Venue: Open Access Area, Faculty of Education, Room 224
As part of its CPD programme, the Faculty of Education CPD committee is inviting University of Malta academic staff to attend a CPD session on Inclusive Education in Early Childhood Education.
Interested members of staff are kindly asked to contact Prof. Carmel Borg (email@example.com), Chair, CPD Committee, to reserve a place.
Full title of the Presentation: Inclusive Education in Early Childhood based on Oranim College's Approach
This presentation will focus on the benefits of inclusive education for young children. Assuming the goal of education for children with special needs is to maximize their developmental potential, an educational environment of children with typical development (i.e. a ‘regular’ kindergarten) is seen as a climate that best supports this goal. Inclusive education may benefit not only children with developmental challenges, but also all children in the kindergarten for it supports the development of empathy, theory-of-mind, tolerance, and prosocial behavior. The central aim of inclusive education is to let each child’s ‘voice’ be heard. Oranim’s approach to inclusive education emphasizes the importance of both children’s’ free exploration and appropriate teacher structuring. Free exploration allows each child to validate his or her own individuality, while developmentally appropriate structuring supports the child’s development according to his or her own abilities and interests. Finally, the importance of working with parents in creating a cohesive educational program and supporting parents in the challenges they face in raising a child with special needs will be discussed.
Smadar Dolev is a tenured faculty member at Oranim College for Education in Israel and the Head of the graduate program for Early Childhood Education in Oranim. She also teaches graduate courses in the Israeli and International Child Development programs in Haifa University. Her research examines parent/teacher-child relationships and the interplay between representations, behavior, and child development, with a focus on populations of early childhood aged children with special needs, including children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, children with Intellectual Impairments and children from at risk backgrounds. Her studies examine factors contributing to quality early childhood education settings, and have involved both Jewish and Arab populations. Smadar holds a Ph.d. in Child Developmental Psychology from Haifa University, where she also earned her M.A. in Child Developmental Psychology and her B.A. in Psychology and English literature.