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“We Are All Special”: Inclusion and Support for Students with Special Needs In and Out of the Classroom

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Concept by: Marta Mandolini

Description

This course is designed to offer a deeper understanding of class dynamics, students’ wellbeing, learning success, and family involvement in inclusive schools. “We are all special” reflects the attitude that educators may use in inclusive classes, in order to prevent labeling, isolation, or bullying towards students with special needs. In a diverse classroom, diversity is a synonym for understanding, integration, and opportunity.

Participants will be given a general introduction to main disabilities such as learning disabilities (dyslexia, dyspraxia), emotional and behavioral disorders (ADHD, ADD, Depression, Bipolar), intellectual and physical disabilities and impairment, developmental disabilities (Autism). They will also be encouraged to share their experiences and difficulties they may have encountered in their profession.

They will be given a series of hands-on activities to prevent isolation and disruptive behaviors from the beginning of the school year, considering peer interaction and peer support as fundamental elements to build social skills, self-confidence and cope with stress and helplessness. 

Participants will also experience effective relaxation techniques, and movement-based activities, to be used with students with special needs and the rest of the class. 

Finally, participants will be trained in the use of positive and practical strategies to improve effective communication with parents and with the rest of the class.

Learning outcomes

The course will help the participants to:

  • Acquire, reflect, refresh knowledge about main disabilities such as learning, intellectual and physical developmental disabilities
  • Exchange reflections and practices, share difficulties and solutions with colleagues
  • Experience concrete activities to prevent isolation and disruptive behavior, which can be replicated in the classroom
  • Learn how to empower peer interaction and support with other students with special needs and classmates
  • Practice effective and positive communication with parents.

Tentative schedule (in Barcelona)

The schedule describes likely activities but may differ significantly based on the requests of the participants, and the trainer delivering the specific session. Course modifications are subject to the trainer’s discretion. If you would like to discuss a specific topic, please indicate it at least 4 weeks in advance.

Day 1 – Course introduction & exploring inclusivity

Course introduction

  • Introduction to the course, the school, and the external week activities.
  • Icebreaker activities.
  • Presentations of the participants’ schools.
  • Criteria for an inclusive school.

Day 2 – Understanding special educational needs

Introduction to main special educational needs: assessment and risk management . Individual and group practical activities. Presentation of cases.

Day 3 – Prevent isolation, promote self-confidence

Peer interaction and support in inclusive classes. Group exercises to foster inclusive group cohesion. Individual and group practical activities.

Day 4 – How to switch off

Movement-based activities and relaxation techniques to improve behaviour. Individual practical activity.

Day 5 – Improving communication

Positive and collaborative relationship with parents in inclusive schools. Presentation of cases.

Day 6 – Course closure & excursion

Course closure

  • Course evaluation: round up of acquired competences, feedback, and discussion;
  • Awarding of the course Certificate of Attendance.

Cultural activities

  • Excursion and other external cultural activities.

Tentative schedule (in Athens and Nafplio)

The schedule describes likely activities but may differ significantly based on the requests of the participants, and the trainer delivering the specific session. Course modifications are subject to the trainer’s discretion. If you would like to discuss a specific topic, please indicate it at least 4 weeks in advance.

Day 1 – Course introduction & the nature of special needs

  • Welcome to the course!
  • Introduction to the course, the school, and the external week activities;
  • Icebreaker activities (e.g. Who is who?);
  • Presentations of the participants and their schools;
  • The Nature of Special Needs.

Day 2 – Disorders, special educational needs or educational needs?

  • Psychosocial and individual/medical models of disabilities;
  • Introduction to common -special- educational needs;
  • Reflecting on students’ educational needs: exchanging country practices;
  • Individual and group practical activities.

Day 3 – Diversity and inclusion

  • Diversity, identification of barriers to participation and learning arising within neighborhood school and resources to support all students;
  • What is an inclusive school?;
  • Group discussion and individual/teamwork practical activities.

Day 4 – Supporting variability

  • Drawing up development priorities and planning interventions to support diversity (e.g. curricula adaptations, design of differentiated lessons);
  • Slides presentation, individual/teamwork practical activities.

Day 5 – Reviewing progress

  • Alternative learning practices, techniques, materials and associated assessment tools to review development;
  • Hands-on activities, individual/teamwork practical activities.

Day 6 – Course closure & excursion

Course closure

  • Course evaluation: round up of acquired competences, feedback, and discussion;
  • Awarding of the course Certificate of Attendance.

Cultural activities

  • Excursion and other external cultural activities.

Audience

  • Teachers (primary, secondary, vocational, adult, special needs);
  • Teacher trainers;
  • Headteachers;
  • Principals;
  • Managers of schools.

Specifics

  • Activities: All courses include at least one guided city tour and one full-day excursion (usually on Saturday).
  • Certificate: Certificate of Attendance guaranteed for participants who attend at least 80% of the course.
  • Lessons: Classes take place in the Morning (9:00 – 14:00) or in the Afternoon (14:00 – 19:00).
  • Price: 480 €

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Next courses in Barcelona

  • 29 Mar - 3 Apr 2021
  • 12-17 Apr 2021
  • 10-15 May 2021
  • 31 May - 5 Jun 2021
  • 14-19 Jun 2021
  • 12-17 Jul 2021
  • 9-14 Aug 2021
  • 30 Aug - 4 Sep 2021
  • 13-18 Sep 2021
  • 11-16 Oct 2021
  • 8-13 Nov 2021
  • 29 Nov - 4 Dec 2021

Next courses in Athens

  • 26 Apr - 1 May 2021
  • 24-29 May 2021
  • 28 Jun - 3 Jul 2021
  • 26-31 Jul 2021
  • 23-28 Aug 2021
  • 27 Sep - 2 Oct 2021
  • 25-30 Oct 2021
  • 22-27 Nov 2021
  • 27 Dec - 1 Jan 2022
  • 24-29 Jan 2022
  • 28 Feb - 5 Mar 2022
  • 28 Mar - 2 Apr 2022

*Course sessions of July and August will be offered in Nafplio

Next courses in Nafplio

  • 26-31 Jul 2021
  • 23-28 Aug 2021
  • 25-30 Jul 2022
  • 22-27 Aug 2022

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Reviews about this course

I have learned so many new things during this course and it was a very pleasant experience! Thank you, Marta!

Andreea Ghitu

From the first day of the course, Marta created a massive impression on me as a teacher. Her personality, skill, and knowledge helped me to learn new strategies in dealing with students with special educational needs. (…) It was so lovely to meet people from other countries and share experiences and knowledge. Thank you, Marta, for an amazing week.

Clare Conneely

Ireland
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