Module 2: Schools and Educational Practitioners: Making Schools Inclusive Environments
This module provides opportunities for the learner to examine the central role schools and teachers play in responding to and addressing educational marginalisation and exclusion. Throughout the module, the learner will be introduced to a range of macro and micro initiatives that have attempted to make schools more inclusive environments for all children. The learner will be able identify good practice in the field of education and become aware of the daily challenges and problems faced by schools and educational practitioners to ensure all children are provided with the best start in life and included in the life of the school. The module will enable the learner to appreciate the role schools and educational practitioners play in fostering inclusion. It will examine the importance of collaborative practice and multi-agency engagement within and between schools and the key role dedicated school leaders and teachers play in enabling this multi-agency engagement. The module will focus on a range of good practice initiatives from both Portugal and Ireland. The module will focus on the various approaches that schools take when working with the entire school community to ensure positive outcomes for all children. It will examine initiatives that are State led interventions such as DEIS and TEIP, regional level interventions such as the Limerick DEIS literacy initiative and school led interventions such as the Home School Community Liaison scheme and the Bridge back to School initiative. It will examine school engagement with marginalised and vulnerable children and parents and will illustrate through the STAIRS study visit videos, the multifaceted and interconnected roles educational practitioners occupy from teacher to counsellor, social worker, advisor and advocate etc. The commitment of the school to the community will be explored and particularly, how schools are an important physical, social, cultural, emotional, and educational structure within the community. There will be a particular emphasis on how schools work to create positive and inclusive learning environments for all children.