Programme and contents
The Intensive Course was divided into three parts:
Part 1: One week hosted by Akureyri University, Iceland (week 39, 2015):
introduction to the course content, goals and organization, Icebreakers and structures set the scene for inclusion among the participants and as a theme for the intensive course week; hereunder group structures, introductory lectures, country presentations, out door activities and workshops.
Part 2: Five weeks of distance learning will include (weeks 40-44): group work using IT tools for online communication; counselling from lecturers
Part 3: One week hosted by Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania (week 45): group presentations of teaching, feedback and evaluation were the main issues of that week.
Contents of the intensive course
Part 1 contained theoretical knowledge on comparative studies in education in a broad context in connection with inclusive education. Students were divided into groups representing the participating institutions. Students chose a theme and started exploring this from different angles and positions. The learning process and the work in the groups were based on the following principles:
- Example based exchange of experiences
- Problem-based approaches and project work
- Theoretical input supported by scholarly articles
- Doing in practice
- Teacher counselling
- Presentation of group work
- Evaluation of the group work
Part 2 contained project or group work in the established international groups who made use of online communication facilities and received counselling from the assigned lecturer/s. With the outset in the initial examination of the theme, the groups explored the theme further and worked on the organisation of their actual teaching learning process that was based on the key elements of the course.
Part 3 contained following elements:
- Final organisation of the groups’ planned lessons focusing on comparative studies in education in a broad context in connection with inclusive education
- Presentations of the prepared lessons during the week in Akureyri and the five weeks in between by the groups; i.e. carrying out the planned teaching-learning session that allowed the presenting group and the participants in general to experience and reflect on theory and practice and how theory translates into practice
- Finalisation of the pp-presentation and collection of the portfolio
- Feedback and evaluation
The presentation, together with the portfolio, made up the base for the assessment of the groups’ work in the intensive course. Each group will be assessed separately, but as a group.