Workshop Scoala Gimnaziala Sacalaz

Workshop Scoala Gimnaziala Sacalaz

January 21, 2021

Face to face meeting – Săcălaz, Romania

The workshop took place on the 21st of January 2021. It was face-to-face meeting. The participants met In the ICT Laboratory, keeping social distancing and respecting the safety rules imposed by the Ministry of Health in Romania during the pandemic. The workshop lasted three and half hours and there were 13 participants, teachers from the school. OANA IULIA ANDREA organized the workshop following the Operative guide offered by the coordinating institution.

Program

14.00-14.10 – Introduction: welcome and warm-up – 10’

14.10-14.25 – Presentation of the project ALL IN SCHOOL by Mrs. Iulia Oana -15’

14.25-14.55 – Presentation of the Index for Inclusion – 30’

14.55–15.00 – Clarification of questions and organisation of groups – 5’

15.00-15.15 – Activity 1: defining the concept of inclusion – 15’

15.15-15.30 – Activity 1: group discussions and drawing up the list – 15’

15.30-15.45 – Activity 1: Comparison with the table from the Index – 15’

15.45-16.15 – Debriefing: presentation of definitions and the results, debate – 30’

16.15-16.30 – Break – 15’

16.30 – 17.00 – Activity 2 – Resources for inclusion activated in the school – 30’

17.00-17.15 – Activity 2 – Debriefing and debate – 15’

17.15 – 17.30 – Summary of the meeting

The workshop was attended by 13 people: the principal, deputy principal, one counsellor, one Biology teacher, 2 Maths teachers, 5 primary school teachers and 2 kindergarten teachers. The teachers taking part in the workshop were presented the project ALL IN SCHOOL, its main objectives and the intellectual outputs expected, as well as the first intellectual output, namely the CONCEPTUAL BACKGROUND survey.

A longer time was dedicated to the presentation of the Index for inclusion, with its main parts, dimensions and indicators, examples of dimensions, indicators and questions, for which the teachers manifested great interest, asking for possibilities of implementing it in our school. In this part, the participants of the workgroup reflected upon the concept of inclusion in a broader sense and the values it implies.

There was brought into discussion an auto-analysis system regarding the competences for inclusion and promoting values such as equality, diversity, non-discrimination, valorisation of all implied in the educational process and consolidating the collaboration between all the actors involved in education. Throughout the workshop, the teachers interiorised a common concept for inclusion, established common values, without which the foundations of an inclusive culture cannot be laid.

For the first activity, teachers, divided in groups gave their own definitions regarding the inclusion and then they came up with a list of definitions, which proved to be quite similar.

GROUP 1: Inclusion for all children, offering all the necessary resources.

INCLUSION = the magnet that attracts towards school, even the lost ones, offering a proper social and educational environment and adapting the needs for all categories of students and parents. The school reduces discrimination and makes students feel understood and helped.

GROUP 2: “Tomorrow I know and I can more than today”

INCLUSION = a set of measures to fight against exclusion. All together, different, but equal, where uniqueness is respected and everybody is integrated. Children are involved in all activities within school, regardless of their ethnicity, social status, religion, intellectual capacity etc., offering the equality of chances.

GROUP 3: “Supporting one another”

INCLUSION = all means and methods used for including all participants, without discrimination and offering all the necessary resources. It implies involving the local community through partnerships. Such, each child feels a part of a bigger picture, nurturing supporting relationships.

Comparing their list with the one from the Index for inclusion, they realised they had very similar ideas expressed in other words For the second activity, the teachers were asked to identify the resources for inclusion already activated in the school. They identified the following resources: well-trained staff, a counselling teacher and an itinerant teacher, extracurricular activities in collaboration with local community, tutoring for students with learning difficulties, adapting the curricula, differentiated teaching and evaluation, school utilities adapted for disabled students, home visits and discussions with parents for those missing from school, thematic fairs and workshops, etc.

In conclusion, the aim of the workshop was reached, as the participants came with original definitions regarding inclusion, but these definitions were based on their previous experience in working with students with special education needs. They realised that the share common values with the Index for inclusion and they were extremely interested about how it can be implemented in our school.

After discussions, a particular conclusion emerged, namely that our students and teachers present a high level of tolerance regarding ethnicity, as we have Roma students, as well as regarding students with special education needs. Thus, our school already has a foundation for inclusion on which further concepts of non-discrimination, tolerance, acceptance, diversity and mutual respect can be built. The participants answered with a positive feedback, considering this project and the topic it addresses a very important and useful for our community and for the Romanian school system in general.