A good environment in a classroom comes up and is very influenced by how every student is included during the classes. Therefore the aim for this week was to observe, discuss and study different strategies to foster inclusion in the education system, more precisely in the classrooms.
The new edition of the course “Special needs and inclusive education, the Italian experience of overcoming segregation” took place in Palermo from 30/04/2023 to 06/04/2023. The participants came from all across Europe, with Pirjo and Sari from Parolan yhteiskoulu, Hattula in Finland, Myriam and Claire from ADDE CIV: Association Direction Diocésaine de l’Enseignement Catholique d'ille-et-Vilaine in France, Madelene and Lisa from Almunge skola in Sweden and participants coming from two different Lithuania schools: Odeta and Reda from Pakruojo district Linkuvos gymnasium, Noneta and Lina from Ukmergè Pasile pregymnasium.
The first day we discovered the main fundamental aspect about inclusion, defining the difference between segregation, exclusion, integration and inclusion. Thanks to all the school presentations, we opened a door for discussion of what can be considered inclusion by analyzing how all the countries in Europe deal with this topic in the schools.
On the second day we focused on analyzing the Italian model and addressed the different models and tools that enable inclusive education in Italy.
On the third day we dealt with the topic of how to create an inclusive classroom, through three key words: membership, skills and relationships. Regarding the first keyword, we figured out how to create in a group a sense of belonging and make everyone feel part of the team. Regarding the second keyword, we analyzed the meaning of empathy and creating empathic relationships. Regarding the third keyword, we addressed the difference between fixed and growth mindset, and understood what effects our words and behaviors can have on student motivation.
In order to feel, observe and analyze the best way possible the “Italian Model”, we had the opportunity to visit a school in Bagheria, I Circolo Didattico Bagheria Giuseppe Bagnera, where we had the chance to see with our eyes what does it mean for real to make education inclusive. Going into classrooms, visiting common areas of the school, meeting the students, the principal and teachers, it was clear how much inclusiveness is important for the well-being of the students and how the passion and the work of teachers and the school can make the difference and create an environment that makes everyone valuable and special. As the ELA team from Palermo, we think that we can speak for all the participants by saying that we had an amazing moment of pure joy and we are absolutely thankful for the hospitality.
Finally, on the last day, we addressed inclusive teaching methods and ICT tools for inclusion, to find together useful tools to make education inclusive for all.
The inclusion in the education system is still a long and difficult way to run, but this week we were really lucky to be part of a group with such a good mentality and intentions in terms of this topic, that made us believe that their schools are going to be very lucky to receive all the knowledge that was created with this experience.
Discover more about this course here.
Welcome to the ELA Blog. Here you will find articles and photos of our courses and have a look at the topics addressed during the week in Bologna, Palermo and Tenerife. You will also have the chance to take a peek at our projects and check out what we have been up to.