Insegnanti di sostegno: Un'evoluzione necessaria
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How should the professional role of the 115 000 Italian support teachers change? In this article, a new and ground-breaking proposal for redefining the main professional activities of support teachers is presented and discussed. Many findings about the evident professional and personal difficulties of support teachers should be interpreted through five structural elements that are seen as the main causes: the individual medical model of disability; the special role of support teachers; the special support classrooms; the use of additional human resources only for support teachers; the lack of inclusivity in general teaching activities. The proposal suggests a radical transformation in the role of the special teacher in two directions: first, 80% of them should become regular classroom teachers involved in co-teaching with the whole group and collaborating in the integration processes; second, 20% should become peer consultants supporting the regular teachers with methodological advice. The ongoing research and practical implications of this hypothesis are discussed below.