Short Description of the Project

The project is foreseen between the Center for Teacher Education at the University of Vienna and the Special Education Development Center at Srinakharinwirot University in Bangkok, Thailand. It consists of two parts: Part 1 Outgoing for Project Activities in Thailand and Part 2 Incoming for Project Activities in Austria.
The project will produce research-based knowledge to inform teacher education modules and teacher educators in Thailand and Austria in terms of cultivating teaching-force that are trained to develop and maintain inclusive education practices during crises situations such as pandemics. Pre-service and in-service teacher education will be enhanced in both countries by the collaborative research and knowledge-exchange between the biggest teacher education institutions of the both countries. When seen as a social consequence of a social cause, disability requires less discriminatory and more inclusive society (Clive et al., 2010), which also requires an inclusive response to emergencies. Article 11 of the Convention for the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD) relates to situations of humanitarian emergencies and risks that include pandemics. The article mandates to take all necessary precautions “to ensure the safety of persons with disabilities in situations of risk” (United Nations, 2006. p.10). Considered as a core component of a humanitarian response, education constitutes an important institution that reinstates or enables normalcy during emergencies. Hence, maintaining inclusive education during pandemics holds specific importance for the vulnerable groups such as people with disabilities. Nonetheless, the specific needs of the people with disabilities and rehabilitation-dependence are rarely taken into consideration during the planning of educational response (Barth, 2019). However, Thailand’s overall response to Covid-19 pandemic was evaluated by the World Health Organization, alongside New Zealand, as a successful emergency response in terms of leaving no one behind and including the most vulnerable and advocating for augmenting old age, disability, or refugees (UN News 2020). In addition, Thailand has prioritised social protection of the disabled, monitoring violence against children as well as working with local communities during pandemic (Sabharwal, 2020) and has displayed knowledge with similar more localized contexts (Tsunami, swine flu). We believe that this collaboration can provide knowledge for the following research questions.
   1. What are the perceptions of practitioners (teachers, school directors, teacher educators) regarding inclusive education practices during pandemics and other crises?
   2. How do teachers organize and justify the inclusive education practices with respect to pandemic situations and measures?
   3. Which practices of Thailand and Austria can be transferred between the two countries in terms of enhancing emergency response during pandemics?

Expected Outcomes
To better understand the processes of exclusion and inclusion in education during pandemics such as Covid-19, the project will engage in participative research at the nexus of inclusion, pandemics and disability in teaching and educational settings in Thailand and Austria. Empirical international research covering these diverse contexts will examine teaching practices as well as teacher education practices. The experiences, challenges or good practices of the both countries regarding inclusive education during pandemics will be in the scope of the project. Practitioners such as teachers, school directors or teacher educators from both countries (project team members) will be included in the research as first-hand data sources to develop concrete and solid programs and guidelines for inclusive teacher education during such crises situations. In addition, both institutions have several graduate students who are engaged in inclusive teacher education and who can profit from such a collaboration on acute crises situations. The project Part 1 will offer a platform where masters and PhD students can engage in participative and collaborative research and exchange their knowledge and experiences via a summer school at SWU in Bangkok. Hereby, an international perspective will be gained by the graduate students. The overall objective can be summarized as: to elaborate scientific knowledge to further develop the capacity of Thai and Austrian pre-service and in-service teachers and professionals in the area of inclusive education during pandemics and other crises situations.

Project Events PART 1
- Regular online meetings for planning, managing and evaluating the project
- Planning activities in Bangkok with the academic staff of both universities to finalize the content of the summer school and teacher seminar.
- A two-day teacher seminar with Thai teachers in Bangkok, school directors, teacher educators to exchange knowledge, experiences, challenges or good practices regarding inclusive education practices during pandemic and topics such as in-service training, family-school cooperation or education management during crises. This seminar will target the participation of at least 10 practitioners. The participation of practitioners from Austria will be done via digital tools.
- A three-day summer school in Bangkok with graduate students who are engaged in inclusive education and inclusive teacher education. There will be sessions on emergency response for education, inclusive education, teacher education during crises situations as well as innovative research methodologies and methods during crises situations. Austrian graduate students will join through digital tools. At least 20 graduate students are expected to join.
- A one-day interactive seminar in Bangkok with the academic staff of both countries (teacher educators) to evaluate the summer school and seminar outcomes. The report of Part 1 will be prepared about how to improve emergency response in both countries, how to transfer the good practices to other contexts and how to enhance the research on inclusive education during pandemic situations.

The project management will be led as distributed leadership. Both of the partners have the lead in terms of controlling and planning the activities. Distributional leadership targets maximum coherence and cooperation. The project coordination will be done by the project team at the University of Vienna. The Center for Teacher Education engages in teacher development for inclusive education at secondary level (BA and MA level) as well as collaboration with other universities to develop in-service teacher training curriculum for inclusive education. The Center has taken part in several international projects that tackle inclusive teacher education, refugee education or disability studies. There are also several PhD students who are hosted by the Center.

The project partner, the Special Education Development Center at Srinakharinwirot University is situated in the Faculty of Education. The Faculty has been founded as the first teacher training institute in Thailand and is currently one of the leading institutes in Thailand. The Center offers BA, MA and PhD programs to prepare teachers to become effective classroom teachers, leaders and researchers in inclusive and special education. The Center has currently seven academic staff who conduct academic teaching and research related to inclusive teacher education.

Dissemination & Expected Publications
Every partner is committed to disseminating the project on the local, regional and national levels by leveraging existing networking with schools, and organizations through the dissemination tools as the toolkit, the reports of understanding, as well as a bank of good practices. However, the success of the project really depends on the ability to spread project findings also beyond the project partners. The outputs will be disseminated through the web pages of the partners and the project team will use their professional social networks and academic networks. Apart from the outputs that are listed above, dissemination of the results will be done at national and international levels through publications. The publications at the end of this project are planned in three languages: German, Thai, and English.

Comments on Resubmission in 2021
The project has been approved by ASEA UNINET for 2020. Unfortunately, continued COVID-19 travel restrictions between Thailand and Austria do not allow the implementation of the project in 2021. Nevertheless, the project continues to be highly relevant. Both partner institutions and all team members agreed to implement the project between Oct. 2021 and Sept. 2022.

Project period01/2021 - 06/2023

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