The article supports the view that teachers are key to quality inclusive education and that continuing professional development (CPD) plays an essential role in promoting pro-inclusion changes in education systems. It reports and uses the findings from a research study focused on the educational experiences of two groups of Myanmar (Burmese) refugee children in the Czech Republic to explore the generic and specific teacher development requirements in a country where pro-inclusive education development still faces a range of barriers. The authors describe a specifically designed refugee-relevant CPD seminar participated in by teachers and other professionals involved with the second group of refugee children. The outcomes from the seminar, including improved support for children’s learning, teacher’s grasp of relevant information, inter-teacher and inter-agency collaboration, and school staff’s willingness to undertake further relevant CPD, are discussed. Alongside such positive developments, some exclusive practices were faced by the refugee children and their parents in both groups. These are contextualised within the post-socialist socio/cultural/political environment of the Czech Republic that impacts on the education system, schools and teachers and on the prospects for educational inclusion. The article recognises the urgent need for systemic reform of national teacher development. The authors conclude by arguing for existing Czech pro-inclusion practices to be promoted alongside international practices and policies in teacher development.
An important policy initiative implemented for the past 40 years in Canada, refugee private sponsorship has attracted international attention as Europe continues to grapple with