INCLUSIVE EDUCATION: LEARNING, SOCIAL, EMOTIONAL, AND BEHAVIOURAL SUPPORT
The purpose of the Inclusive Education: Learning, Social, Emotional and Behavioural Support special interest group is to transform practice through professional learning opportunities that feature leading practice and are evidence-led; a further goal is, where appropriate, to create research and/or research opportunities around particular problems of practice.
SIGs are committees of up to six individuals from within ECIS membership, who are active practitioners and experts in their core areas, whether subject-specific or interdisciplinary in nature.
The goal of special interest groups is to transform practice through professional learning opportunities that feature leading practice and are evidence-led; a further goal is, where appropriate, to create research and/or research opportunities around particular problems of practice.
SIGs maintain a digital presence throughout the year on social media, and are key stakeholders in organising professional learning opportunities in collaboration with ECIS, whether at one of our conferences or at a stand-alone special interest conference, offered on a schedule agreed to by the special interest group and ECIS.
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Feedback about our 2023 Conference @ACS Athens:
The message of the keynote speakers and the sessions that we were fortunate to experience inspired me to write a short article for International School Magazine (also here: www.ecis.org/insightful) as my thoughts on Differentiation and Inclusion all came together when I had the opportunity to really consider life in our schools for a physically or neurodiverse student.
Martha Ross, Inclusion Coordinator
International School Carinthia, Austria
Safeguarding for Students with Additional Learning and Assessments Requirements
CIS TASKFORCE and RESOURCES
The International Taskforce on Child Protection (ITFCP) was formed in 2014, after its members recognized that in order to affect any real change, organisations needed to work together and not in isolation, to set new standards and raise awareness about abuse within international school communities.
The ITFCP’s mandate is to apply the collective resources, expertise, and partnerships of its members to help international school communities address child protection challenges. Now a coalition of 90+ volunteers, ITFCP includes leaders of international education organisations, school leaders, counsellors and teachers, working collaboratively across professions with law enforcement officials and the medical community.
The ITFCP now meets regularly to discuss and share good practices and to raise awareness of the challenges facing the international school community in this area, and to help schools to meet these challenges, including through:
- the design and implementation of international agreements and standards;
- the development of tools and resources for schools to use to strengthen their own child protection and student well-being systems;
- the identification of experts who excel in providing support and training to school communities,and the design and delivery of high quality training tailored to the specific needs of international school communities;
- establishing a continuing link with Accreditation, Inspection, Law Enforcement and Recruiting agencies to identify areas of challenge that need continuing focus to strengthen school practices;
- working alongside and lobbying government agencies around the world to ensure that laws and regulations in their jurisdiction protect children to the greatest extent possible; and
- thought leadership and innovative practice, working alongside academics, law enforcement agencies, international charities and experts in a range of disciplines including the law, child protection, child safeguarding and student well-being, medicine and mental health, in order to increase awareness of and protect children against harm and abuse in international school communities.
We believe in building trustful relationships with all fellow educators, providing positive and solution-focused support and communicating in an open and professional way.
We can learn from each other’s instructional strengths and experiences!
As educators, we endorse positivity, flexibility, professionalism and research-based knowledge in Inclusive Teaching and Learning.
An important note for the protection of personal GDPR data: as we discuss our experiences and professional problems ( or study scenarios and case studies ) with our members and the participants in our events, we are committed to uphold full confidentiality and to not divulge the personal information of students, parents and teachers.
SUPPORTING OUR COLLEAGUES IN:
- Understanding Learners with additional psychological, academic and social-behavioral needs.
- Identifying potential learning difficulties through the collection of evidence-based data and by collaborating with qualified Psycho-Educational evaluators.
- Applying effective interventions through an RTI (Response to Intervention) perspective.
- Supporting educators in Differentiation.
- Safeguarding the mental and physical and SEL ( social-emotional learning) wellbeing of students with special needs.
- Promoting the holistic Inclusion of all learners.
MEET THE COMMITTEE
Eleni Armaou studied Psychology, Pedagogy and Philosophy ( major in Educational Psychology) and holds a MA in Special Educational Needs from the University of Leeds, UK. She has worked in IB Schools in Istanbul, Stuttgart, and Frankfurt and is now the SOS, ALN and Counselling Coordinator and Secondary CPO, at the Metropolitan School of Frankfurt, in Germany.
Eleni is passionate about AI, Robotics, Space Travel, Quantum Physics as well as Human Psychology, Inclusive Education, Leadership and Management Studies, Negotiation Skills, CRISIS Management and Conflict Resolution.
She is a Member of ECIS SEN/Learning Support SIG and content creator for the LS/SEN SIG page. Website: special education and inclusive education firstname.lastname@example.org
BA Master of Arts Student Oriented Services ( SOS) and Additional Learning Needs
(ALN) Coordinator Metropolitan School of Frankfurt
Sarah is the Head of Professional Learning at ECIS. In international school headship positions, she led teams who developed innovative, dual language and interlingual approaches to learning and language development. She has worked in the UK and Germany as a primary, secondary an educational support teacher (SEN), and she taught undergraduate education in London. She has worked closely with Debra Rader, co-presenting at several Intercultural Understanding Institutes. Sarah is driven by the conviction that the life-long journey of engaging with intercultural understanding is vital to our appreciation of one another.
Amy Leino believes that high-quality education is a human right for all learners. She is passionate about collaborating with individual students, fellow educators, and parents to uncover successful pathways for learning. Originally from Washington State, she holds a Masters degree in inclusive education. She currently serves as the Individualised Learning Lead and Belonging Catalyst Lead at the International School of Helsinki (ISH). During her 22 years at ISH, she has led the school to become a model of inclusive education and personalised instruction. She understands deeply the need to meet each learner where they are, give them the strongest voice in where they are going, and actively support them in their journey. She is passionate about further developing ways to unlock every learner’s potential.
Sarah is the Elementary Student Services Coordinator at the American International School in Abu Dhabi. Prior to assuming the role of Coordinator, Sarah worked on creating curricular and environmental infrastructure to advocate for multilinguals. Sarah has previously designed English language programs in South Korea and taught racially and linguistically diverse students in South Carolina, USA. Sarah is particularly interested in the role of cultural variables while creating inclusive spaces in international schools. She hopes to continue her research regarding intercultural competence amongst White teachers within a global context.
Special Interest Group Chair
Mrs. Chris Perakis was raised in Newport, Rhode Island. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in Elementary and Special Education from Salve Regina College and a Masters of Arts in Special Education from Lesley College. She is currently working on a postgraduate degree on Improving Student Learning and Quality of Teaching in International Schools; taking various courses. Mrs. Perakis holds several teaching certificates including certificates for teaching students in the Elementary School, as well as, teaching students with mild-moderatesevere learning differences and handicaps.
For ten years, she co organized the ACS Athens Annual Learning Differences Conference, a continuing effort to raise awareness on the subject of educating children with learning differences. Mrs. Perakis has also served as a team member on the Committee of Institution-wide Accreditation of the Middle School Association of Colleges and School (MSA), and on the study and research group at John Hopkins University for bringing the Center of Talented Youth (CTY) program to Greece. Since 2010, Mrs. Perakis has been selected to serve on The Educational Collaborative for International Schools (ECIS) Special Education Needs (SEN) Committee.
Currently she is the co chair of the SEN/ LS (Learning Support) TEAM. She is also the Vice President for the Professional Special Education Society in Greece, a founding member of the Hellenic Institute for Study and Research of Learning Disabilities and served on the IB Special Education Needs (SEN) Committee, as well as, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Education committee for Learning Differences.
Mrs. Perakis has also completed training in administering Educational and Psychological Measurements with Dr. Michael Castleberry and Dr. Imran Riaz, professors at the University of George Washington, accredited by the Buffalo State SUNY College of New York. Currently she is a consultant to support schools build up their own learning support programs, Educational & Diagnostic testing centers, as well as, audit school programs and make suggestions for best fit support services. She’s a passionate life long learner that believes that every student can reach his/her own potential given the appropriate support.
Dr Martha Ross
Dr Martha Ross is currently an Inclusion Coordinator at International School Carinthia, Austria. She recently decided to focus her career in the direction of student support after seven years in senior leadership. Martha is motivated towards the positive identification of all students in an international school setting and is focused on the school systems required to put this in place.
During her post graduate studies, Martha focused her research on Inclusion and Intercultural Competencies in four different international school settings. The study addressed teacher motivation levels when connecting with student’s identities and intercultural backgrounds. The data indicated that schools who were intentional in their international or global outlook were higher in intercultural competencies. Educators with exposure to diverse cultures were more likely to initiate connection with students and actively consider a student´s personal context. Whilst all 158 respondents indicated intercultural competence, they were less likely to recognize these connections as a teaching skill. Martha therefore believes in professional development opportunities for educators to promote Inclusion in all schools.
Martha has been the head of Primary School at ISZN, (International School Zurich North), Switzerland, and Amadeus International School, Vienna. She was Deputy Head at Vienna International School, Austria. During her time in Vienna, she volunteered on a UN project for Ethics Education in Primary Schools. Martha is an advocate for Values and Ethics education.
Chad Wood is the Primary Principal at Vienna International School in Vienna, Austria. Before his time as Principal, he started as a special education life skills and resource teacher in Indiana. He has experience developing inclusive special education programs, and designing inclusive spaces at international schools in Guangzhou, China, and Vienna. He is currently a PhD student at the University of San Diego, he has a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership, and a BSc in early-middle education, and K-12 special education. His areas of interest in research include: teacher agency, inclusion, and minorities in special education.
DATABASE FOR GRIEF AND LOSS AND TRAUMA-RELATED COUNSELLING NEEDED DURING STRESSFUL WORLD EVENTS
Anxieties and stress
Trauma-Informed Schools, PTSD and Covid19 Resources
Social emotional learning
In this abbreviated tool, look for signs of high-quality schoolwide SEL implementation by observing for the indicators of schoolwide SEL. (Credit: Kelli Holm, CASEL)
This tool can be used to assess strengths and areas to develop for promoting SEL through explicit instruction, integration into academic instruction, and a supportive classroom climate.
(Credit: Kelli Holm, CASEL)
This tool provides a model for structuring a conversation about developing a shared vision for SEL or integrating SEL into your school’s existing shared vision.
(Credit: Kelli Holm, CASEL)
References, bibliography, and books
Please note: Amazon links have been used for some of these publications, but other platforms are available. These are for reference purposes.
Resources on Psy-Ed. Assessments
PREVIOUS EVENTS & WEBINARS
Our previous conference took place at the International School of Luxembourg in 2019.
Also, Professor Carol Ann Tomlinson’s presentation on Differentiation, in 2017, at the International School of Paris was a massive success and a SOLD OUT with more than 200 participants!
Since this September, we have started hosting monthly events. You can see our recent webinars (plus other relevant ECIS webinars) below:
GET IN TOUCH