The role of school social workers in the process of provision of inclusive education in Canton of Bern

Mazmanyan, Mariam; Chiapparini, Emanuela (24 September 2021). The role of school social workers in the process of provision of inclusive education in Canton of Bern In: 3-rd WERA-IRN Extended Education Conference: Extended Education - Toward a Sustainable Future. Online. 23.09.2021-25.09.2021.

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The inclusive education reform has been the subject of widespread public debate both in Armenia and in the Canton Bern. According to the policy of the Government of Armenia, by 2025 all Armenian mainstream schools will provide inclusive education. The country goes through the transition from a dual system (special schools and general schools) of education to the notion of inclusive education, where certain supporting factors are in place for children with disabilities to study with peers without special educational needs. One of the widely recognized supporting factors is the presence of a social worker in the multidisciplinary teams of schools. However, in Armenia, there is no requirement by the law to have a social worker in the multidisciplinary team and the importance and potential of social work are not well communicated to the stakeholders. In the Canton Bern reforms are also aimed at ensuring quality access to basic and advanced education through provision of inclusive education and all-day schooling opportunities. Studies in this field have revealed, that not all stakeholders have a positive attitude towards the reform and cooperation between them remains challenging. Important to underline, that these studies illustrate mainly a pedagogical perspective, but the role of social work in inclusive education in the Canton is not well-investigated and defined (see the “state of research”). The cross-country research brings the light on the possible and actual role and functions that social workers have in the inclusive education and long-day schooling settings in Canton Bern and Republic of Armenia. Through the literature review authors attempt to underline the scope of theoretical knowledge which social workers should possess while working in inclusive schools. Furthermore, the research paper illustrates the contextual information (the background of school social workers, the ratio of social workers and pupils) on the inclusive education practice in Bern highlighting the social workers perspective. The research paper clarifies the scope of competencies which social workers may exercise as a member of the multidisciplinary team as well as represents the challenges which social workers face while working in the inclusive schools. Based on the research findings the authors make recommendations on how to improve the social work practices in inclusive and all-day schools.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


School of Social Work > Social Intervention focus area
School of Social Work
School of Social Work > Institute for Childhood, Youth and Family


Mazmanyan, Mariam and
Chiapparini, Emanuela0000-0002-1796-088X


H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
L Education > L Education (General)




Emanuela Chiapparini

Date Deposited:

01 Oct 2021 11:04

Last Modified:

01 Dec 2022 21:46

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