Aims

What were the main aims of the initiative?

Traditional school culture and practices fail to provide an appropriate relational context to serve as a potential tool to promote the real involvement of disabled people (Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities - section 1b). The innovative aspect of this project assumes that relationships in and out of the school context are a principal tool in inclusive practice. The inclusive process needs networks that support important continuing interactions in the school and in the social contexts. This project aims to create a relationship network to promote an inclusive culture in the pre-adolescent and adolescent context. The participants of the project are 46 young people attending lower secondary school and the process involves school and out of school activities.

Themes:

The aims of the project are:

  1. To create an inclusive culture in the contexts in which pre-adolescents and adolescents live - and also involve adults;
  2. To promote experience of relationships and help in the classroom through working groups, laboratory, tutoring activities and informal interactions;
  3. To give continuity to the relationships in the out of school context creating communal experiences (i.e., homework, projects, pastimes, leisure activities, such as going to the cinema or out for a pizza together);
  4. To support inclusive experiences in social contexts (e.g. sports, recreational activities) by consulting the families and the supervisors of the activities;
  5. To build a relationship network, involving the families and supervisors of the activities.


Background

Location, setting, Scope, key events etc.

Differences are not readily accepted in school or in out of school contexts and important opportunities for inclusion are lost as a result. Such opportunities become much more difficult in the preadolescent and adolescent phases in which the possibilities of exclusion are many. The need to involve people connected to the young people (i.e., friends, families, supervisors of the activities) in the inclusive process is therefore fundamental. Indeed, only by this involvement can social and friendly relationships be developed and an inclusive culture created.


ISSUES ADDRESSED

What issues/challenges does the example address?

The relationship between educational processes and involvement in school activities characterises the inclusion perspective and aims to achieve a cohesive process rather than requiring student adjustment to an organised context. This perspective asks the following question to the school and social sphere: “Is it enough to create supports for students without creating the conditions that allow complete participation in social and school communities?”

From this point, the project “See you” addresses scholastic inclusion experiences and class relationships within the community, giving inclusion a complete prospective including all the aspects of human life.

 


Implementation

How was the Initiative implemented?

The project involves students, teachers and families from two lower secondary schools: l’Istituto Comprensivo C. Bazzano Monteveglio and l’lstituto Comprensivo di Zola Predosa (Bologna, Italy).

The project will last 10 months (September - June 2016). The activities and the phases are presented below and involve preadolescents and adolescents.

The planning and implementation of the project involves the teachers, an external consultant pedagogue and two coordinators belonging to the technical group “ASC Insieme” that financed the project.

a. Starting the project

  • Meeting between the teachers and the families of the students involved in the project to define the tasks related to the laboratories (theatre laboratory, multimedia laboratory, expressive laboratory, operative laboratory) and the school and out of school weekly activities;
  • meeting with the families of the students to give them the schedule of weekly activities that will remain stable for the duration of the project;
  • meeting with the students to give them the schedule of weekly activities.

All meetings are coordinated by the pedagogue and the teachers.

b. Project planning

b1. School hours (see attachment 1, 2 and 3)

The students will work with a peer with disabilities during usual school activities (e.g. on a written text, reading a book, solving problems, drawing) for a fixed time every day (tutoring). Moreover, they participate in laboratories to support inclusion (theatre, expressivity, multimedia, woodworking etc.).

b2. Out of school hours

During out of school hours, the students with disabilities will:

  • do their homework and projects with a friend twice a week;
  • take part in common activities (i.e., gardening, visits to the library, walks etc.) once a week;
  • participate in organised activities (i.e. swimming or volley or basketball) once a week;
  • be helped to create informal opportunities (i.e. invitations, e-mails, calls, sms, whatsapp etc.)

Moreover, the families will be involved to organise the activities. This phase will be supported by the families and supervisors of the activities.


KEY OUTCOMES & IMPACT

What where the key Outcomes? What impact/added value did they prove? What were the biggest challenges?

  • Collaboration between schoos and families
  • Student involvement
  • Sharing of an inclusive perspective not limited to the adaptive concept
  • Acquisition of cooperative methodologies
  • Relationship between class and social sphere
  • Projects focused on local area/community


EVALUATION

Has the initiative been evaluated or are there plans for this in the future?

Intermediate and final evaluations are undertaken through focus groups and individual questionnaires involving students, teachers and families.

The intermediate evaluation will take place every two months involving:

  • the pedagogue
  • the technical staff
  • the teachers responsible for the project
  • all students involved.


FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS / SUSTAINABILITY

Have any plans been made for future direction of the initiative?

The development of the project will include in the future:

  • the involvement of other classes in the same school and in different schools
  • the shift from the guided-project to the project organised by the teachers
  • the creation of a group with teachers trained to coordinate and to support this planning in other schools


LEARNING POINTS

What are the main learning points?

  • Continuing Professional Development;
  • Systematic control with involvement of students and families;
  • Creation of relationships between school and local community;
  • Teacher support to students and families;
  • Student involvement;
  • Self-evaluation


Materials

Are there further information about supporting materials?

Project information (laboratories):

  1. Papers containing information about the trees and shrubs in the school garden (in Italian only)
  2. The class newspaper (in Italian only)
  3. Actions of the disabled students (in Italian only)

 

References:

Booth, T., & Ainscow, M. (2011). Index for Inclusion: Developing Learning and Participation in Schools. Bristol: CSIE.

Marra A.D. (2010). Diritto e Disability Studies. Materiali per una nuova ricerca multidisciplinare. Reggio Calabria: Falzea

Medeghini R.(2006). Le pratiche inclusive come presupposto di cittadinanza. In Animazione Sociale 10 pp. 70-80

Medeghini R et al (2009). L’inclusione scolastica. Processi e strumenti di autoanalisi per la qualità inclusiva. Brescia: Vannini Editrice

Medeghini R. et al. (2013). Il linguaggio come problema. In Medeghini R. et al. Disability Studies. Emancipazione, inclusione scolastica e sociale, cittadinanza. Trento: Centro Studi Erickson, pp.53-88

Medeghini R., D’Alessio S- et al. (2015). L’approccio dei Disability Studies per lo sviluppo delle pratiche scolastiche inclusive in Italia. In Vianello R., Di Novo S. Oltre le posizioni ideologiche: risultati della ricerca. Trento: Centro Studi Erickson

UN (2006). Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. New York: UN


ContacT

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Roberto Medeghini

Scientific responsible of the project, Researcher in Inclusive Education

GRIDS ITALY (Group of Research in Inclusive Education and Disability Studies), Italy

Michela Baruzzi and Simona Fiorano

Technical coordinators of the project, professional educators

Teachers in l’Istituto Comprensivo C. Bazzano Monteveglio e l’lstituto Comprensivo di Zola Predosa

ASCINSIEME

Public entity providing services to persons in the area Casalecchio di Reno (Bologna)

*mandatory fields


 

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