The teachers involved in the Erasmus + i.d.e.a. -Together We Can 3rd Short-Term Join Staff Training and Learning Event of the project state their comments upon this extraordinary meeting.
We have experienced moments of great sharing and concrete knowledge, either by the presentation of the legal educational policies that support inclusion in the Italian school system, or by witnessing the dynamics established in the classrooms and the involvement of the educational community in the school projects. It was possible to share, reflect and learn during the various interventions, presentations and work moments that were held during the week.
Of the various experiences, the Portuguese team highlights the session "Meeting the emotions - The inclusive education in Italy and the psychological variables in the good practices" by Maria Teodolinda Saturno, university professor in Rome and specialist in inclusive education of deaf and learning disabled children ; the visit to the Institute and Rome State School for Deaf, the detailed explanation of their inclusion practices and pedagogical innovation in the area - an inclusive school that "invites" regular students to study with deaf students; the great involvement of an entire educational community, in a common and unique project to build a school open to all and for all. Moreover, an opportunity to know practices of inclusion in higher education, as mentioned by the Rector of the University of Rome 3 present in this session.
The rural periphery, where the School Grouping of Montorio Romano is situated, the relative distance between each of the four schools, did not prevent the visibility of a common project intended to give the same opportunities to all pupils.
But in Italy, as in our country, everything has been built and adapted, for many years and policies, to the needs and reality of the 21st century. Compared with our inclusive educational system, it was possible to find similarities both in legislative and in the daily practices of intervention in the classroom.
Italian schools have all students in the class, betting on inclusion, even for specific disability cases. It was possible to observe, on a visit to the Public School for Deaf in Rome, an example where it was necessary to work through the reforms for true inclusion. Being a deaf school, mixed classes have been created with hearing and deaf students where everyone communicates with sign language and the learning is developed in very similar ways!
Once again, it was rewarding to observe good examples of inclusiveness in schools and job related areas.
All in all, the meeting was: well organized; with a well-structured Program; clearly showed the schools’ dynamics; particularized the presentation of documents that support the identification of specific educational intervention situations; provided the exchange of questions and clarification of doubts; although filling in the docs did not seem very adequate due to the scarcity of given information; great diversity of activities throughout the day – also opportunity to extend knowledge on local cultural, historical and geographical issues; there were specific work choices, very focused on the theme under development; workshop such as the one of the emotions provided concrete opportunities for action and learning; workshops in classes, with different age levels, created opportunities for greater interaction among all and the visibility of daily activities; visit to professional inclusive schools; example of the transformation of a school / institute, initially created to give a specific but segregating response; great involvement of the Educational Community: very positive initiative - the presentation of a musical in a public space in the city of Nerola, with the presence of teachers, assistants, parents in the audience and project partners.
Finally, the Portuguese team wishes to highlight the professionalism, sympathy and restlessness of the Italian staff: their ability to smile and spread gaiety and warmth!!
Thank you Italy!!