Comenius - Project Nr. 106170-CP-1-2002-BE-COMENIUS-C21


Aim | Strong Points | Goal Groups | Project Activities | Intended Outcomes
 

The Consultation Project

Supporting teachers through cooperation,
to empower their problem-solving capacity,
coping with special needs situations where they occur.


 
SUMMARY



The finite aim of this project is the organisation of European training courses on 'consultation'. Consultation is defined as a collaborative approach to service delivery between support personnel and teachers. This approach is considered as an most effective for the implementation of an equal opportunities policy in schools, a vital contribution to social cohesion in an inclusive school and society. The theme is in line with the evolution from a traditional expert/deficit/referral model of guidance, to a model of contructive shared cooperation of all involved partners, within the school and the social context of the learners, and this in the general frame of policies aiming at equal opportunities, social cohesion and inclu
sion.
 
 


The strong points of this approach are: increasing the effectiveness of support activities in schools, preventing problems and helping to solve them where they occur, improve the expectations of the education partners: pupils, teachers and their parents, ameliorate the teachers' and parents' perceptions of support personnel.
The project is also in coherence with an innovative and challenging vision on education, which is valuing and endorsing pupil support as an integral part of the role of every teacher, so increasing the problem solving capacity of the consultation seeking teachers, promoting partnership and networking as an approach to pupil problems. It also contributes to personnel well being and better interpersonal relationships in schools, often endangered when schools are facing problem situ
ations.
 

 


The goal groups for seminars and courses are staff members of support services, and support teachers, in- or outside the school, in charge of any form of support for pupils and teachers, coping with special needs in a broad sense. The training seminars will invite a mixed group of teachers and support personnel, with the aim to focus on the collaboration between these actors, especially when they are confronted with special needs situations in the mainstream classroom. The training curriculum contains (1) knowledge of the methodology and the effects of a consultation approach to support, (2) awareness of difficulties which arise from traditional support delivery practice, (3) discovering resis-tances which can develop in school systems when implementing a consultation approach, (4)learning more effective skills and methods for an effective collabo
ration.
 

 


Project activities will be characterised by active learning by all partners and participants during the preparation period, during four local seminars in the partners' countries, and during the final international course. Participants will be requested to study a reader with relevant information about the theme before the start of the course. An information pack on the existing developments in the partner countries will be provided on the internet. Reflections by experts as well as a synopsis of ongoing scientific discussions will form an integrated part of this ICT-information pack. In view of the collaboration in international working groups, each participant will be asked to describe his/her professional situation, experiences and expectancies, for the information of the other participants.
During two intensive courses, lectures and video presentations will be given by experts from the four countries of the partnership. The most important innovations will be described, analysed and evaluated. Good practice will be visited, so to give ample opportunity to discuss the issues with colleagues at the workfloor, and with concerned key persons, e.g. teachers and parents of pupils with special needs, notably learning and behaviour problems. During international working group sessions participants will be invited to compare and analyse the innovations discussed with those in their own co
untry .
 

 


Intended outcomes are:

(1) exchange of experience and resources concerning consultation methods in pupil and teacher guidance,

(2) exploring and coping with hesitations and resistances among more traditionally working colleagues concerning changes in consultation practices and methodology,

(3) a handbook of good practices in consultation,

(4) an elaborated curriculum for a training seminar on consultation,

(5) detailed modules for use in the pre service training of teachers and consultants. At the end of the project period the participants will de invited to take part in a discussion group on the INTERNET with the aim of continuing the process of ongoing professionalisation.


The project and the course will gain profit from extensive and practice-based experiences by the partners in the four countries, and the evaluations which they have undertaken. Also the innovative good practice reports issued by the most significant European and World organisations dealing with the theme wil form an integral part of the curriculum.