ERASMUS-INTENSIVPROGRAMM "INN-ASNE" - Innovative Approaches in Special Needs Education – How to enhance the learners skills regarding the 8 key competences March 3rd to March 16th, 2013
Pädagogische Hochschule Tirol – Co-ordination Institution
The Objective of the IP is to achieve an increase in the quality of teaching in the subject area of Special Educational Needs by widening national approaches in view of international learning contexts in the field of Special Educational Needs (SEN). Based on the eight key competences of lifelong learning the IP will implement innovative approaches on two levels: the students will follow an innovative course based on an integrated approach, which combines different methods in the field of SEN. The activities of the IP aim at the production of learning materials based on the latest research findings regarding brain-friendly learning processes within SEN teaching. The participating teachers will combine their professional know-how and expertise and their views on how to teach specific contents areas in order to offer a new learning experience to future teachers in a multinational learning environment. The professors participating in the IP will explore future European co-operation activities in the subject area SEN.
The overall objective of the IP is to bring together specific know-how and expertise and to identify examples of best practice based on the latest research findings on a European level. The envisaged mobility plan based on the results of this IP will lead to an increase of student and staff mobility and it will contribute to the creation of a European Higher Education Area where mobility is based on pre-arranged structures including recognition agreements and pre-defined course components, which offer new approaches and new content areas to students from other partner institutions.
The target groups of the IP are undergraduate students at institutions of higher education and who are aiming at working in the field of Special Needs Education in five European countries. The lecturers and professors, who prepared the Intensive Programme and who will deliver the course contents, are experts in their respective fields. The main activities of this IP include a limited number of lectures, workshops, group discussions on selected issues related to brain-friendly learning processes and field studies. Three months prior to the Intensive Programme (phase one) all participants will receive specific tasks to work on together with a reading list comprising five articles focusing on the application of research findings for SEN. The students will also have to prepare a concise input into the IP that focuses on country specific issues such as e.g. the degree of integration of learners with Special Educational Needs into the mainstream educational systems of the respective countries. This activity will lead to an increase in awareness towards necessary within SEN. The activities as carried out during the IP aim at the production of teaching materials which reflect the latest research findings. Furthermore, the students will be enabled to base their decisions related to the selection of appropriate teaching methods on research results rather than on conventional teaching practices. During the two weeks of the IP the participants will be grouped into multinational learning teams and their progress will be assessed by a multinational monitoring team who will also be responsible for the assessment of the student’s achievements during the IP. The participating lecturers and professors will supervise the workshops according to the agreed content areas and offer specific lectures within the agreed content framework.
The intended and jointly agreed outcomes of the IP are as follows:
• increase of implementation skills of latest research results and basic scientific principles of brain-friendly learning & teaching
• increase of awareness of and guided reflections on selected innovative pedagogical methods and didactic schemes, which are developed, explored, compared and analysed during the workshops
• gaining new insights into the framework within which learning processes take place
• gaining new knowledge related to the interrelationship between learning environments, brain-friendly learning methodologies and achievement levels
• improve European team-work-competences, both on the level of academic staff as well as on the level of students
• improving the IT skills of teacher trainee students
As a concrete expected output of this IP, the participating students will prepare specific contributions and inputs into the handbook according to their individual learning needs and according to individual areas of interests. The contributions of the students will be assessed by the international monitoring team according to a pre-agreed assessment system. The handbook with components such as framework of the IP (developed learning materials, results of guided field studies, research related conclusions, classroom observations etc.) will be linked to the IP website. The website for the Intensive Programme has already been constructed: http://www.ph-tirol.ac.at/innasne. The participating students will upload the materials and the contributions they have developed during the IP. This will lead to a collection of European best practices in SEN. A glossary of field related terminology to be compiled by the participating students will also be included in the handbook as well as the compiled learning materials.
• improving the IT skills of teacher trainee students
As a concrete expected output of this IP, the participating students will prepare specific contributions and inputs into the handbook according to their individual learning needs and according to individual areas of interests. The contributions of the students will be assessed by the international monitoring team according to a pre-agreed assessment system. The handbook with components such as framework of the IP (developed learning materials, results of guided field studies, research related conclusions, classroom observations etc.) will be linked to this website. The participating students will upload the materials and the contributions they have developed during the IP. This will lead to a collection of European best practices in SEN. A glossary of field related terminology to be compiled by the participating students will also be included in the handbook as well as the compiled learning materials.
This Intensive Programme, which focuses on initial teacher training within the subject area Special Needs Education, has been designed with the aim of increasing student and staff mobility within a subject area where the participation rate of students and teachers in the Erasmus Programme is low. The finalisation of the preparation of this IP and its implementation will increase the staff mobility between the institutions involved in the IP. A preparatory visit application is also foreseen in order to develop the follow up application. The intended activities within the IP will lead to an increase of student and staff mobility after the end of the IP as a structured mobility plan involving the five institutions of the IP (e.g. through Inter-institutional Agreements). This will include a list of specific subject areas, modules and its components together with learning outcomes and the ECTS points allocated to each of the modules which the students will attend at the partner institutions. This mobility plan will contribute considerably to the facilitation of the exchange of students and also to the exchange of staff as the mobility plan will also include a set of seminars and lectures which the staff of the universities involved in the IP will offer at host institutions on a regular basis.
This Intensive Programme will provide a basis to connect SEN-students and lecturers of HEIs across Europe, e.g. through Inter-institutional Agreements. It will foster internationalisation at all participating HEIs in the field of SEN.
When the Intensive Programme was conceived and designed one of the objectives was to develop an innovative teaching programme, which is based on the best-practice models of the involved universities within the subject area of Special Needs Education. The pooling of the expertise of five institutions will result in a new course programme which has its conceptual basis on the utilization of the results of research for the purpose of the design and planning of lessons and the design of tailor made material for learners with special needs in order to enhance their learning potentials. Therefore, research-based lesson planning together with the appropriate research related methodology and didactical approaches and the application of research results regarding brain-friendly learning processes will provide the overall framework for this Intensive Programme (Brain-friendly learning is based on the effective linking of the different systems of the brain. It considers brain dominances and thinking preferences and gives, during the learning process the learners more responsibility for their own learning).
The fact that each of the participating institutions has provided specific inputs related to the expertise of each of the institutions in this subject area during the design phase of the IP has resulted in a programme which is based on the latest research findings related to learning processes. The objective of the IP is not only to integrate research findings into lesson planning but to enable students to gain a new insight into learning processes of students with special needs. When designing the programme the eight key competences were taken as a starting point for the identification of specific subject areas where an improvement of the level of achievements was envisaged. Because of the limited time span it was not possible to focus on all eight key competences. The focus of the IP was laid on the following key competences:
Communication in the mother tongue, communication in foreign languages, learning to learn, social competences and cultural awareness.
Particular attention will be given to the the issue of learning to learn as this aspect has been neglected in special needs education in several European countries. Another priority area within the IP are communication in the L1 and the subject area Mathematics as well as social and cultural awareness. The exploration and the regular use of IT tools constitute an integrated part of the IP, both during the preparatory phase for the IP and during the implementation phase: The students will have to input their contribution related to specific tasks and insights gained into a virtual handbook. The link to this IP has already been constructed electronically via the website of the Pädagogische Hochschule Tirol.
The University College Syddanmark is specialized on Teacher Training and emphasises on close contact between the theoretical part of study and practice. During their four years of study the students will have 24 weeks of practicing in schools. The strength in the field of SEN is differentiated teaching which makes the inclusion of SEN pupils in normal classrooms possible. The used learning styles (such as the LP-model) will be presented in the workshops of the Danish partners.
Sanne Feldt-Rasmussen, MA (Ed.) in Educational Psychology: Supervisor in Special Needs Education, Adjunkt (subjects: psychology, special needs education) department of teacher training, Certification: Learning styles by Rita Dunn
The Universidad de Almería trains specialists of the highest standard, ready for a deeper understanding of educational phenomena and facilitating capacities to promote develop and analyze innovations in Special Needs Education, so that the students can become skilled professionals able to design and develop research processes in Special Needs Education.
Dr. Luis Ortiz Jiménez. Associate Professor. Department of Didactic and School Organization (Pedagocics Basis of Special Education; General Didactic; Schools Organization; Teaching Processes: Diversity and Social Inclusion, Educational Response to Students with Special Needs Education). Research in: Special Needs Education; Diversity; Social Change and Education; Interculturality
Dr. Sagrario Salaberri Ramiro: Professor. Department of English and German Philology (Internationalizating Education and English Didactic, Social Change and Education, Learning and Teaching Processes Evaluation),Vice-Rector for Internationalization and Cooperation to Development
The Palacky University Olomouc strives for the union of tradition, universality and modernism in the process of educating future teachers and other professionals involved in education. Its high priority is to stimulate the development of education in the Olomouc region, as well as to ensure the success of its graduates in the wider European context. The special education study programme is organized according to the students' choice (pupils with impaired hearing or sight, mental or physical handicaped). Graduates will teach at special schools and at primary schools for educationally subnormal children and in integrated classes.
Prof. PhDr. PaedDr. Milon Potmesil, Ph.D.: Department for Special Education studies, Interdisciplinary cooperation on research and lectures focussed in students with special needs, Philosophy of integrated/inclusive direction in special needs based on scientific results as well as practical experience for workshops.
The Institute of Special Education at the University of Szeged is one of the institutes of the Juhász Gyula Teacher Training Faculty and besides the ELTE Bárczi Gusztáv Faculty of Special Education, it is the only officially accredited training site for special needs teachers in Hungary. The Institute offers training for would-be special needs teachers in three strands: educating children with mild intellectual disabilities (these teachers may alternatively specialize later on learning disorders, too), educating children with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities, and speech and language therapy. The training and the courses are very much practice-oriented in the sense that lots of diagnostic- and methodological skills are trained in the classroom.
Anett Tóthné Aszalai, MA: assistant lecturer at the Institute of Special Education. Courses on speech therapy, dyslexia, dyscalculia, and learning disabilities. Research on social competence and speech disorders (stuttering).
Márta Lesznyák, Ph.D, college associate professor at the Institute of Special Education. Courses on psycholinguistics, language development and development of communication skills for teachers. Research on translation competence, social competence and intercultural communication.
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