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Tartu Hiie Kooli õpiränne
Start date: Jun 1, 2016, End date: May 31, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The current Estonian Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act was accepted in 2010. The act states that concepts of inclusive education are to be used for organising the teaching of students with educational special needs, in many cases making it possible for students with educational special needs to study in an ordinary class of their school of residence.Tartu Hiie School is a national boarding school which provides basic education for children with hearing and speech based special needs between ages 3 and 20. The school has 316 students and 99 employees and is a valued, innovative and well-operating school which includes a centre for study support and rehabilitation. The teaching staff of the school is professional and has excellent theoretical and practical knowledge of teaching in a special school environment. However they lack knowledge and experience in inclusive education environments.In a situation where inclusive education is unfamiliar to the society and working teachers, the teachers lack special training, there is a lack of best practices and experience, and relevant courses are nearly non-existent, one of the solutions is to obtain the knowledge and practices from European countries with long-term experience in inclusive education usage.The main goals of this learning mobility project are the following:- Changing the mentality and attitude towards inclusive education- Expanding the usage of modern inclusive education methods in the teaching process- Providing better possibilities and availability of high-quality education, study support and rehabilitation to children with hearing and speech disabilities, their parents and working specialists across Estonia- Providing possibilities of professional development through international courses for teachers- Advance international cooperation.These goals help towards supporting the development of children, the main goal of education.The project involves 6 teachers: teachers of English, geography, computer science, and social studies, a class teacher and a speech therapist. All of the teachers involved in the project have training in special education and they have 2-26 years of experience in working with children with special needs. They are actively looking for new methodologies to apply. While the teachers have experience in working with children in special school circumstances, they lack the knowledge and skills concerning inclusive education.During the learning mobility project, the teachers named above will partake (each in one) in international courses over two years. To provide access to the largest variety of knowledge and experience, all six courses have been selected from different course providers in Europe (Italy, Spain, Romania, Slovakia, Iceland, Portugal):- Reaching, teaching and keeping learners Methods and approaches to reach and increase retention of at risk learners- All Children are Special - Inclusive Teaching - special needs and behavioral difficulties- My students don’t talk!!” Creative methodology to develop active learning- The action of the Resource Centers for Inclusion in the process of Inclusive Education- Digital tools for students with special needs.After returning from the course, each participant will share their experience with their colleagues in an internal course and start applying their obtained knowledge in their work (as school teacher, service provider and learning advisor at the rehabilitation centre for children with hearing and speech disabilities, instructor for students of Special Education). They will start/continue work on international projects and continue participation in course-related social networks. Results and Effects- Increased number of teachers who use and share (as teachers, advisors, teaching material composers, instructors of university students, trainers) the concepts and methods of inclusive education and modern methods of teaching children with special needs- Increased availability to learn in modern inclusive education environments for children who study in Hiie school or who receive the services of the rehabilitation centre, increasing their readiness when returning to or starting studies at their school of residence- Increased motivation and readiness to improve themselves in inclusive education, improved self-esteem and satisfaction with their work and work environment, and improved English skills for the participants of the learning mobility project- Increased belonging into international networks of teachers of the field through which the sharing of information and experiences continues after the learning mobility project.In the long term we see the project having a positive effect on the mentality and attitude towards inclusive education, which aims to improve the quality of learning and to provide flexible learning possibilities to children with special needs, allowing them to successfully finish school and start their independent life.
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