From text to texture Count me in, a curriculum for educating the excluded

Saturday, November 2, 2013
First author:
Philomene op ’t Hof,
Symposium:
Belonging through Education II
Type:
Oral
Organisations

Space Station, Goes, the Netherlands

All authors:

Philomene op ’t Hof, Ariene van Westen

Stream:
Inclusive Education

Aim

The purpose of the Space station project Count me in was to develop a mainstream curriculum suitable for new learners , mature students with intensive support needs. The curriculum aims to educate, to enhance, to include. And, above all  to access and occupy those shared spaces of interest and excitement often beyond the reach of sheltered programmes.

Methods

The findings are based on practical classroom insights, negotiations, experiments and evaluations. To develop the curriculum, the Space Station crew organized over 60 drama workshops in a mainstream educational setting.    

Results

During the International Disability Conference, Space Station will  offer an oral presentation, augmented by extensive documentation,  of  the results of the project. The final curriculum  promises a new stage of development and enhanced performance for mature students with a profound disability.      

Conclusions

The new curriculum shows how you can teach mature students with a profound disability in a mainstream location, how you can click into the old Latin idea of educating: education as educare, leading forth, taking you where you’re at and moving one step forward. Education is not about where you start from or how far behind you are. It’s as much about the length and quality of the journey. For the students it can be a wild and exciting journey, enriching their lives and offering them undreamt of opportunities to make their contribution to their community. Without  major volunteer input and a high level of corporate support, educational projects of this intensity are unviable.