The social distancing requirements of COVID-19 presented a prime opportunity for Loren to re-design the popular Inclusive Education Cafe’s. The Cafe’s were once an opportunity only accessible in person by those in Loren’s school district/region.

Loren came up with concept when the Queensland Department of Education released its Inclusive Education Policy in mid 2018. Loren identified a need for educators to have an opportunity to come together and learn about the practical application of the policy, to share in challenges of practice, and to celebrate improvement.

Since the inception, the Cafe’s have grown to include focused professional learning and network coaching on topics including data analysis, action planning, whole-school approaches to differentiated teaching and learning, Universal Design for Learning, Co-teaching, curriculum adjustments, and supporting student engagement. The Cafe’s also grew to include educators from Catholic and Independent schools from Loren’s local area.

The Cafe is now delivered in partnership with the School Inclusion Network for Educators (SINE). The Cafe has broadened to suit a national audience, and brings together educators from across all States and sectors of education. The Cafe’s are planned to be delivered three times per Term, and occur via Zoom video conferencing.

Feedback from the first two Cafe’s has been very positive. Educators enjoy the collaborative and practical nature of the sessions, and take away great ideas and learning.

Examples of feedback provided via survey:

The recordings from the Cafe’s, along with their associated resources are available on Loren’s website.

If you would like to participate in future Cafe’s, please join the SINE Network for details.