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Evidence Based Education European Strategic Model for School Inclusion
Start date: Sep 1, 2014, End date: Aug 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This project intends to combine two relevant concepts, evidence-based education (EBE) and school inclusion, that affect both the field of educational research and the social dimension concerning those actions aimed at individuals with special educational needs (SEN). This is a field in which there are not yet operational models shared at European level, starting from which the results of research and practical applications (good practices) can be validated, disseminated and compared. The dimension of EBE refers to the notion that decisions in education should be taken based on the knowledge that empirical research provides, in relation to a greater or lesser effectiveness of different teaching actions. At this level, a model that indicates which types of researches can be considered as adequate to validate interventions aimed at individuals with SEN is to be developed. This project aims at identifying and integrating, within a reference model, the research procedures able to give evidences to the validation of educational programmes, directed to the school inclusion of every pupil. The question of the research shared by all the participants, is: “Which road to take to evaluate, with an evidence-based education the elements that really characterize a quality inclusive school?” Aims: 1. definition of a reference model to validate the quality of school inclusion according to the principle of EBE; 2. foundation of a European research network; 3. researches in different countries concerning the topic of school inclusion according to the model’s lines; 4. analysis of the impact on beneficiaries of the actions and delineation of shared guidelines; 5. dissemination of the experience through Open Education Resources (OERs); 6. dissemination of the model also through staff mobility. Partnership: - University of Perugia: it is experienced in managing European projects and the staff involved in this project has a consolidated experience in the field of special education; - University of Udine: the research team is leader in the field of special education in Italy, in particular with regard to the Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD); - University of Duisburg–Essen: it gives an added value to the project thanks to its international expertise in the field of the OER, dissemination, quality assurance and exploitation of results; - University of Barcelona: it is a international benchmark for the studies about prosociality, central dimension in the development of inclusive school practices; - University of Zagabria: it is committed in examining social inclusion and quality support in educational institutions for students with ASD and ADHD; - University of Ljubljana: its faculty of education is the only institution in Slovenia that trains specialist in inclusive education and education of children with SEN. Experimentation methodology: 1. Definition of an EBE model applicable in the field of research about school inclusion that combines three dimensions: - efficacy of interventions (efficacy research): What works? - effect that the interventions produce (effectiveness research): When does it work?; - modalities of application (implementation): What can we do to make it work?, Is it working? 2. Construction and validation of an assessment protocol: it’s necessary to define which indicators can be taken into consideration to evaluate the inclusion degree. Referring to the dimensions highlighted by Booth and Ainscow (2002) in the Index for Inclusion - policies, practices and cultures - a rating scale will be developed and validated. It will be used to evaluate the outcomes of the experimental project and will also be standardized. 3. Experimentation. The concept of inclusion is considered in two different aspects: on one hand as a tool for fostering a more harmonious growth of all the pupils; on the other, as the result of specific educational procedures promoted in school. Following an approach respondent to our EBE model, two experimental situations are foreseen: - inclusion as dependent variable: “How to improve school inclusion?”; - inclusion as independent variable: “Are the more inclusive classes also the most efficient?” An international expert in special educational needs and inclusion and research on learning and teaching will supervise the analysis of feasibility and sustainability indicators of these programs. 4. Collection of good practices: it will involve more stages, aimed at improving and refining the good practices, in order to deliver a quality product, able to answer the needs expressed both by teachers and the wider European community concerning teaching practices based on evidence. Expected Results and Foreseen Impact: 1. positive reputational effects for the participating organisations; 2. increased awareness on inclusion in an EBE perspective; 3. increased influencing on policy and practice.
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