In September of 2015, the General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which is based on the principle of “leaving no one behind”. The new agenda emphasizes a holistic approach to achieving sustainable development for all. We should also keep in mind that it is the result of a political agreement, and that constant vigilance will be required now and in the future to avoid human rights violations, especially for the most discriminated groups, such as people with disabilities, people with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities, or people living in conflict-affected areas.
The development of each and every country is based on the education of its people, and education is based on the development of the country. The highest responsibility of each educational system is to provide education and high-quality teaching for all students. In the case of Special Education, the subjects do not need to be changed, but a program should be tailored for each student, as well as the teaching methods, in order to enhance the student’s strengths and help him/her to overcome difficulties. The SDGs also promote Inclusive Education, which means that students with special needs are placed (when possible) in “regular schools” instead of segregated institutions, in order to empower the child with special needs to be an active part of society. It also teaches the “regular students” to understand what the needs of their peers with different impairments are; it fosters equality, respect, and solidarity. Imagine the world in 2030, fully inclusive of persons with disabilities.
Under the title “Special Education and Inclusive Education” we can find a variety of theories, systems and ways of working, depending on the needs of the people who are included in these programs. a process of addressing and responding to the diversity of needs of all learners through inclusive practices in learning, cultures and communities and reduction of exclusion within and from education.
In order to develop the skills, experience, and confidence to be inclusive of all children, teachers need to learn about and practice inclusive education, and they need to be given opportunities for continuing professional development throughout their careers.
The goal of the course is to introduce the educators to the ways Israel copes with the subject and to the different ideas and ways of working with students with special needs. The course aims to empower the participants as role models with specific seniority, experience, leadership, full understanding of the subject and training.
In the process of planning the course, we considered the newest and most accurate contents and processes going on in the Israeli Educational System as well as international aspects.
*To introduce the participants to the Division of Special Education guidelines; to different theories, approaches, and technologies, such as Self Advocacy, Sexual Education for people with special needs, etc.
*To introduce the different activities and programs that different schools (inclusive and segregated) have for students with special needs
*To provide tools for equitable and quality education
*To provide tools and guidelines for curricular development. This means to use the National Core Curriculum and adapt it to each student’s abilities and difficulties
*To advance teaching methods for specific subject-matters (science, language, etc.), as well as interdisciplinary subject areas, tailored specifically for each student in the special education system
*To provide guidelines for establishing pedagogical resource centers, regionally and locally, for teacher training and support
*To enable participants to choose the methods and tools suitable for the particular needs of their environments
*To provide a base for future activities according to the needs of the different realities
*Presentation of the policies established by the Division of Special Education in the State of Israel
*New outlooks on the concepts of “Special Education" and “Person with Special Needs” (in contrast with “disabled person”)
*Presentation of the different sub-divisions in special education, such as education for the visually impaired, hearing impaired, autistic, mentally impaired, etc.
*Presentation of the policies regarding early detection and placement of the people with special needs in the proper institution for him/her, within the frame of the Division of Special Education
*Learning to design a curriculum based on good practices from a development perspective
*Presenting methods and activities that empower the student with special needs to speak out for him/herself (self-advocacy)
*Practices to motivate and empower teachers to improve teaching skills:
1. Self-confidence, self-learning, and self-assessment
2. Teaching skills and tools to implement the adapted curriculum
3. Establishing contacts with other teachers and educators in order to increase awareness and expand ideas and opinions
*Analysis of the role and place of educational personnel in national awareness of the subject and against discrimination
*Learning new frameworks and methods for using the Internet as a database of information and also as an interface for working with special needs students
*Allowing creative thinking to be part of the day-to-day work - as an attitude and as a work tool.