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WHAT IS A INCLUSIVE CLASSROOM

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An inclusive classroom is a general education classroom where students with and without learning differences learn together. Inclusive classrooms are welcoming and support the diverse academic, social, emotional, and communication needs of all students. Learn more about what inclusion is, how it can benefit all learners, and how to implement an inclusion program in your classroom and school-wide.

Create a inclusive classrooom include that ALL students, regardless of labels, should be members of the general education community. The philosophy of inclusion encourages the elimination of the dual special and general education systems, and the creation of a merged system that is responsive to the needs of all students.

The practice of inclusive education—or inclusion—within general education classrooms is becoming more prevalent within early childhood settings.
On one hand, to successfully deliver classroom curriculums, promote learner growth, and meet the goals of all students served within inclusive settings, teachers must have a basic understanding of the unique learning needs of all students, including those with visual impairments. Because students learn best when the teachers who educate them first understand their needs, this chapter is designed as a basic starting point for early childhood educators who have limited to no background in working with students who have visual impairments. The educators need a basic understanding of visual impairments, questions to ask when serving children with vision loss, and to show how accessibility can be approached in a way that is meaningful to students with visual impairments

On the other hand the classrooms, even in the pre-primary education, need some adapted equipment and specific tools adapted to the specific conditions of their students, not only the students with loss vision, but also promoting the participation in equity for all of them.

In this web space, we propose the creation of an inclusive class of the early childhood stage where students with low vision can develop educational objectives in equality, developing not only their motor characteristics but also their self-confidence and socialization.

THE WAY TO REACH A INCLUSIVE CLASSROOM

In this site we will teach the teachers the way to create a inclusive classroom, learning the basics about inclusion of Low Vision children, characteristics of inclusive classrooms that work, and things you can do to implement inclusion principles right away.

What does an inclusive pre-primary classroom need?

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1 TRAINED TEACHERS: An inclusive classroom requires trained teachers who know the specific consequences and needs of low vision. It is essential that teachers know the consequences of disability, as well as the barriers it generates, creating effective methodologies to achieve educational objectives for all the students.

2 ADAPTED ICTs: An inclusive classroom requires the use of ICTs and digital tools that alleviate the barriers of low vision students, promoting the development of their digital competence and their equal participation in the classroom

3 DIRECT PARTICIPATION OF EXPERTS AND PATIENTS: An inclusive classroom requires the collaboration and advise of the experts in low vision, not only cientifics or ophthalmologists, but also the parents and the young people with low vision.

4 NEW METHODOLOGIES FOR INCLUSION: An inclusive classroom requires innovative methodologies that reach the full inclusion of students through equal participation of low vision students with the others. To do that is necessary to create work strategies and specific adaptations that envolve all the students, for example using tablets or digital games, not only for Low Vision students but for all the class

5 ORGANIZATION AND ADAPTED SPACE: It is important that educators learn to change the environment or alter objects to make them easier to see by their students with low vision. When planning environmental modifications, considerations about lighting, color and contrast, size and distance, and organization of time and space have to be taken into account.

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If you are a teacher of pre-primary school with low vision students, we offer a simple 5 steps to create an inclusive classroom:

STEP 1.- LEARN ABOUT INCLUSION AND LOW VISION

For any teacher of a child with low vision, it is essential to know the real consequences of the disease, since these include not only the visual problems themselves but also behavioral changes, withdrawal and socialization problems. Also, the teacher must learn about innovative methodologies, new educative strategies and effective training processes for students with low vision.

We offer a specifical and virtual course for teachers:

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STEP 2.- CONTACT EXPERTS, ENTITIES, FAMILY MEMBERS AND PEOPLE WITH LOW VISION

Once the course is completed, it is essential for the teacher to establish contact with experts in low vision, not only scientists, but also those affected and their families. That is why highly prestigious European networks and entities will help the teacher, discussing with them the reality of low vision and solving any questions that may arise.

We offer an assistance and help service for pre-primary school teachers carried out by expert entities with low vision:

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STEP 3.- ESTABLISH AN ADAPTED EDUCATIONAL METHODOLOGY

Now is time to prepare your own methodology to define the way to reach the objectives for all the students. To create this methodology we will propose an specific methodological guide to guide you along the way. It has been created by experts and social low vision entities of Europe.

We offer an assistance and help service for pre-primary school teachers carried out by expert entities with low vision:

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STEP 4.- ORGANIZE AND ADAPT CLASSROOM SPACE

It is important that educators learn to change the environment or alter objects to make them easier to see by their students with low vision. When planning environmental modifications, considerations about lighting, color and contrast, size and distance, and organization of time and space have to be taken into account.

Please remember that even though children with low vision will benefit from the following recommendations, when making specific suggestions to improve vision it is essential to consider the characteristics of the visual impairment (if it causes a reduced visual acuity, a central visual field loss or a peripheral visual field loss).

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STEP 5.- USE ADAPTED ICTs AND RESOURCES

Also the teacher will need adapted and virtual tools to overcome the barriers of low vision children, but also it can be used by the students without SEN.

We will offer you an innovative educational software adapted to the Low Vision needs that will be fun for all the students and can be used as a normal tool in the classroom: Early stimulation software for loss vision children

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SPECIFIC RESOURCES OF A INCLUSIVE CLASSROOM

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1: A course for pre-primary teachers

A training course for teachers of early education and pre-primary schools that contain all the necessary materials for them to achieve the inclusion of visually impaired students in their classrooms.

This on-line training course through an e-learning platform already created by the coordinating entity will allow a dynamic and flexible training, without the need of traveling.

This course has a schedule where the teacher can check the course’s development and its activities, it communication tools such as forums, internal messaging, email, self-evaluation activities, all files for each course as downloadable PDFs, links to upload activities to be evaluated by course’s tutor, a qualifications sheet, and access to links of interest, such as websites, videos, etc.

These materials are created by experts, researchers, family members, and prestigious entities in the field of visual disability.

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2: «Towards inclusive children’s education classrooms» methodological guide

We propose a very innovative methodology, which shies away from early care processes in specific centers or domiciliary, to bet on the integration of children with severe visual deficiencies in the nursery school. This methodology seeks to train parents and caregivers of day-care centers so that the specific attention of children with Low Vision is carried out in generalist pre-primary schools, in contact with the rest of their classmates, encouraging their inclusion in equality and their socialization (serious problems for a child with visual impairments) and favoring a satisfactory psychological and psychomotor development.

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3: Early stimulation software for loss children

A multimedia game aimed at children with visual impairment, but also at all other students. This multimedia tool pursues the sensorial-perceptive development of the users and the stimulation of their creativity, while boosting group work and socialization among all students by promoting collaborative work on a level of equality regardless of their barriers.

This application improves and stimulate the cognitive development and promote visual and hearing stimulation, cause-effect relationship learning through a motivational and stimulating learning tool due to a recurrent call for attention through sensory references. It encompass different levels of complexity, from passive receiving to the active participation of the student through their interaction with the tablet or Android device, from which the teacher can customize several features.

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4: «Early stimulation program for children with low vision» user’s guide

This is a User’s guide where show the teacher how to use the «Early stimulation software for loss children«. We present a flexible and innovative methodology to train childhood education teachers through a virtual learning compatible with their work in the classrooms, designed by experts, family members and the beneficiaries themselves. From individual to collective games

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This web platform is a result of the project: LOOKING OUT FOR A SCHOOL FOR ALL

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.

This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

This publication is available in Open Access under the Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 IGO (CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0 IGO) license (http:/ creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/igo/).

By using the content of this publication, the users accept to be bound by the terms of use of the ERASMUS PLUS GUIDE 2019 and also of REDTREE MAKING PROJECTS COOP. V.

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