FAMDIS Family Involvement in Developing Inclusive Settings

Project Description


This project is conducted by the Center for Teacher Education of the University of Vienna (henceforth Univie) and the Department of Psychology of the University Sumatera Utara (henceforth USU). The target is expanding the knowledge to achieve inclusion of parents in school practices and to increase the success of the inclusive school settings by creating an inclusive school community where parents are represented.

The project aims to examine the existing family involvement practices in both countries and to develop criteria for good practices for the practitioners based on research and knowledge exchange and to enhance the active existence and share of parents in inclusive schools. In this project, our goal is to learn more about the practices of integration of parents in the inclusive education processes. Different ways of integrating parents in the schools and how to profit from their integration are in the scope of this project. To better understand the efforts of family involvement and the implementation of family involvement strategies in inclusive education, the project will engage several groups in this participatory research. Empirical international research will examine teachers’ perspective, parents’ perspectives, as well as policy perspective.

The experiences, challenges and/or good practices found in both countries will be in the scope of the project. Participants such as teachers, parents, school directors or teacher educators from both countries will be integral part of the research activities. Data collected during the project will be used to develop concrete and solid guidelines for family involvement.

Credits: Dina Nazriani
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Implementation Period:

01.10.2022 – 31.12.2023


Research Activities

Between October 2022 and December 2023, the project team met online several times and worked on policy analysis, criteria development for data analysis, development of data collection instrument as well as planning the study visits. During the project’s duration, there were two study visits conducted by the team members of Univie. In February, Dr. Seyda Subasi Singh visited USU alone and in December 2023 with Dr. Michelle Proyer. Research activities took place online and also in present during the study visits. Among the research activities conducted are there:

  • Analysis of the policy of inclusion published by the Indonesian Ministry of Education
  • Analysis of the criteria used by the Indonesian Ministry of Education used to categorize schools as inclusive school.
  • Development of guidelines for semi-structured interviews with parents of children with disabilities
  • Development of guidelines for data collection during school visits
  • Development of interview questions for focus group discussions with parents, teachers, and policy makers
  • Literature review on inclusive education in Indonesia
  • Analysis of curriculum at the higher education level for preparing psychologists for the identification of special education needs

Teaching, outreach and future perspectives

During the first study visit in February 2023, Dr. Subasi Singh offered a guest teaching at USU. Students, staff of USU and some in-service teachers could attend this session. This session was a very fruitful one to get to know the Indonesian context of inclusive education and family involvement in education but also to introduce the Austrian educational context. During this visit, Dr. Subasi Singh also met the faculty of Department of Psychology, Human Development and International Office. Possibilities of academic exchange between the two universities were discussed. The staff of USU was informed about other funding options for academic exchange between the two countries.

During the second visit in December 2023, Dr Subasi Singh and Dr Proyer were invited to give a public lecture. On December 20. 2023 between 1 and 3.30pm, colleagues from the Department of Psychology together with the student committee at USU organized a guest public lecture on “Preparing school for inclusive education” with Dr Subasi Singh and Dr Proyer. The bilingual event followed the need to clarify the main idea of inclusive education in the school context. Additionally, the main idea of our collaboration (learning more about family engagement, and scholarship opportunities were presented. Next to members of staff and students, stakeholders from schools and school administration had been invited. 53 participants attended in person, 51 online via ZOOM. In preparation to the event, 94 questions on the topic were collected and infused the brief input that was followed by an interesting discussion and networking. As the topic of inclusive education is still a rather recent one, the event posed an opportunity for both practitioners and researchers to get to know each other and exchange. The research team was able to expand their network to a government agency and additional headmasters.

Seyda Subasi-Singh and Michelle Proyer visited 3 schools and exchanged with headmasters and teachers. These activities were embedded in research activities of MA students at USU. More students will be involved in follow-up research. Thus, the project collaboration contributes to further developing research capacities (specifically for female students).


During the two visits to University of Sumetera Utara, the project team could meet with several stakeholders such as:

  • Representatives of Ministry of Education responsible for the implementation of inclusive school policy
  • Representatives of Ministry of Education responsible of school supervison for inclusion
  • 6 school headmasters
  • More than 20 teachers working in inclusive settings
  • Vice President of USU
  • Head of International Ofiice of USU
  • Dean of Department of Psychology
  • Vide Dean of Department of Pschology
  • Staff of Department of Pschology at USU
  • Several psychologists who are responsible for diagnosis of special education needs

Website stories:

Publications and Project Outcomes:

  • A peer-reviewed journal article. The data is being analyzed as of the submitting of this report.
  • Guest teaching of Dr. Subasi Singh at USU in February 2023 (30 participants)
  • Guest public (hybrid) lecture of Dr. Subasi Singh and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Proyer at USU in December 2023 (103 participants)
  • Guidelines for semi-structured interviews on family involvement in inclusive education in Indonesian context.
  • Networking with schools designated as “inclusive School” by the Ministry of Education
  • The project publication will be finalized in the first half of 2024 in a Scopus-indexed journal.

Further Cooperation:

This project proved that University of Sumatera Utara (USU) and University if Vienna (Univie) have common interests in developing a further and broader cooperation and expanding the opportunities for academic exchange which has been secured by follow-up funding by ASEA Uninet.

  • During the project visit in December, Univie Team had a meeting with the Vice Dean of USU who is responsible for international affairs and with the Head of International Office to discuss about the next steps to expand the cooperation.
  • As a first step, a Memorandum of Understanding will be developed between the Center for Teacher Education at Univie and Department of Psychology at USU after
  • In April 2024 a visit of USU staff and Master students to Vienna is planned to take place. This visit will be a study, academic exchange, and training program. Students of USU will come together with the students of Univie and work on the project data as follow up.
  • The next step is also to develop a training program which will be taught by Univie project team in summer school of USU in the summer of 2024.



Project Team:

Dr. Seyda Subasi Singh (Project Leader)

University of Vienna, Austria
Center for Teacher Education


Subasi Singh is a senior lecturer at the Center for Teacher Education. She teaches courses on social, motor, emotional, and cognitive development as well as on inclusive teacher training. She does research on international comparative inclusive education, development of inclusive education teachers and identification processes of special education needs.


Assoc. Prof. Dr. Michelle Proyer

University of Vienna, Austria
Center for Teacher Education


Michelle Proyer is an associate professor at the Center for Teacher Education of the University of Vienna. She teaches and conducts research in the area of Inclusive Education Dr. Proyer’s research areas are international comparative research, inclusive teacher education and intersectionality. She is also the current head of the study program at the Center for Teacher Education of the University of Vienna.


Mag. Simon Reisenbauer

University of Vienna, Austria
Department of Education


Mag Simon Reisenbauer is a PhD student at the Department of Education of the University of Vienna. He teaches and conducts research in the area of inclusive education. His PhD dissertation is on comparative inclusive education settings.


Dr. Tarmidi Dadeh 

University Sumatera Utara, Indonesia
Department of Psychology


Dr. Dadeh is senior lecturer/senior professor at the Department of Psychology at the University Sumatera Utara. He is involved in teaching and research in educational psychology.


Dina Nazriani, MA

University Sumatera Utara, Indonesia
Department of Psychology


Mrs. Dina Nazriani is a junior professor at the Department of Psychology at the University Sumatera Utara. She is involved in teaching and research in educational psychology.


Project Details

  • Date Januar 17, 2024
  • Tags Basic Research, Social Science
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