LONDON CONFERENCE 20TH APRIL 2018
Context: SoIL conferences are activities under the Social Inclusion through Education, Training and Youth axis EACEA-05_2016 ERASMUS + K3 - Social Inclusion of Learners 580276-EPP-1-2016-AT-EPPKA3-IPL- SOC-IN, being organized by project partners, with the main purpose of presenting project details, disseminating information on social inclusion through partner countries' perspectives, and presenting and popularizing SoIL learning methods.
At the London Conference there were representatives from 7 countries, all interested in how to reach a real and total inclusion of the learner, relying on our own experiences, methods and conditionality.
The choice of location was due to an environment that promotes inclusion (Good Hotel), both through the facilities and the ethos that it creates and valorizes.
Chairman: RIX Andrew Minnion
Who we are, what we do and why we are here now, what we have done so far in this European project - were the main elements of its presentation.
We want the results of this project to reach as many beneficiaries as possible, and especially to decision makers who take these results into account.
The representatives of the partners at the Conference are present.
The route of the project was conceived as a multi-station railway to each of the partners. All partners have worked to generate action areas that inspire people to develop their own actions in the field of social inclusion.
Addressability: Different vulnerable groups, people with special needs, through various actions – conferences, seminars, roundtables, disseminations. Seminars featured good practices on SoIL methods and tools to think through the strategy on which the objectives of the project can be achieved.
In relation to the SoIL methods, teachers feedback is positive, appreciating the need, improving learning, reporting to real needs, the ability to innovate learning environments and methods based on play, collaboration, and so on.
Athina Tempriou and Debbie Kilbride
The two specialists in learning methods aimed at educators with special needs point out that it is necessary from a temporal perspective to understand the changes in the educational policy towards the special requirements.
What are the realities: inappropriateness with educational goals, segregation, nonspecific objectives etc.
The Code of Practice is based on identifying, evaluating, guiding, removing learning barriers, collaborating education and health, for a correct address to special needs.
What does the change mean?
There is a better agreement between what theory says, what rules and what happens in practice. Addressability must be from the onset of life until at least 25 years of age.
It is obvious that any group of students no longer has characteristics of homogeneity, so attention to the diversity of classroom needs.
As a conclusion, an inclusive school is the one that is in constant change / adaptation.
It is clear that practice is much more difficult than theory. But an ongoing, evolving action will create the necessary ethos for an inclusive school.
When we talk about inclusion, we cannot have recipes for any vulnerability, especially when vulnerabilities are mixed at populations. In a way we address autism, otherwise we address migrants.
We have to deal with learning barriers, so solutions have to start from the specifics of these barriers, which can be physical or mental.
Educational resources tailored to needs are needed.
A number of barriers to inclusion are generated by:
- financing, resources, specific training of staff, attitude.
- Resistance of parents, their non-involvement
- defining standards
- Creating teams
- Continuous change of staff
The increased difficulty is recognized when identifying patterns and needs that need to be considered at the same time, looking at the group of educators.
There are strategies at school level for a number of issues, but results are better.
A leadership should be created to favor engagement characterized by communication, motivation etc.
What can school do to promote inclusion: to have a vision.
Conclusion: Inclusion is a feature characterized by dynamics, more variants than invariants ... It is difficult but not impossible.
Lee, Rufalo and Pau - Madhouse My House
Speakers are people belonging to vulnerable groups and / or people with special needs, acting to create events that can motivate actions in the area of inclusion, for example through conferences and performances they organize.
Institutional research: Nightmare in many places they've visited.
Conclusion: We need a lot of involvement because we live in a world of challenges that disabled people have the more need to be supported to remove barriers.
John Galloway - Tower Hamlets Teacher Specialist
His presentation focuses on the usefulness of modernizing learning tools, focusing on the media and IT, highlighting the support of new technologies for those with special needs by providing homeschooling solutions for both home schooling and homeschooling.
His work is geared towards the poorest area of one of the most powerful and wealthy countries - Great Britain.
When talking about technology we talk about tools that can help remove barriers.
Starting from what was happening 100 years ago - dictation and recording on gramophone plates, we get to the tools and methods of today, especially those that support literacy.
Also, the evolution of technology helps to remove barriers, as an example of technophobia with obvious utility being substitutes for vision, cochlear implants, dentures for motor deficiencies.
The biggest change is at the communication level - computers, tablets, phones. They support not only oral but also written communication.
Applications are evolving very quickly, with programs already recognizing the voice and texting what you are talking about. There have been devices that can control and command the environment, indispensable to people with disabilities.
One aspect to which we should relate is what offers new technologies the opportunity to improve learning in special cases? Not only these, but also new methods involving social networking, remote involvement, access to knowledge, access to information etc.
Extremely relevant is a featured movie that reveals the conclusion that using technology is not cheating but being in agreement with reality!
A number of inappropriate attitudes for a digital world are highlighted:
as example, we spoke about the tyranny of fairness against relevance (referring here as the example of correct writing to the depth of the message - form / background: Shakespeare writes his name in 4 ways, all of it is the same ... so ...).
Digital barriers: access to ..., skills and knowledge about ..., trust in ..., educate status ...
Unrealistic expectations about the digital world: panacea, ....
Systemic needs ahead of personal needs (do not let you have access to 6th grade content unless you've accumulated the 5th).
Positive: in the last decade, there is a clear change in the interest of the government in investing in teaching technology lately.
Sonja Giesberg and Karl Back - atempo
The Capito and Easy Reading methods are used by atempo for young people who have completed qualification courses through the organization.
As at each organized conference, these methods were presented, and workgroups have also carried out activities that have put participants in the context of effective users.
Advocacy Multimedia (MA) - RIX Andy Minnion & Ajay Choksi
The aim of the presentation was to highlight the opportunities and the threats that the use of indecision involves in different environments, including on-line.
Thus, through images, we can improve or harm a person, especially when he belongs to vulnerable groups.
Not only through words but also through pictures a person's profile can be affected, even if the images and texts express reality. Online environments also have a powerful manipulating factor, so great attention: the context, the text that accompanies them, the viewer… The MA is about communication and dialogue, and about another kind of learning.
Words and images are tools we define.
About me is presented as a RIX Wiki application to build presentations of hobbies or other activities; in this way you can create a collection of activities that can help increase your self-esteem. An example was the participation in a marathon for the purpose of raising funds for a particular cause.
Through pictures, music, text, but especially through participation and involvement, you can prove to be useful to you and others.
What we need to keep in mind today: Process as well as product!
We need to (we) learn about our own abilities, that there are possibilities for support, that a vulnerable person can find resources in himself, that he has rights. Each of us must have an understanding of the differences, the nonconformities.
Images are part of personal, social, public life. Starting from "selfie", there is a discussion about the pleasure of immortalizing moments. The image, selfie is a new way of having a business card (digital).
We use the images to celebrate, to create a profile, to share.
A social media learning is one that allows everyone to be hired through social media to develop journals that memorize positive, useful experiences that support the individual in difficult moments.
Learning in this sense is to understand the value and power of a photo of yourself or of yourself. It's about the process, not about the outcome. It matters to you that it gives you pleasure, that it is a friendly and positive environment that you provide. At the same time, you will try to improve your products, so an applied learning.
COMMUNICATION - the right to be yourself
One example is creating a portfolios of images that define you.
Choosing the photo, putting it in a coherent ensemble involves learning.
Through images you can express everything you want, including the rights you have: expression, happiness, friendship, work, ... spending time in public places in relation to others. All this produces the one who is put to create such a different learning portfolio. It raises questions about what is most important to him and to others.
MARGRET RASFELD – School on the Move
Describes the experience of school principal, an inclusive school, working on mixed groups based on Montessori schools. School education is organized as a set of more "schools" in one place.
At the level of student teacher relationship: a teacher who runs from one class to another with one day's contact with over 100 students is unable to address his students individually.
By presenting the learning office methods, it unites that the student is responsible for being responsible for choosing at the beginning of the day a field of study he chooses for the day. In such a learning space, you are then free to choose the way to improve your learning, set your own learning objectives, and choose from the materials prepared in the learning space. The teacher is no longer a provider of information and explanation, removing peer-to-peer learning contexts, which is an equally good transfer method.
Learning outlets are personalized spaces, tailored to suit needs, furnishings and other aspects to develop a friendly environment.
Students decide when to participate in the evaluation. There is no pressure on this part of the educational process.
The type of evaluation is not mandatory. For example, math can create a logical game. Note marks are only in year 3, otherwise the feedback is the one that evaluates.
Every student has a personal book, where during the year he can record what he does, impressions, reflections on how he worked, how he got involved. Students are accountable for their own learning in this way, without any pressure from outside.
Each teacher has 30 students in counseling. Each student has only one such counselor. Access to counseling is also the student's choice (when, where, about…).
The key word of the organization is freedom of choice.
The system is completed with classroom hours and hours. 30% of the learning process is a process that is connected with reality, unfolded outside the building.
The change began as a teacher, then, as a director, Margret continued his vision of the educational strategies of the school.
There are no absences in his school. Students do not want to miss. The school is particularly attractive to the learning office.
The vision is to learn about responsibility, about not involving certain subjects and disciplines.
Values are extremely important. The burn out effect in students is avoided. Problems of the system are generated by the induction of an inappropriate, unrealistic competition.
The purpose: Focusing on your own potential not on failures.
The 1992 Conference that set Agenda 21 - schools must change to the same level as society. Principles of sustainable development. It is the human potential that will ensure the fulfillment of the technical potential.
In relation to school on the move, 80% of the time is the student's action for effective learning. It is not necessarily the method but the change of mentality. Complexity and creativity are involved in the development of projects involving spaces and external environments, then projects are presented publicly. Each student has a personal tutor / mentor / coach.
Teacher is the support that helps the student identify the right solution. Every week there is a show that a group has to prepare for the purpose of facilitating stress relief, socialization, ...
Children need models - people who carry messages, people who have vision and are motivational. That is why the school facilitates some of the visiting personalities in the school. Models are not just adults but also other children who have taken initiatives and managed to determine certain actions for others.
Responsibility is the main value to be educated, brought to the stage of behavior. There are so-called responsibility projects at any level of education and involving diverse actions - support for younger, middle-aged, elderly, migrant ...
An example is a 10-year-old student who has been inspired by contacting a woman from the idiom who planted 15 million trees.
Other examples of "challenges" projects that put students in a position to decide for their good, for subsistence in the project, risks ....
Another project in the summer holiday - contact with another culture.
People understand that there is something wrong with the present educational system, but they do not have the vision of change. Changing includes the educator, there are sessions where the students teach the teachers, they are speakers in the meetings of hundreds of people. There are areas in Germany where the authorities also encourage change.
The purpose of Schools on the Move is not just their own change but being inspirational for others.
Tina Gazovicova – Slovakia
The Slovak partner in the Soil project was designated to host one of the seminars, with the team of Romanian teachers participating. At the seminar involving the training of 20 teachers, the SoIL methods were presented and on workshops, the participants were trained to implement these methods on groups of students.
In this context, Tina Gazovicova presents in her intervention details regarding the participation in the seminar as well as data related to the feed-back provided by the applicants of the SoIL methods in relation to each of them, highlighting both the opportunities and the limitations in the implementation.
Gabriel Vrinceanu & Ana Elisabeta Naghi – Romania
The representatives of the Romanian partner made a presentation that naturally completed the previous presentations in the sense that the aspects of the implementation of the SoIL methods at the level of the schools attended by teachers at the Bratislava seminar were highlighted, methods were chosen by the teachers and what results were recorded in the NUEVA evaluation, by means of applied to both teachers and pupils. As a conclusion, the feedback was generally positive.
Also, mentioning that Margret Rasfeld highlighted his experience with the methods developed at the level of the schools on the move, as answers to the challenges of today's society, Gabriel Vrinceanu highlighted a series of essential questions about the learner and society, as a conclusion being the fact that lack of action in any area that is connected with education costs more than investment in education.
Discussion panel – conclusions
- Identity and individuality are difficult to outline in today's society.
- Necessary change: We want people who are capable of humanity, making right choices, taking controllable risks, creative people.
- The reality is that there is exclusion, there is competitiveness, there is intolerance, but such projects bring hope to the chance of each individual to a fulfilled life.
- In the school curriculum in most countries, the problem of educational abandonment is maintained due to the maintenance of strategies in a fixed context, which only favors success on patterns, not on individualities.
- It requires a concordance between decision-making ideas and action, among practitioners, decision-makers and theorists.
- It is necessary for the curriculum to find more meaningful themes to teach the educator about democracy, rights, society, education being responsible for providing answers to future societal constrictions.
- Small steps contribute to a broad vision; the present bill is a small but essential step for another future.
- Regarding the SoIL methods, as well as Margret Rasfeld's vision, these are encouraging and Panel participants reconfirm their replication in as many places as possible.
Feedback of the participants:
What did you enjoy the most?
SOIL-survey on 20th April 2018
> Hearing Margaret’s presentation on school on the move
> Wider discussion
> Technology assistive practice.
> Seeing the Madhouse presentation
> I enjoyed with Germany ladies help out with iPad iMovie
> Stimulating dialogue
> The quality of speakers.
> The panel discussion (3)
> Madhouse Group and Margret Rasfeldt
> Margaret Rasfeld's presentation
> I really enjoyed the conference very inspiring,
> Learning about self advocacy
> The people
> Learning office
> Self advocates participation
> Madhouse presentation
> Advocacy aspects, speakers, discussions, networking
> Discussions, meeting people, new ideas
> Plickers and like-minded people sharing values and hope