Bilingual inclusive education in Madrid, Spain: Deaf and hearing pupils
The main aim of the initiative is to achieve maximum personal development and abilities of the learners, users and workers, both deaf and hearing, through a comprehensive education.
This education is based on an inclusive project that values and meets the educational and communication needs of the entire community in oral language, sign language and alternative systems.
Inclusive education: presence, participation and learning are the guiding conceptual framework. The centre aims to qualify the school itself to respond to all learners, both deaf and hearing, setting the priorities on how to present and address the curriculum, the methodology used and the organisation, so that everyone has access to learning, whatever their needs.
To achieve the objectives of inclusion there are two basic pillars: bilingual education and shared education (deaf and hearing learners).
Year(s): From 2004
Target group(s): The programme is aimed at compulsory secondary school and A-level students, family members, teachers and members of civil society organisations
Website or other online channels: https://ponceleon.org/centro_educativo/
In 2004, the centre opted to develop a new model of attention for deaf learners and to incorporate a new methodology that facilitated this model progressively through the educational stages. This new way of understanding educational attention has carried through the rest of the centre.
The steps taken in the process were:
- Training of a group of professionals, led by the Pedagogical Direction, with advice from the Specific Deaf Team in the Community of Madrid. For implementing the organisation, the methodology is based on research projects and bilingualism in oral language and Spanish Sign Language (LSE) (simultaneous). Initial training of new personnel in Hearing and Language, and LSE, as well as internal training in aspects requested by the educational team. LSE specialists were used from the beginning, and their numbers have increased to be present in all educational stages.
- Pedagogical direction, guidance and team of professionals, with the support of the Montemadrid Foundation (owner of the centre), with continuous advice and support from deaf special education experts in the Community of Madrid.
The management team generated the project, managed it and promoted initial training, alongside permanent teacher training, taking into account the needs of the different teams. It has been important to establish and involve a stable team of professionals who are committed to inclusion. The team constituted of professionals has a demanding profile and has adapted to the new methodology.
Type of product
Paper-based material Online resource Video clips / Films Course / Training
Brief description of the outcomes
The key outcomes of the initiative are:
- Methodological and organisational change: work for research projects, and in the classroom for corners/zones.
- Material resources (no books), own elaborated materials, acquisition of technological resources (digital boards, tablets).
The facilitating methodology of an inclusion model should provide the centre with flexibility to respond to diversity.
Impact on target groups / Transferability potential
Changing the old concept of special educational needs, which implied lower expectations of these learners from teachers, was a big challenge. Educational difficulties were attributed to learner deficits and the responsibility of their teaching-learning process fell on hearing and language specialists. Now the vision is that all learners can learn if given the opportunity, and can learn together with their peers, so the impact and added value is proved.
From the directors, there have been agreements, negotiations and adaptation with educational institutions, and also with the Foundation itself. The role of management is to ensure the Educational Administration has contributed within its rules to be able to adapt the resources it offers in terms of personal resource needs. However, until the Administration responded, the support of the Foundation itself was important, authorising personal resources as the project progressed. It has great importance in continuing to support the extension, advancement and consolidation of the project. This is essential for a successful transferability of the practice.
Promoter of the initiative: Educational centre PONCE DE LÉON
Languages available: Spanish
Website or other online channels: https://ponceleon.org