MOBILITY IN BRUGES – Erasmus+ “Step by Step”

5 Special Education teachers attended in Bruges (5th/9th DECEMBER 2022) a course on inclusion of students with special needs.

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The course “INNOVATION AT SCHOOL: INCLUSION, AUTONOMY AND FLEXIBILITY” was held in Bruges (Belgium) and was attended by teachers from three countries: Italy, Ireland and Portugal. For Italy, five specialized teachers from the “Ettore Majorana” Professional Institute of Bari participated.
The experience has been developed within the “Step By Step”  Erasmus+ project, which aims to develop the professional skills of teachers for the implementation of new innovative pedagogical methodologies.

The course has focused its attention on knowledge of the characteristics of the educational system of the Flemish Community (the main within Belgium) with particular regard to its inclusive practices. This community enjoys complete autonomy both at the organizational level and in teaching. This autonomy has allowed the Flemish Community to see, thanks to a multitude of methodologies and, with a particular eye to the choice of curricula of the selected teachers, a positive growth in the results achieved by its own schoo system.
The teachers shared differences and equalities between their educational systems and the inclusive one of Belgium and visited some primary and secondary schools.The visit to the schools organized according to the Flemish system, took place in two different days of the course, Has highlighted the following:

  • The role of autonomy, flexibility and inclusion within the growth of this educational system.
  • A contextualized vision of “special needs”.
  • The different steps of inclusion.
  •  How efficient “leadership” together with good educational practices contribute to maintaining high motivation in all educational staff and students.
  •  How this educational vision contributes to an integrated holistic quality system.

The course highlighted the importance and value of diversity in our society, the need to prepare an educational system that meets these differences so that each individual becomes the best possible resource within the system. The Flemish education system is well aware of the “principles of democracy”, and from these it manages to implement a process so that the individual can acquire the skills and competences to move effectively in society and in the labour market.

The crucial node of the whole process is “being connected to each other”, being a group, a team, creating a synergy. The collaboration, the listening, the flexibility and the culture spread by the leaders within the different groups allows to create a serene atmosphere with high levels of satisfaction of all the protagonists and provides the tools to address even the most critical situations in the best way.This ability to “connect,” calls for a more authentic level of human contact that, in addition to performance, looks at the different needs of students because only then can you achieve a truly effective result.

The educational process is complex and to function it needs to be periodically monitored, investigated, scrutinized and analyzed. It’s important to create a periodic feedback system that will correct any errors and reset the best possible route.

Everything took place in the beautiful setting of Bruges and its Christmas atmosphere.

Prof.ssa Nicoletta Altomare

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