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Professionalisering rond aanpak diversiteit
Start date: 01 Sep 2016, End date: 31 Aug 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

With four of its primary schools, Katholiek Onderwijs Vilvoorde is submitting this project proposal.Vilvoorde (in Belgium) is a city with a large number of immigrants, foreigners and disadvantaged families. Recently, a reception centre for asylum seekers opened. Vilvoorde is in recent years struggling with a social shift, which means that the inflow and approach in schools is changing and must be adjusted constantly.In addition to these geographical developments, the M-decree ensures that more and more children with disabilities are following lessons in mainstream education.In the mission of our school board, we value the learning of additional languages, the European context and a multicultural and multi-religious cooperation. We want to offer equal opportunities to all children in our schools.Based on our mission, we want to start with the European dimension in our schools.In each of the schools, there is a need for a broader look how other schools in Europe are already addressing education to an increasingly diverse audience (refugees, foreigners, persons with disabilities, underprivileged populations, cultures .. .) and achieving their integration in schools. We also want to enrich the education in several ways.With the input from other European countries we want to enhance the school's vision, functioning, organization and management to make adjustments within the changing context. All of this based on the experiences, knowledge and competences that the participants will enter from their visits to other European countries.We also need good models for organizing a smaller school for special education and collaboration with mainstream education. We wish to learn from schools in European countries that are already further with the integration and inclusion.With this project we aim to professionalise the executives from the schools and open their minds.We examine how we can adapt the functioning and approach of our education to the needs of the changing influx (more diverse, inclusive) of our students. These improvements will help to reduce early school leaving.We are looking for good models for organizing a smaller school of special education and explore the possibilities of collaboration with mainstream education.5 executives with years of teaching experience and leadership qualities form a project group that will meet monthly. They will discuss and evaluate the results of the activities.Members of the project will participate in:- The course Universal Design for Learning in Vienna (AT). Here we gain insight into how we can use diversity to enhance learning in the education of the 21st century.- The course Special Needs Children in Prague (CZ), for more insight into the approach of education to children with disabilities and the organization of education for this target group in other countries.- The study visit to the schools in Joensuu (FI), capital of Pohjois-Karjala in Finland.Here we visit, with leading staff from other European schools, the schools and teacher training college in Joensuu. We gain insight into the organization of the Finnish education system. We look at their approach to the quality plan, inclusion, didactic approach, children with special needs and ICT.- The study visit to the Torriani - Camden Schools in London (UK) with the focus how these schools deal with diversity. We examine how useful ideas can be integrated.In all these mobilities, the language is English. We speak with teachers and management of schools from different countries, go in cultural interaction with local students and teachers, reflect with the other participants about what we have learned and seen and will consider how we can implement things in our local situation.After these activities the project team will process what it learned and do dissemination of the results. It also uses the results as input for future actions in the schools.By filling out this application jointly and executing this project together, the barrier for European projects is reduced in our schools.Our schools will become stronger in their approach to the various target groups. Not only the students from the target groups but also other students will benefit from a better approach, which will improve their learning and life in the schools.
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