The first week of July has been an exciting moment at Jump. Our team welcomed a delegation of teachers from Romania and Lithuania to develop the important topic of “Special Educational Needs” within the European framework.
The main goals, to develop a clear understanding of the European framework, how Special Educational Needs are dealt with in different European countries, How special Needs are met in Italy, a better understanding of special needs situations in order to favor early recognition, the importance of developing a more inclusive model to carry out lessons.
Vital topics to encourage cooperation among the different countries that are part of the framework and contribute not only to a better education for SEN children but to the further goal of a better quality of life by addressing not only how to achieve knowledge within the class, but improve, also, social skills, teamwork and emotional intelligence to help each student grow as a well-rounded individual.
Much of the outdoor activities focused on ways to include SEN and regular students with the aim of having each experience the world of the others. This way, a model that sees students as bringers of individual personal strengths would be encouraged in order to prompt cooperation and acceptance of the great value within diversity.
Outdoor education has been chosen as one of the main non-formal education practices. For the possibility to associate and refer to real existing material like buildings, statues, art, nature in order to aid the lesson. Reducing the amount of abstract thinking needed and improving the growth of mental connections and associations.
We explored nature with our senses and discovered how perception can be different among each individual. Putting an accent on how important it is to share our life experiences among peers and how much we can be enriched by someone else’s point of view.
From there we focused on emotions as our 6th sense and how they help us navigate our inner world generating values. To do this we were aided by Plutchick’s flower/ emotional wheel and his theory. We played with the different emotions understanding their meaning just like an artist would play with colors mixing and testing on the canvas.
Finally, we developed some lesson plans keeping in mind the non-Formal education framework and the UDL (Universal Design Learning) in order to make lessons more SEN accessible. We discovered how UDL does not benefit only SEN students but regular students as well!
As a last activity we shared a deep emotional moment by introducing the Mindfulness practice of Metta Meditation. This meditation protocol is known to help develop empathy, love for self and others, self-esteem and emotional awareness.
All in all it’s been great work and fun, just like in the Jump spirit!
Written by Giuseppe Perrotti – JUMP Trainer