For the past 2 years Loren has been hosting a regular Inclusive Education Cafe across the North Queensland Region – this has equated to the delivery of over 20 sessions, and has encompassed schools and educators in areas such as Ingham, Townsville, Ayr/Home Hill, Bowen, Whitsunday’s and Mount Isa.

The Cafe’s have provided a unique way to connect and engage participants in informal professional learning around Inclusive Education. The Cafe’s have offered exploration and delivery of practical solutions and responses to common questions and challenges of practice experienced in schools. This contextual and collaborative approach has been a successful way for participants to build their capability.

The Cafe’s have attracted a lot of interest from across Queensland State Schools, other systems, and other parts of the country. However, Loren’s return to her substantive position within a school has limited her availability to deliver the Cafe sessions beyond her immediate location. This in combination with the current COVID-19 restriction on social gatherings, has presented an opportunity to rethink Cafe delivery.

The Inclusive Education Cafe’s will now exist as an online experience through the use of Zoom. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in professional learning that centers on the same principles as the previous in-house sessions. This shift will allow for broader and larger cross-sector/system collaboration.

The following structure will be used to faciliate the Cafe experience online:

  • Welcome – Framing the focus question and challenge of practice
  • Connect – Stimulated reflection with participants in small groups
  • Learn – Exploration of practical strategies and solutions
  • Share – Collaborative discussions to share learning and contextual examples
  • Summary – Stimulated whole-group reflection and question time

Recordings of the Cafe’s will be made available on the School Inclusion – From Theory to Practice website.

The Cafe’s will run at regular intervals across the year and invites will be shared on the SINE Facebook page. The first online Cafe will take place on April 16, 2020.

More information about the Inclusive Education Cafe’s can be found here.