For 40 years, the Pedagogical-Andragogical Days organised by the Department of Educational Sciences at the Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, have brought us together. In 2010, the meetings became thematic. This year, we discussed children, adolescents and adults who face significant obstacles in integrating into education. Dean Dr Mojca Schlamberger Brezar addressed the participants.
I cannot imagine being without a public education system that is accessible to everyone, inclusive, sustainable, etc. However, the clue is hidden in inclusion – teachers are essential to inclusive and sustainable pedagogical and andragogical education development.
In her keynote lecture, titled Invisible work and learning in the process of entering the profession and integrating into the labour market in the fields of education, training and social welfare, Dr Barbara Samaluk (Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana) highlighted a new vulnerable group – young people who face difficulties in transitioning from education to the world of work.
The second plenary lecture, Inclusion of Immigrant Students in Schools: the Role of the State, School, Professionals and Universities, followed. In it, the head of the Department of Educational Sciences, Dr Klara Skubic Ermenc, showed that the school’s inclusive culture is the basic framework within which solutions can be sought.
Focusing on individual target groups is insufficient; we must consider the entire system.
Inclusion means a conceptual transformation of the school was the title of the third plenary lecture given by Dr Špela Razpotnik (Faculty of Education, University of Ljubljana) and Dr Matej Rovšek (Special Education Centre Janez Levec Ljubljana). They agreed with their predecessor that inclusion goals could only be achieved once we understand the entire education system. “Inclusion means a profit for students,” said Dr Rovšek, and inclusive schooling is also economically feasible.
After the break, the work continued in the form of workshops. At the workshop discussing suicide in educational institutions, they presented the Guidelines for Postvention in Schools Following a Student’s or Pupil’s Suicide (2021). They emphasised that belonging, connectedness and inclusion also occur within informal activities. At the workshop on inclusion in vocational and professional education, they presented the results of a 2022 study that provided insight into the state of inclusivity. One of the discussion workshops also addressed the issue of the inclusion of adults with special needs. The purpose of the discussion group was to deepen the discussion on the modern challenges of inclusion faced by adults with special needs, their families, and especially professionals. Our colleague, Associate Professor Petra Javrh, actively participated in the workshop and stated, among other things: “It has been shown that there are several serious and concrete questions in this field. Special attention in the profession will have to be given to the question of who will more systematically take care of including adults with disabilities in lifelong education, which is their inalienable right.” The discussion concluded that professionals should first educate themselves more about the specifics of learning and education of people with special needs and better understand the deeper reasons for the appropriateness of the concept of inclusivity in the education system.
The event concluded with a round table discussion moderated by Dr Robi Kroflič. In this final part, the speakers and participants discussed the issues and reflections that had arisen throughout the day, thus concluding this year’s meeting.
Dr Tina Kompare Jampani (email@example.com), SIAE