Autism in Mainstream Units in Schools across Europe: Identification and dissemination of best practice

3 Participating countries:
Start: 01-09-2016 - End: 31-08-2018
Project Reference: 2016-1-ES01-KA201-025364
EC Grant: 183561 EUR

Programme: Erasmus+
Key Action: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices
Action Type: Strategic Partnerships for school education

Summary

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior (APA, 2013). ASD is diagnosed in at least 1% of the population, and diagnoses are more common amongst males than females (Baird et al., 2006). Autism can have profound impact upon learning and it is estimated that 54% of individuals with autism also have intellectual disability/learning disability (CDC, 2010).Whilst inclusion policies have encouraged children with ASD to be placed within mainstream classrooms, this has been argued to put unfair pressure on teachers, and for the child with ASD to experience ‘integration without social inclusion’ (Barnard, 2002: 25). Parsons et al. (2009) identified a rapid rise of autism-specific units within mainstream education. Whilst this modality of provision has the potential to enhance inclusion, Parsons et al conclude that there is a lack of robust, empirical evidence concerning practice and provision, and that more research is required to establish the effectiveness of the types of provision. The government of Valencia, a partner of this proposal, has recently developed a report about the modalities of schooling for students with ASD, including the experimental model of autism units developed in that region for twelve years, also reaching the conclusion that more research is required. What evidence there is suggests that, students with autism progress much better when autism-specific educational support is provided (Mesibov and Howley, 2003).The main objective of AMUSE project is to provide resources, knowledge about the best practice, and research to support this particular modality of schooling which is highly strategic and has policy implications for the effective inclusion of students with ASD. The project intends to create a European wide data base of mainstream schools with autism units, to conduct research to accurately identify the profile of those students with ASD who benefit the most from this particular modality of schooling and to identify best practice and provide training. Also, two Multiplier Events of sharing the outcomes of the intellectual products will be celebrated.A multi-sectorial team has been built for this AMUSE project, including researchers from the two participating universities (UVEG and UBATH), teachers and families from the four schools involved (MARENOSTRUM, GABRIELPEREZ, AUCAVI and MARESAL) and continuous training institutions from regional governments (CEFIRE-GVA and KONYAMEM). The preliminary work of the four participating schools is a key aspect of the present proposal in order to identify candidate success factors to be investigated with the research. Three schools involved (MARENOSTRUM, GABRIELPEREZ and MARESAL) are newcomers to Erasmus+. The objective of this diverse and multidisciplinary composition of the team is to assure the transferability of the project results to a diversity of contexts and to maximize the impact.Three intellectual multilingual outputs are expected from the project work: Web Database of Autism Units within Mainstream Schools across Europe (O1), MOOC Course on Best Practice for Autism Units (O2) and a complex Research Study (O3) designed to determine the profile of students with ASD who benefit the most from this model of schooling. Two short-term training actions of job-shadowing will take place in Spain and UK for teachers (C1 and C2). These training actions have been planned to assist the necessary work for O1 by identifying the most relevant information to be captured within the online database of autism units. Two Multiplier Events have been planned in Spain (E1) and Turkey (E2) to spread project results to more than 300 external participants.A high impact is expected on students with autism and their teachers, who will benefit from the knowledge of best practice to facilitate their learning and social inclusion rather than just integration in the mainstream environment where they are schooled. The four mainstream schools involved will benefit from the dissemination of these best practice that will improve school provision, staff training and the development of inclusion policies, practices and culture within the context of mainstream schools. Participating education departments from governments will increase their repertoire of training resources to prepare teachers. Participating universities from two of the three countries involved in the project will strengthen their contact with schools, integrating research with practice. The digital nature of all the project results (open access online database, MOOC course and research papers) will facilitate dissemination of results both inside and outside organisations.

Results

Results for this project are not yet available. They might become available after the project's end date.

Coordinator

UNIVERSITAT DE VALENCIA

AVENIDA BLASCO IBANEZ 13, 46010
VALENCIA
ES

Organisation type: Higher education institution (tertiary level)

Partners

CONSELLERÍA DE EDUCACIÓN, INVESTIGACIÓN, CULTURA Y DEPORTE
VALENCIA
Comunidad Valenciana
Organisation type: Regional Public body
FUNDACION AUCAVI
Madrid
Comunidad de Madrid
Organisation type: Foundation
CEIP MARE NOSTRUM
VALENCIA
Comunidad Valenciana
Organisation type: School/Institute/Educational centre – General education (primary level)
UNIVERSITY OF BATH
BATH
Organisation type: Higher education institution (tertiary level)
CFI GABRIEL PEREZ CARCEL
Murcia
Región de Murcia
Organisation type: School/Institute/Educational centre – General education (primary level)
MARESAL MUSTAFA KEMAL ORTAOKULU
SELCUKLU
Konya
Organisation type: School/Institute/Educational centre – General education (primary level)
KONYA IL MILLI EGITIM MUDURLUGU
Konya
Konya
Organisation type: Local Public body

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