Why this Project? Our Motivation

The focus of the project is to improve our teachers’ competences, as hoped by the Europe Strategy 2020, through the exchange of good practices related to a new inclusive and modern ways of teaching in relation to both students with SEN and to the latest migrant students. The Project will provide opportunities for further development in all aspects of life for the students (school life, family life, social life, personal life). Also, it will be a huge opportunity for educational cultivation and adoption of new knowledge for the partners and the educational staff. Our planned partnership will focus on using the best good practice of teaching students with special needs from each partners educational system as a means of promoting SEN pupils' developmental skills.

The name of the project is an acronym for “Individual with Disabilities Education Aim” but I.D.E.A. also stands for a plan, suggestion and possible course of action. Six partners from six different countries gathered their ideas, an ensemble of knowledge, experience and will to enlighten the path of students and move towards inclusion. This project is addressed to the professional staff and children with special needs attending public education preschool, primary and secondary schools.

Project AIMS

The project should be carried out transnationally because its aim is to:

Exchange of teaching and learning practices for further inclusion.
Enhance knowledge, creativity, diversity, multiculturalism and identity within the European Community.
Experience and develop new didactic practices.
Create a dynamic network of professionals dealing with SEN students.
Improve competences onsite and online using ICT.
Collaborate to foster inclusion of SEN students in school curriculums and active life.
Develop understanding of social and cultural similarities and differences among Project partners.
Give support for all the stakeholders and promote professional development onsite and online.

Education Systems

In the countries involved in this project, education systems for students with special needs are very different;

Slovenia: Slovenia has special education and mainstream schools. However, they also have integrated students with special need. Besides, Slovenia have education centers who are specialized in specific types of needs such as the Center for Cerebral Palsy, the Center for Children with Disabilities, Blind and Visually Impaired.

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Turkey: The Ministry of National Education (MoNE) conducts educational activities on a central level in the Republic of Turkey. Each level of education is made up of Pre-School, Primary and Lower Secondary, Upper Secondary and Higher Education. Education level in Turkey consists of preschool, primary, middle, secondary and higher education. 12 years education is mandatory for all students, every each level (primary, middle, secondary) takes 4 years to finish. There are programs for preschool, primary, middle, vocational and technic higher levels which based on education of person with special needs. Besides, there are special education institutions which implement special education programs for primary, middle and higher education levels.

Poland: Education of pupils with special educational needs is an integral part of the Polish Education System. The Polish education system allows the choice between three options: mainstream schools, integrated schools and special schools. A need of special education is ascertained in a decision issued after a psychological and pedagogical examination is carried out by specialists from guidance and counselling center for youth and children. Special education is intended for children and young people with disabilities (physically disabled, incl. aphasia, intellectually disabled, blind, visually impaired, deaf, hearing impaired, autistic, incl. Asperger syndrome, with multiple impairments, with social maladjustment or at risk of social maladjustment who require special organization of teaching and learning processes and working methods). Every pupil with a statement of need for special education has his/her individually formulated educational and therapeutic program which is adjusted to his/her needs and psychological and physical abilities. Depending on the special educational needs and type of disability, pupils with disabilities attend special nursery schools, special primary schools, special lower secondary schools, basic vocational schools and schools preparing for employment.

Italy: The Italian education system is mainly a public State system. However, private subjects and public bodies can establish education institutions. Such non-State schools can be either equal to State schools (called scuole paritarie) or merely private schools. The State directly finances state schools. Education at all levels must be open to everyone: Italian citizens as well as foreigner minors from both EU and non-EU countries. Compulsory education is free. The principle of inclusion also applies to pupils with disabilities, to pupils with social and economic disadvantages and to immigrant pupils. In such circumstances, measures focus on personalization and didactic flexibility and, in the case of immigrants with low levels of Italian, on linguistic support.

Portugal: In Portugal the Public Education System is the most widely used and best implemented, although there are Private Schools at all levels of education. The school network is organized mainly in “Agrupamentos” (School Groups) that integrate educational establishments that provide all levels of education from preschool to secondary education. Education levels consist of preschool, elementary, intermediate and secondary - 12 years of mandatory education for all students - and higher education.
The Portuguese education system is very centralized, both in terms of organization and funding. However, preschool, elementary, intermediate and secondary public education establishments enjoy some autonomy, particularly at the pedagogical level, in the management of school hours and non-teaching staff. However, new guidelines for curricular flexibility and greater autonomy have recently been published, and schools are implementing and developing new paths.
Public schools offer conditions for greater and higher equality of opportunities to all students. The City Council is also involved, as are other strategic actors such as Parents' Associations and Social and Local Institutions.
Since the Salamanca Declaration (UNESCO, 1994), Portugal is committed to develop an inclusive education. Therefore, all mainstream schools, at all levels of education, have integrated students with special needs that benefit from special programs according to their level of disability.
Currently, there is a Learning Support Center in every school that accompanies students who need help in their teaching-learning process. Furthermore, the Portuguese System includes Vision, Bilingual Education, and Early Childhood Intervention Reference Schools.
There are also Information and Communication Resource Centers and Resource Centers for Inclusion that provide supports in the selection of technological products, Speech and Occupational therapies, Psychology and in the development of Individual Transition Plans when students move forward to active life.

Croatia: Croatia has inclusion, but there are also schools for children with special needs called Education Centers, and are specialized in specific types of needs such as the Center for Autism, the Center for Children with Disabilities, blind and visually impaired. Early Childhood Education and Care in Croatia is funded and managed by local authorities. Central educational authorities provide legislative guidance, accreditation and monitoring of the educational programs.
Primary education starts at the age of 6 or 7 and consists of eight years of compulsory schooling. Secondary education is not compulsory, but almost all students do enroll into secondary courses upon completing primary level. Depending on the curriculum, secondary schools are divided into:

Gymnasiums (cover a general education and are mostly a transition to the professional training in colleges, universities and faculties) – 4 year programs,
Vocational - 3 - 5 year programs
Art schools (music, dance, art) - 4 year programs

Children with special needs in Croatia are educated in regular schools or in the centers for children with special needs. In regular schools they are included in general curriculum, with adjustments made to the subjects' contents and working methods in regard to the type and degree of disability. They can also follow general education curriculum in the centers but under special conditions or according to a special program. The decision about the type of the education system is made by a commission for determination of psychophysical condition of a child, with parents' consent. Exceptionally, in some regular schools there are special classes for children with developmental difficulties, in which children are taught by defectologists (special needs teachers).

For more info please visit: https://eacea.ec.europa.eu/national-policies/eurydice/national-description_en

Project OUTPUTS

During all mobility’s, teachers will observe the experience, strategies/methodologies and approaches, materials, activities planned and realized by each partner school during its daily life.

Teachers will share the concepts and methodologies that they gained during mobility where dedicated blended online spaces such as blogs, Twin Space or e-twinning groups to support each other. Web tools will provide virtual spaces where the partners can join and communicate as a repository for sharing ideas worth spreading.

To exchange knowledge, creativity and multiculturalism thanks to the presence of many different cultures.

To strengthen professional staffs culture diversity, knowledge, and understanding of their role and identity in the European Community.

Compared with the other education disciplines, special education is a new educational area of interest and there are lots of researches and approaches to different kinds of teaching methods going on in several countries and schools.

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