Cooperation between general and special needs teachers in inclusive classes in Styria.
Successful integration of all students with Special Educational Needs (SEN) greatly relies on the joint
educational efforts of all teachers within a particular class. This unquestionably applies to the development
of individual educational plans for students with SEN, which must be understood as a collaborative assignment
for the regular class teacher and the special education teacher. Moreover, the development and employment
of individual educational plans has been statutorily regulated by the Austrian department of Education since
2009. The main objective of this study was to examine the practical implementation of this regulation in
174 regular teachers and 126 special education teachers, both working in integrative classrooms, were
questioned about their attitudes and opinions regarding the implementation of individual development plans
and, especially, their contentment with the general conditions at school level.
The results of the present study show that no significant difference exits between special education
teachers and regular teachers with regard to their attitudes towards the elaboration and use of individual
development plans. However, a significant difference was found between primary teachers and secondary teachers.
This seems mainly caused by much better conditions for collaboration in the primary school, related to
the much larger teacher teams in secondary education, as well as the organization of teaching with subject
specialist teachers in secondary education.
Keywords: inclusion, special educational needs, individual educational plan