Comenius project: steps in our way to inclusion
RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS OF CPEE GLORIA FUERTES
The idea about working on an inclusive school has contributed to increase our theoretical knowledge in all the various dimensions this concept includes, and also the analysis of this knowledge has enriched noticeably our education practice. Educational inclusion helps students with or without disability to adapt to the society where they are going to live their lives.
This last document of the project contains a list of presentations elaborated by our school, a summary of the work done with the Bristol Index, a list of the charts produced, a list of the diffusion activities, an evaluation of the improvements achieved by working on this project; a future plan of action on this subject, and a final global evaluation.
Documents elaborated in our centre
- Power Point presentation about the school features.
- Power Point presentation on inclusive activities in the school.
- Report entitled “Irrational believes about inclusive education.
- Two documents that bring us closer to the inclusion concept
- Questionnaires for the school's professional, for the students, for the families and for the selected indicators of the Bristol Index.
- Working sheets of the work developed with each of these indicators.
- Power point presentations on the work process and on the questionnaires results.
Qualitative analysis of the questionnaires results: applying some of the Bristol Indicator
We have work with these 3 indicators:
- A.1.7. All the local institutions are involved with the school (professionals and families).
- B.1.5. When a student attend school for the first time, he is helped to adapt (professionals, families and students).
- A1.1. Everybody new is made to feel welcome (families and students).
- The professional have worked on these indicators.
The objectives on this task for the school professionals were: to get to know the welcome protocol and to improve the coordination and the evaluation of the activities that are developed with local institution.
Generally speaking, the result of the initial questionnaires filled by the school professional show room for plenty of improvement, thus action about was taken: an improvement action plan was started and after it the same questionnaires were used to evaluate the improvements.
Comparing the initial questionnaires with those done in April 2014, after the working sessions throughout the academic course, we can conclude the following:
In the 2 indicators we have worked on, we can claim some substantial improvements.
About B.1.5. Indicator, When a student attend school for the first time, he has help to adapt, in all the 14 questions the initial scores increased. The improvement is especially significant in questions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 y 10, which 80- 90% score a lot and 10-20% quite. In the rest of the questions 6, 11, 12, 13 y 14 there are improvement, but the scores are lower.
From these results we can learn that the school professionals have acquired a good knowledge of the welcome protocol and that the aspect with an inferior score has more to do with outside school factors, such as school Inspectors and community child Psychologists. Taking all these in, a new welcome protocol has been designed, with all the professional's contributions. Other actions to be taken will be: to reinforce the knowledge of the induction program to psycho teams; to get to know specifically to the education inspectorate and ask them to evaluate it.
In relation to the1.7.indicator: All the local institutions are involved with the school, the evaluation have been done with the CEIP Juan Ramón Alegre, the adjacent ordinary school which we share some school installations with. The improvement is especially significant in questions 4, 5 and 6. The best mark is shown in question 4 about the evaluation of these activities, in which the school scores 87% a lot and 13% quite, in comparison to 77% and 19% of the initial survey. About questions 1 and 2 there is improvement but the marks are inferior, with 42% a lot, 50% quite 10% a little, comparing with the initial 28% a lot, 52% quite and 20% a little. In question 3 the scores are 27% a lot, 56% quite and 13% a little, while the initial questionnaire showed 16% a lo, 52% quite, 24% a little and 8% none.
This results indicate that the evaluation aspect of the school has been strengthened with the activity chart, showing that its planning and implementation have improved in the centre; it is also clear that we need to work together with Juan Ramón Alegre school more often and they need to work on their evaluation. To achieve these we are already planning to hold more meetings with our neighboring school for the next academic year, to learn more about inclusion and improve our coordination with them.
- Indicators worked with the families and students
The students and their families only answered one questionnaire. For the families the objectives where: to find out if they knew about the inclusive activities carried out in the school, and their opinion about them, and how they and their children felt when they came to the school for the first time.
For the students de objectives were: to find out the level of enjoyment they get when they do activities with other children inside the school as well as outside it. The questionnaires have only been filled by the Secondary Stage students, as they have the mental capabilities to answer.
In addition, there was another objective for both students and their families: to find the degree of wellbeing of the students while in the school, and their satisfaction about the implemented educational programs; also it was asked if they thought their education at the school was adequate.
The best results obtained are in the indicators for the families and students, which are very satisfactory.
85% of the families responded to the voluntary questionnaires. From their answers we have to highlight the great importance and value they place in the inclusive activities carried out with other schools' students, as 76% score a lot, the 22% quite, and 2% a little. About their children's level of wellbeing at the school, 70% score a lot and 30% quite. In relation to the adequacy of education, 65% answered a lot, 33% quite, and 2% a little. No question was scored “none”.
There is not doubt , these good results indicate they high level of satisfaction in relation to our education work.
About the students, we have to mention that they enjoy inclusive activities, as 76 % score a lot and 34% quite. The highest mark is found in the questions about doing inclusive activities with the students of the primary stage, those with more disability. 85% answered a lot, 12% quite and 3% a little. About the level of wellbeing, the marks are also very high: 82% answered a lot, 12% quite and 6% a little. Besides, when been asked about their opinion on the usefulness and interest of the proposed activities, the scores where very high: 85% answered a lot and 19 % quite.
These results were predictable for us, as we continuously observed evidences of their satisfaction, often verbally, expressing how much they enjoy inclusive activities, specially with the school's students with a higher level of disability.
Although these results are very satisfactory, we have also performed a deeper analysis of them, which have shown that the families of the migrant students tend to participate much less; therefore, in the next academic year new measures will be taken to increase their participation.
- Inclusion activity with the Santa María del Pilar de Zaragoza students at Gloria Fuertes school.
- Autumn Festival where all the school's students participated, held in the main school hall.
- Skiing campaign in Valdelinares 2014, shared with the students from CEIP Juan Ramón Alegre and CEIP Manuel Franco schools.
- Carnaval Alegre con Gloria Festival, shared with the CEIP Juan Ramón Alegre school.
- Drums festival shared with CEIP Juan Ramón Alegre school, held in the play ground both schools share.
Activities undertaken for the diffusion of the project
- Ongoing feedback about the project's development to the School Council and to the Parents Association.
- Information to the students' families about the project and its activities.
- Newspaper articles published at local, county and regional level.
- Information on the local and provincial radios.
- Information on the Andorra local television: news and interviews.
General Evaluation on the improvements achieved at CPEE Gloria Fuertes by participating in this Project.
- We have become very systematic in the programs, evaluation and registering protocol of the inclusive activities.
- We have gained deeper knowledge on the concept of Inclusive School.
- Learning and applying some of the Indicators of the Bristol Index.
- Auto evaluation about the level of satisfaction and the well being of the students and their families.
- Gaining knowledge about other educational realities that help towards inclusion.
- Redesign of the students welcoming protocol, with the participation of the school's professionals, which has helped them to broadened their own knowledge on the subject.
- The school internal activities have become more inclusive, so that the students interact with each regardless of the level of disability.
From this project we are to carry on with the inclusive momentum to expand our inclusion practice further.
- To continue stimulating our inclusive culture in as many areas as possible.
- To improve the students transition process from one school to another or from one educational stage to another, as specific cases require.
- To be more specific about inclusive aspects in the curricular school documents.
- To reinforce the knowledge of the induction program to psycho teams;
- To get to know specifically to the education inspectorate and ask them to evaluate it.
- To continue building a welcoming, cooperating and stimulating school community where everybody can participate and feel valued.
- To carry on with the Bristol Index tool to reach high inclusion goals.
- To use the internet tool more, and increase interinstitutional collaboration.
- At the beginning of the academic course, to provide a package information on inclusive school to those professionals coming new to the school and those from other centers that work close with us habitually. To hold working sessions with the directing teams of these centers.
- To continue improving communication with the students families, helping them with participation and teaching sessions, especially for migrant families.
The work developed in this project, in a global way, has been successfully concluded, particularly in these to aspects. On one hand, we have focused our energy to improve inclusion in our centre, and to expand the staff knowledge and practice on this subject. On the other hand, we have become more aware of how much there is to be done to improve inclusion in our school and in the surrounding community.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS OF THE PROJECT STEPS IN OUR WAY TO INCLUSION
The following results and conclusions of this project have been elaborated with contributions from all participating schools after been approved during the Latvia Meting in May 2014. In every school the working groups have held various working sessions where the project development has been evaluated taking into account, on one hand all they have contributed to the other schools, and on the other hand what they have learnt and developed with the other schools. The fruit of all these is presented bellow: the results, the general conclusions and the final evaluation.
Six meetings in the different participating countries have taken place, and every school has fulfilled the amount of mobilities approved. All the work agreed in the previous meeting has been presented in the next one. The pre-arranged working plan has been met. The minutes of every meeting have been written and this has also been evaluated.
- Final product.
The Project blog includes the following: information about every country educational system; information on the various schools and their inclusive activities they developed before the project; programs and evaluations of every meeting. Produced documents: newspaper articles and diffusion of the project, data sheets of the inclusive activities; application of the Bristol indicators in every participating school; and results and conclusions of the Project. Also photographs and videos are included.
These conclusions are divided into two sections. The first one sums up what we understand as inclusive education and synthesises the most important features of inclusive schools. The second evaluates the level of accomplisment for each centre and every initial objectives of the project.
- Essential elements for an inclusive school.
Inclusion is an ongoing educational intervention. For achieving an inclusive school we need professionals who are aware of the difficulties in the learning process and in the shared participation. It is also necessary a directing team that promotes principles of inclusive education.
Besides, in order to achieve forward movement towards general inclusive principles, it is necessary the collaboration and active involvement of the social and educational community.
Characteristics of an inclusive school:
- It takes in all the members of the educational community and promotes the participation of all of them. (professionals, students, families,…).
- Produces measures to get rid of the obstacles that may appear in every area of the personal development that makes difficult equality of opportunities.
- Uses projects where everybody works as team.
- Organises the classrooms in a way that promotes autonomy and collaborative work among the students.
- There is a network with other institutions of the community.
- Evaluation of the level of objectives achievement in the project.
This evaluation has been presented first writing an initial objective, then its evaluation.
- To know and compare European Education Systems of the countries involved in the project related to special education and the types of schooling for pupils with special needs. This objective has been accomplished through the presentations carried out by each country, and especially with the visits to every centre in order to see and live its models.
- To share the inclusive programs or activities developed by the participating schools. This objective has been fulfilled to high level by presentations of activities and programs of every centre, the production of recording sheets for inclusive activities and the participation in some of them.
- To deepen in the theoretical issue of inclusion in a much broader sense, not only concerning inclusion in schools. This objective has been partially achieved because most of the work has been focused on the school and on some institutions that collaborate with it.
- To define the characteristics of inclusive practice. This objective has completely been met. We have worked with the Bristol Index and we have produce a common document about the essential aspects of an inclusive school.
- To elaborate a chart for describing the inclusion practices developed in each school. This objective has been fully met, as a common chart for registering inclusive activities has been designed.
- To evaluate the benefits for the pupils and persons participating in inclusion programs or activities. This objective has been fulfilled to a high level, as it can be seen in the evaluation of each activity.
- To put into practice in each school some of the activities that have been proven to be of more value. This objective has been met to a high level, because every school has selected those activities with the best inclusive value as it is reflected in their inclusive chart records.
- To make a good practice Guide to be expanded to other schools. This objective has not been met; in the intermediate document of the project it was substitute by “To start working with the methodology of the Index for inclusion with some indicators chosen in each centre”. This one has been met to a high degree with the adaptation of the indicators that every centre considered more interesting to produce improvements in the inclusive plans of their school.
- FINAL EVALUATION
This project has successfully achieved its main goal: improving the inclusive practices in the participating schools. The benefits, either for the special schools or the ordinary ones participating in the project, have been very noticeable, especially because they have become more competent in using strategies to improve inclusion in their school. At the same time, this has helped in the prevention of the discrimination of special need students.
Also, by getting to know and using the Bristol Index, we have a new tool to continue improving inclusion in the participating schools after the conclusion of this project. The added value of extending the inclusive practices to the local community has been very important. On the one hand, within the school community, the knowledge about inclusion has grown greatly and on the other hand, a lot information on this subject has been spread to the local area, especially when the project meetings have been held there. No doubt all these contributes to generate broad global living frames where persons with o without disability may share more of their lives, making our European Society become one with more social justice, in favour of equality of opportunities and helping to eradicate discrimination for disability reasons.