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Innovative teaching methods and conflict management strategies for promoting inclusion of students with special needs in European Context
Start date: 01 Jul 2016, End date: 30 Jun 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The E.E.G. of Agios Dimitrios is a public, vocational high school for children with special educational needs . Τhe duration of studies until graduation is 5 years. The school has 33 teachers, a psychologist, a social worker,an assistant and 160 students . Their learning disabilities arise from different causes such as borderline intelligence and/or mild mental retardation, Attention Deficit Disorder and Hyperactivity (ADHD), Autistic Spectrum Disorders and neurological problems. Furthermore, some students live in institutions or come from families with severe socioeconomic problems affecting their learning abilities.The E.E.G. of Agios Dimitrios , being a special school, faces the great challenge of integration of its students to the educational process and empowering them for their participation in the community in the future. The main problems, which the school faces, especially in today's socioeconomic situation, in conditions of economic crisis and growth of the rate of resignation and depression in the adult population, are:-Lack of interest and motivation regarding the learning process, low self-esteem, denial and withdrawal.- Challenging behaviors and conflicts,students’ difficulties dealing with their anger and tensions - Early school leaving. The teachers in the school are required to manage these difficult situations in an ever changing context and need to be further educated in order to be able to deal with the new challenges.The action plan has the title: "Innovative teaching methods and conflict management strategies to promote the inclusion of pupils with special needs in the European context.It involves the participation of twenty people (teachers and special education staff) in 4 training programs, with 5 participants in each one of them:The expected learning outcomes for each action fully meet the educational needs of participants and include:Inclusion in European context, Norway• Understanding the important concepts for dealing with inclusion; learn and practice strategies for dealing with inclusion in the classroom Conflict Management, Peer Meditation and Emotional Literacy in the Classroom» • Distinguishing between conflict, different forms of bullying and alternative forms of aggression • Encouraging Effective Communication Strategies• Increasing the understanding of group dynamics and encouraging active listening and empathy• Acquisition of specific tools and strategies to promote a positive climate in school.Interactive teaching - Using educational games in order to enhance the interest of learners, Latvia• Providing recent insights on motivation, goals and popularity of games • Developing awareness of the positive effects of educational games• Becoming more creative in their teaching and to be able to design materials that are motivating and attractive Encouraging creative thinking • Improving creative thinking skills of both teachers and their students.• Fostering imagination and enjoyment through creative thinking.• Improving interpersonal relationsThe newly acquired knowledge and skills skills will be immediately implemented in the classroom. Moreover, for multiplying the impact of the training, teachers will develop a specific and detailed school action plan in order to develop conflict management strategies through innovative educational methods so that the students will be integrated into the school and the community and reduce dropouts. This plan will have clear objectives, monitoring indicators, methodologies and expected results. The implementation of the action plan will be monitored and evaluated within the context of the system of internal evaluation of the school.
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