Masaryk University (MU), located in Brno, is the second-largest public university in the Czech Republic. At present it comprises nine faculties with more than 200 departments, institutes and clinics. It is recognized as one of the most important teaching and research institutions in the Czech Republic and as a highly-regarded Central European university. Faculty’s primary goal is education of the teachers of primary and lower secondary schools, and of secondary schools in certain fields. Besides teaching programmes, the
faculty runs studies in special and social education. The Faculty of Education offers degrees in bachelor’s, master’s, long-cycle master’s and doctoral programmes. The last degree programme to complete the structure is lifelong learning containing advanced, follow-up, special and conversion programmes and short-term courses to answer the demand in practical teaching.
The Faculty of Education at Masaryk University focuses on the area of training future teachers, who will work with students with special educational needs and a teacher who holds the values of a democratic society. It offers study programmes for future special and inclusive teachers (Department of Special and Iclusive Education), and study programme of Special Androagogy preparing educators and counsellors of adults with disabilities. Within these study programmes, great emphasis is put on close cooperation with schools and other relevant organisations (NGOs, state institutions, etc.) with the aim to reflect changing situation at education policy. The Department of Special Education have been focusing on the area of training of future inclusive teachers for the last 10 years. It participated on EU projects and European Social Fund projects focusing on education of future teachers for people with SEND: Special needs of pupils in the context of the Framework Education Program for Basic Education (2007 – 2013), Sustainable learner – centred Teaching – Advanced Recourse for Georgia and China/ STAR Erasmus+, Capacity Building in the Field of Higher Education, 573777-EPP-1-2016-1-CZ-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP (2016-2019), Developing programs of Access of Disadvantaged groups of People and Regions to higher Education (DARE) Erasmus+, Capacity Building in the Field of Higher Education, 2015-2951/001-001, (2015 – 2018). Inclusive education and social support to tackle inequalities in society, H2020-SC6-REV-INEQUAL (2017-2020).
We also carry out research in the field and utilize its outcomes in planning of the curricula as well as a part of teaching itself.
The Institute for Research in Inclusive Education (IRIE) is a new and dynamic department which was derived from and closely cooperates with the Department of Special Education, Faculty of Education at Masaryk University. IRIE guarantees and delivers the study programme Special Andragogy focusing on adults with special educational needs/disability (SEN). IRIE emphasizes a close connection of education and practice. Therefore, IRIE actively cooperate with a number of institutions and NGOs. Apart from lecturing, we also carry our practically oriented research aiming at improvement of education and employment opportunities of persons with SEN, enhancing their independent life and social inclusion.