International Projects - EUROPEAN BACHELOR


Věra Vojtová
The Department of Special Education, Faculty of Education, Masaryk University took part in an European project whose aim was to prepare study materials for an international study programme. The project was financed by the EU in the framework of Erasmus and from resources of the participating universities. The researchers from the Czech Republic were: prof. Marie Vítková, CSc. and PhDr. Věra Vojtová, Ph.D (Department of Special Education, Faculty of Education, Masaryk University, PhDr. Vanda Hájková, Ph.D (Department of Special Education, Faculty of Education, Charles Univesrity).

European Bachelor of Inclusion Studies is a study program which reflects new European trends in advancing equal opportunites, meaning quality of life for everyone. The program focuses on the topic of support of people who are disadvantaged by their living conditions, in the social, health, pre-professional or professional sphere, or at risk of social exclusion.

The content of the study program has been composed in cooperation of 12 universities from 7 European countries, with financial support of the EU and participating universities. It has been accomplished in the frame of the ERASMUS Program with the reference number 29972-IC-1-2002-1-DE-ERAYMUS-PROGUC-1. The partner from Masaryk University in Brno is the Department of Special Education, Faculty of Education MU / prof. Doc. Marie Vitkova Csc. And PhDr. Vera Vojtova, Ph.D.. The co- solver of the program from the University of Tallin is Marianne Martinson. The project has been coordinated by the University of Applied Studies in Magdenburg, by Prof. Dr. Wolf Bloemers who initiated the first meeting of the preparative team in September 2002. It was held at the Charle’s University in Prague. Thorough work on this program has been reflected on its quality. It was the only European study program chosen for realization and got financial support form the EU.

The project team is, as expected, European. Less predictable the reader might find the composition of the team from the point of view of profession. Colleagues from fields of special education, social education and social work from the Czech republic, Slovakia, the Netherlands, the Great Britain, Estonia, Ukraine, Slovenia and Germany cooperate within this team. The different specialization reflect the need of multidimensional view of a person with a disadvantage. Furthermore, the international composition of the team brings different professional and personal experience of its members, partly derived from the social and political development in Europe.

The study program “Bachelor of inclusion Studies” is divided into 12 modules in such a way that the students acquire basic theoretical knowledge for understanding of the problem of exclusion and support of a person being excluded or at risk. Students will learn to evaluate the situation of a person with a disadvantage within the context of biography, life situation and social relationships. Furthermore, they will build basic competence to stabilize, direct, bolster and support such a person and to guide him/her through all stages of his/her life. Students will also learn to evaluate critical situations in social environment of a person, to work with them and influence them in favor of the individual and social interests.

It is a 3-year study program. The program will become a part of study programs of all participating schools. Students of this program will be allowed to study at any of the partner universities. The same applies to the university teachers. The language of the program will be English, German and the language of the particular country. Knowledge and competence of a graduate will be applicable in EU countries. The study outcomes will be fully respected in all participating countries. “European bachelor of Inclusion Studies” is European not only in its content, but also in its organizational structure.

The study program will prepare students for a new field which is being created in Europe at the moment. It goes hand in hand with the trend of creation of diverse society. It reflects the current position of education and its importance in the life of a person and society. Nowadays, globalization, complexity of development of society, technology and economy rise the burden put on each individual who has to get used to a constantly changing environment, cope with a certain degree of insecurity, accept complexity and lower understandability of the world with its plurality of cultures and opinions.

Content of modules:

  • Module 1
    Inclusion in Europe
    • This is the fundamental module of the study program. It will lead students to critical point of view in the context of transformation of European states and societies with their risks and exclusion processes. It will present antithesis of the social and European political concept of inclusion. The request for recognition of heterogeneity, asymmetry and diversity of all people is grounded on images and claims of new social movements and specific scientific and theoretical discussion.
  • Module 2
    Basics of social science
    • Perspectives and analytical methods of key disciplines will be supported by an academic study of social inclusion. This module is understood as an introduction to social and humanistic science – sociology, psychology, philosophy and education. Students should be able to understand inclusion (in theory and practice) as an incorporative moment.
  • Module 3
    European issues and social policy
    • This module attempts to provide students with an overview of historical and topical problems of European social policy.
  • Module 4
    Body and soul: salutogenesis, patogenesis in various European contexts
    • Exclusion and inclusion takes place in transaction between societal and personal possibilities. The module mediates knowledge about one´s personality, mainly his health and development (salutogenesis), as well as about emergence of health problems (patogenesis). Students will be introduced into the context of physical, mental and social existence of a person.
  • Module 5
    Diagnostics and planning
    • In this module students will learn to orientate in a person’s biography and life situation. Within this context they will evaluate the diagnostic findings and based on them they will plan possibilities of intervention with the focus on inclusion.
  • Module 6
    Behaviour and action
    • Students will learn to understand their actions and behaviour and acquire competences for professional conduct. The module is based on the assumption that human’s behaviour is at all times subjectively meaningful. Under certain social and cultural conditions can this behaviour lead to exclusion and inclusion. Professional conduct in terms of inclusion requires appropriate knowledge and ability to understand such behaviour. Personal experience, one’s behaviour and actions, is an essential part.
  • Module 7
    • Initiation and organization of inclusive educational processes of youngsters and adults requires certain ways of conduct and work. These should be explained within this module.
  • Module 8
    Research and project work
    • Research is a fundamental part of social science and the concept of inclusion. Research in this sense is focused on activity. To be able to understand an individual and put some changes into practice, it is inevitable to include social phenomena. We are to constantly ask for human behaviour, social phenomena and societal development and tendencies. Research is complicated especially where there are included pointed changes of a researcher’s active behaviour. Therefore, an accompanying research is conducted, mostly as a part of a project work.
  • Module 9
    Company and support in life
    • This module is a follow-up to knowledge about general determinants of human existence. It enables students to understand universal as well as personal human interests in the sense of quality of life and its eventual dangers. Students learn to accompany and support a person with regard to his/her biography and life circumstances.
  • Module 10
    Pedagogical theories and inclusion
    • Within this module students can study various attitudes towards support of social inclusion of people with a handicap, difference and special educational needs in the process of their education with respect to individual and social interests in historical context. Understanding of the concept of European inclusion requires a critical view on pedagogical thinking influencing pedagogical theories in various European countries. It requires thinking which has not developed in isolation, but in historical, political and social connections.
  • Module 11
    European project
    • The module offers student a possibility to conduct a cooperative study as an applied research work in European context. The interest will be to conduct a research with a common topic at more participating universities at the same time.
  • Module 12
    Bachelor´s work
    • An important precondition for a professional conduct in the sense of social inclusion is an independent scientific research aimed at practice.

A working meeting will take place the last week in February at the Masaryk University in Brno. In 2006 it should be concluded as a project and in 2006/2007 first students can commence their studies.

The article introduces a new study program European Bachelor of Inclusion Studies which has been created by the team of 12 university researches from 7 European countries, with a financial support of the EU. The study program intends to introduce students to the context of inclusion in all its aspects. The program is constructed into 12 study modules and is focused on building students´ knowledge and competence to support the process of inclusion.

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