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Erasmus Plus Strategic Partnerships

Erasmus+ is the European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport. It runs for seven years, from 2014 to 2020, with organisations invited to apply for funding each year to undertake creative and worthwhile activities. Erasmus+ aims to modernise education, training and youth work across Europe. It is open to education, training, youth and sport organisations across all sectors of lifelong learning, including school education, further and higher education, adult education and the youth sector. It offers exciting opportunities for UK participants to then study, work, volunteer, teach and train abroad in Europe.

The Centre for Education Studies is currently involved as a partner in three collaborative projects through Associate Professor Dr Dimitra Hartas and Doctoral Candidate, Eyup Guzel:

Development of Innovation in Play-Based Learning and Teaching Activities for Disadvantaged Students

Dr Dimitra Hartas in collaboration with Eyup Guzel and the Konevi School for Hearing Impaired (Turkey), Gaudem Deaf School (Spain), Turin Institute of the Deaf (Italy), Ustun Degisim Rehabilitation Center (Turkey) and City University London.

The main objectives of this project are to develop innovative opportunities for special education schools in terms of play-based learning and teaching activities for students with deafness and hearing impairments. Our team is cross-disciplinary to bring together the strengths and knowledge of special education and inclusive settings such as schools-families-students-universities-social advocacy groups - governments and volunteers in our partner countries. The training of special education teachers in intensive learning/teaching activities is the primary objective of this project along with targeting students with deafness and hearing impairments and their families, as well as gathering evidence on what works. The findings from this study are expected to benefit, directly or indirectly, university institutions, academics, in-service teachers, mentors, tutors, education authorities, rehabilitation services for students with deafness and hearing impairments, and educational organisations designing play based activities.

Short term joint staff trainings are the main activities were deaf field experts will train special education teachers in a step-by-step planned schedule. Certain project objectives will be employed in a daily program for the participant special education teachers. The professional expertise of partner academicians and teacher trainers will be used to train the participants.

Intellectual outputs are designed to provide innovative opportunities to design a play module by generating 100 selected play-based learning and teaching activities with sign language instructions in English, Turkish, Italian and Spanish. The play module will be web-based and in a software format which will be downloadable, deaf accessible, interactive and multilingual. We will use action research methodology by employing interviews, questionnaires, document analysis, scientific reports analysis. Our partner academicians will lead action research in qualitative and quantitative research formats to examine the effectiveness of play-based learning and teaching activities for students with deafness and hearing impairments.
The final conference will serve to disseminate project results to a wide range of people and institutions in Europe and Turkey. Dissemination of materials will take place through conference presentations, journal articles, publications, and website including the play module in software format where a large number of people can benefit by downloading free.

Our envisaged outcomes are to develop innovative ways to enhance the learning experience of deaf and hearing-impaired students, special education teachers and their families within a cross-disciplinary team. As a result of this project, special education schools are likely to improve their capabilities; design a play module; develop service capacities; form international collaboration and networks with other professionals in deaf fields. In addition, play-based activities provide fun and entertainment for the students and teachers, which is likely to contribute to their emotional-wellbeing and positive psychological outcomes during teacher-students interactions.

From Theory to Practice: Capacity Building in Special Education Schools regarding health and hearing care

Dr Dimitra Hartas in collaboration with Eyup Guzel and the Konevi School for Hearing Impaired (Turkey); Sinop University (Turkey); State Institution / School for the Deaf (Slovenia); a Vocational Training School in Spain and the Equalizent Company for Deaf and Hard of Hearing (Austria).

The primary objectives of this project are to bring together the strengths and knowledge of schools-families-students-universities-social advocacy groups - governments-companies-hospitals-and volunteers in our partner countries in terms of health and care issues related to hearing abilities of students with deafness and hearing impairments. We pursue the objectives of training special education teachers in primary and secondary schools through intensive training programs as being our direct target group. Our direct target group also includes students with deafness and hearing impairments and their families. Indirect target groups are university institutions, academics, in-service teachers, mentors, tutors, education authorities, rehabilitation services for students with deafness and hearing impairments and health field workers. Another objective is to increase the service capacities of special education schools, addressing proper integration of health and hearing care components into school service, identifying best practices of partner countries, investigating hearing and health care practices of partner countries, empowering professional work between academicians and special education teachers to provide better developed teaching and variety of activities.

Our mobility activities are short terms joint staff trainings where special education teachers will be trained via a specifically designed course subjects by professionals. Each single day of training will be particularly designed to examine and convey certain project objectives. Doctors, academicians, speech therapists, audiologists and teacher trainers will employ these mobility activities by presenting their own expertises.
Intellectual outputs are open online module where it covers lectures from health and hearing field professionals regarding to deafness and hearing impairment. Lectures will be recorded in 5 languages including English, German, Spanish, Slovak and Turkish and their corresponding sign languages to be published in our interactive, multilingual and deaf accessible web site. Another intellectual output is study and analysis covering crucial health and care issues of hearing such as prevalence, causes and prevention of deafness and hearing impairment, examination of the ear, detection, screening and testing of hearing impairment, ear operations, rehabilitation and education, hearing aids, cochlear implants usage, effectiveness and misbelieves, what families of students with DHI should primarily know and apply in house settings about hearing care, and possibilities of health condition variations of these children with DHI. We will follow the methodology of data collecting about above mentioned subjects by employing interviews, questionnaires, document analysis and scientific articles and reports analysis. Qualitative and quantitative methodologies will be employed by our partner academics in cooperation with special education teachers.
Dissemination activities are final conference and workshops where project outcomes will be disseminated through conference presentations, journal articles, and website including open online module, publications and output package as in DVD format.
Evaluation will serve to examine the progression of the project outcomes by conducting internal and external evaluations in interview and survey formats.
The project’s envisaged results are bridging the gap between the works of health field experts/institutions and special education schools/teachers in terms of combining the strengths of these people and institutions to provide better service, health care and care related to hearing of students with deafness and hearing impairments. Also, empowering service capacity of special education schools in diverse ways will provide long term benefits for these schools to diversify the quality of education/service that they utilize in the future. It will furthermore encourage health field experts, academics, teacher trainers, education advisers or authorities to collaborate actively in the education process of students with deafness and hearing impairments, their families and special education teachers in real classroom and school settings.


Erasmus Plus: We are overcoming the walls of silence with ICT

Eyup Guzel, PhD candidate (Supervisor: Dr Dimitra Hartas)

The key objective of this project is to observe, analyse, adopt, implement, evaluate and disseminate innovative curricular and educational practices (teaching and learning) by mainly concentrating on the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in school for students with deafness and hearing impairments (DHI). The project aims to enhance special education teachers' confidence and the knowledge and motivation of students with DHI in using ICT in language and social studies subjects in kindergarten, primary and secondary school. The project also aims to educate and equip special education teachers and students with DHI with the necessary ICT competences to meet the challenges of fast-paced globalization, mobilise their education through cooperative work and get ready for the demanding high-tech environment of future jobs and society.

The project proposes a series of activities for schools focusing on curriculum development, teaching and learning materials, academic studies and analyses, and methods (observation, experimentation, interviewing and publications) by promoting collaboration between schools and universities in different European countries. Partner organization staff will visit deaf education settings within the partnership to extend their knowledge of the range of strategies available to support special education teachers and students with DHI through the use of ICT as a context for teaching and learning. The project expects long-term outcomes as impacting on the teachers to use ICT-based teaching and learning activities and build international partnerships. There are also significant implications for parents in the form of increased involvement in the schooling of their children, building positive relationships with the school and promoting a European identity. Finally, institutions are likely to benefit from international cooperation and knowledge exchange about how different societies and organizations understand and value the education of students with deafness and hearing impairment at a European level.

The European partners are: Konevi School for Hearing Impaired (Turkey), Mary Hare Deaf School UK, Turin Institute for the Deaf, Italy, and Sinop University (Turkey).

For more information please visit http://www.voiceofvoiceless.net/index_ing.html and youtube video (documentary) link is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PZ-ZN-cKWI