualification of educational professionals for inclusive education“ (MQInkBi)

The associated meta project (MQInkBi) supports the networking of the funded research projects. In addition to a continuous exchange between the research projects, the aim is to promote the rapid and sustainable transfer of relevant knowledge into educational practice, the training of educational staff, politics and the public.

MQInkBi involves various measures:

  • Observing the results and developments in the funding directive with the aim of merging the knowledge gained there into a research synthesis.
  • Networking of projects among each other through different conference formats.
  • Providing a website, setting up a newsletter and building an online journal for the rapid publication of results.

In the context of our research, we have insight in the research processes and future results of the 39 research projects (21 individual projects and 18 collaborative projects), which are funded across all areas of education throughout Germany.

The projects, for example, have a focus on how concepts and methods of inclusive educational environments can work and evolve and ask for benefits and disadvantages of inclusive and exclusive conditions and how to promote inclusive learning in all areas of education.

Our task is, for example, to integrate the projects’ results and form a research synthesis. The meta project tries to monitor the content and methodology of the different projects’ research processes and results in the discourse with the aim of a research synthesis. There is an increasing differentiation of research subjects and methodological and scientific-theoretical positions of the various projects under the following criteria.

Monitoring of the projects under the following aspects:

  • Relation to the subject discourses in the concerned area of education,
  • Synergy effects between the projects
    • within and across educational sectors and
    • from a methodological point of view
  • Identification of existing research desiderata

First systematizations with regard to

  • Educational areas
  • Phases of qualification (education, training and further education)
  • Specialist didactic, special and general education skills
  • Didactic implementation
  • Conceptualization and transfer

Knowledge-based analytical categories

  • Understanding of inclusion
  • Theory of pedagogical professionality
  • Research paradigm / research design / research methods

Instead of a self-referential juxtaposition of results and research approaches, the research synthesis shall be made a multimethodical fusion from a meta-perspective. A reconstructive perspective is taken to systematically mark interfaces and divergences between different research logics. We follow the insight into the limits of our own and respective paradigms towards a kaleidoscopic picture of the object.