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Surfacing systemic complexities through Video Ethnography

The inclusion of children with disabilities into a regular school environment is proven to have positive effects for everyone involved. But changing education systems that were built on separation involves various challenges that are deeply rooted in human behavior and belief systems. So, how might we unlock this complexity and identify the most effective levers for change?
In a project involving two Teacher Education Universities, we used video ethnography and systems mapping to bring the realities and decision-making of critical stakeholders to life and to inspire mutual learning for more effective systemic interventions.

In Switzerland, schools need to facilitate the inclusion of children with disabilities into a regular school environments wherever possible. This change is incredibly complex to implement as it involves complex interactions between different stakeholders as well as conflicting mindsets, prejudice and a lack of practical experiences to guide practitioners through the shift.

  • We helped researchers from two teacher education universities to iteratively map the complexities involved onto an Inclusive Education Landscape that involves important steps, institutional layers and operational phases throughout the school year.
  • We then conducted in-context interviews with selected teachers, headmasters and teacher educators and videorecorded them talking about their realities, the challenges they are faced with and how they tackle inclusion ‘on the ground’.
  • To make these realities accessible across the educational landscape in Switzerland, we built an interactive online story around the critical challenges that emerged and used 3-6 minute video snippets from the interviews to bring the realities of key stakeholders to life.

The result is an online tool that allows practitioners and policy-makers to empathize with the realities of the people that have to implement Inclusion across Switzerland. The solution offers insights and practical examples to build empathy and help identify the most important challenges faced by the people that are tasked with making Inclusion a reality.

Link to the website (in German):

Lehrplan für Alle – Lernen für Alle
Ecosystem Map Education
The Landscape for Inclusive Education was iteratively developed with our clients to help understand the most important aspects throughout the school year that facilitate or challenge the inclusion of children with disabilities.
Video Snippet Stakeholder Journey
The interactive online Platform we built highlights the critical challenges faced by the practitioners on the ground and uses their
IndustryEducationYear2023KeywordsStakeholder Immersion, Video Ethnography, Systems Mapping