Attending the UKFIET conference 2017

06/09/2017

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This week we are attending the Education and Development Forum’s UKFIET conference in Oxford. It has so far been an excellent opportunity to promote EENET. We have managed to raise awareness of inclusive education with people who have never heard of EENET before but who are within our target audience.

We have also been working with other members of the International Disability and Development Consortium to promote the #CostingEquity Report (that provides recommendations for disability-responsive education financing) and the associated #Call4Education (NGOs call on governments and donors to prioritise schooling for children with disabilities).

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Teacher Education for Inclusion: EENET Seminar and Video Launch

06/07/2017

Welcoming face

We are delighted to invite you to this EENET event, which has 3 main purposes:

  • to launch our new video-based teacher training resource
  • to provide an opportunity to discuss critically the issue of teacher training for inclusive education
  • to celebrate EENET’s 20th anniversary and World Teachers Day!

There will be an opportunity to watch parts of the new video and try out some of the training activities.

We will have various discussions and activities to enable participants to share their, or their organisation’s, experiences of teacher training for inclusive education. We will discuss current challenges and successes, and collaboratively develop ideas for how to radically improve the training of teachers around inclusion.

The event will also be an opportunity to find out more about EENET and pick up copies of our other resources, and to network with a variety of people working in the education and development sectors.

And since it’s our birthday, there may also be some cake!

We hope you’ll be able to join us on 5th October 2017.

To book your place, please go to our EventBrite page.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any queries about the event – email: kerrytilden@eenet.org.uk

Best wishes

Ingrid Lewis and Kerry Tilden on behalf of the EENET Team


Call for Articles for “Enabling Education Review” 2015

02/05/2015

The theme for the 2015 newsletter will be:

“Inclusive education management”

 

1. Why have we chosen this topic?

This year we would like the Enabling Education Review (EER) to share practical experiences of planning, budgeting and fundraising for, managing, monitoring and evaluating inclusive education initiatives.

EENET has the benefit of being both an information network and a consultancy service provider. Through this diverse work we are privileged to learn about many different inclusive education initiatives – we get to see what makes them work well, and the problems they face.

For instance, we have seen first-hand that organisations and governments often invest heavily in baseline studies, but these studies are not always high quality or used effectively to inform project/programme design. We see that budgeting and resourcing for inclusive education can be a challenge, particularly when seeking funding to scale-up and move beyond pilot projects or model schools. We carry out many evaluations. A common challenge is the limited qualitative and quantitative record keeping, making it very difficult to collate information for the final evaluation. We also notice that more money is spent on final evaluations than on mid-term reviews, yet a high quality mid-term review (and/or effective ongoing monitoring) can enable improvements to be recommended and implemented ‘before it’s too late’.

However, we also know that there are organisations and governments working hard to improve their approaches to inclusive education planning, budgeting, fundraising, monitoring and evaluation. We therefore want to provide an opportunity for those involved in such initiatives to document and share their experiences.

 

2. What could you write about?

 Here are some ideas…

 

Planning

  • Your experience of conducting a high quality, practical and relevant baseline study. In particular we would like to hear about efforts to conduct participatory baselines, involving stakeholders and beneficiaries in the research activities (and even as researchers), so that the baseline process becomes an integral part of the initiative (not just a formal or academic ‘outsider research’ process).
  • Your experience with participatory planning – ensuring that your inclusive education initiative responds to the needs and ideas of stakeholders and beneficiaries; and/or ensuring that the initiative is planned as a genuine collaborative effort between NGO and government.

 

Financing and resourcing

  • Your experience with convincing large/international donors to support inclusive education (particularly convincing them to provide longer-term support – because inclusive education is not a ‘quick fix’).
  • Your experience with developing funding strategies that ensure shared financial responsibility between local/national government and NGOs, or which promote increased financial responsibility from the government for inclusive education.
  • Your experience of successfully reallocating resources to support inclusive education (rather than seeking new/extra resources).
  • Your experience with developing community-level financial, material or human resource support for inclusive education.

 

Monitoring and evaluation

  • Your experience of developing approaches that enable implementers/managers, stakeholders and beneficiaries to regularly reflect on and document their experiences, throughout the life of the inclusive education initiative.
  • Your experience or reflections on what makes a useful, high quality mid-term review or final evaluation.
  • Your experience with developing relevant and useful indicators for measuring progress/impact.
  • Your experience of developing joint monitoring and evaluation mechanisms, so that multiple partners (e.g. NGOs and government) contribute and learn collaboratively.

 

How do you submit an article?

Please email your article to ingridlewis@eenet.org.uk or send a hard copy to the address at the end of this document.

Length – either 550 words (for a single page article) or 1,100 words (for a double-page article). We may edit longer articles down to a single page, depending on the quantity and quality of articles received.

Style – please keep the article easy-to-read and non-academic. We encourage the use of sub-headings, bullet lists, etc. Have a look at previous editions of the publication if you are not sure what style to use.

Editing – we are very happy to help with editing the article, so don’t worry if you are not an experienced writer, we can work with you to improve the structure and content of your article, make it shorter/longer, etc.

Photos – it is great if you can add photos, drawings or diagrams to your article. Please send us high resolution images by email (these should be at least 1mb in size), or post us an original print/drawing. For every image you want to add to your article, you will probably need to remove about 75-100 words of text – but we can help with this editing. Please ensure that the people in any photos have given their permission for the photos to be published, or that parents/guardians have given permission for photos of children to be used.

Deadlines – the first deadline for draft submissions of articles is 30 June 2015.

But we welcome submissions as soon as possible so we can spread the editing workload. We will then review all articles and work with the authors to edit them. This process will happen July-August. We then aim to finalise articles and design the publication in September-October, so that it can be printed in November-December 2015.

Selection – please note that we might not publish all of the articles we receive. In addition to ensuring that we publish articles that are easy-to-read and of practical use to a range of education stakeholders, we will also ensure that the final selection includes:

  • articles from a variety of countries/regions
  • articles about a range of different issues
  • articles by authors from different backgrounds (e.g. teachers, NGOs, parents, academics, government representatives, etc).

Articles that are not selected for publication in the newsletter may instead be published on EENET’s website.

Queries – if you have any questions, please email ingridlewis@eenet.org.uk.

Postal address ­– if you want to send an article in hard copy or as an audio recording (e.g. on CD), please send to:

 

EENET CIC

37 Market Street

Hollingworth

Cheshire, SK14 8LS

UK


How I joined the EENET family

22/04/2014

Back in 2010 I was working with World Vision Armenia as an Education Expert and was managing two big projects on supporting inclusive education in Armenia. The first project was receiving funds through World Vision UK and DFID. It aimed to improve inclusive teaching practices in schools, strengthening the teachers’ capacity to adapt the curricula to the needs of children with special educational needs. The second project was funded through USAID, and focused on strengthening the capacity of disabled people’s organisations (DPOs) and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to promote public understanding of disability and acceptance of inclusive education.

According to the logframe of my first project we needed to invite an international consultant to evaluate our efforts and provide recommendations on improvements and following steps. I am so thankful to WVUK for recommending Ingrid Lewis from EENET! Ten days we spent travelling throughout the project sites. Conducting meetings and round table discussions at schools, having lesson observations and informal communications with students helped me to understand the context well, my partners’ perception and understanding of both the project’s goals and inclusive education concept. It revealed our strengths and weaknesses alike and helped me view inclusive education from a totally different angle: it is not education for children with special educational needs, it is enabled education for ALL students, so that every child can gain from the hours spent at school in proportion to his/her abilities and capacities.

This consultancy supported me to recognize good teachers in our communities and develop role models for others through the first video manual for teachers in Armenia. It also helped me learn about and understand the Index for Inclusion and discover the global EENET community!

 

Children Armenia poster Teachers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a poster featuring the opinions of children in inclusive schools in Armenia

Two years later I was honored to enter the EENET family as a ‘Client Representative Director’ – a volunteering job, which gave me an opportunity to know in person other team members and experienced experts in the inclusive education field who are all very open and dedicated people ready to share their knowledge easily.

My role is to view EENET’s activities from the clients’ point of view (this is primarily about the consultancy clients, but I’m also interested to see EENET’s activities from the perspective of general network users). My role is to provide suggestions about what types of ‘services’ and resources the clients/users may request; in what format the information should be presented, etc.

I’ve always felt that EENET’s website provides wide access to resources on inclusive education practices; it is very supportive for teachers, offering different articles and methodologies for managing inclusive classes. It is accessible for different users (I find the on-line translator helps non-English speakers understand the core messages in all articles). I believe that this new blogging opportunity will increase EENET’s communication with a wider range of clients/users/partners.

I would love to read your views and suggestions about what you would like to see and or obtain through EENET’s website. You can leave comments here, or email me via consultancy@eenet.org.uk

Hasmik Ghukasyan

EENET’s Client Representative Director

 


Sharing experiences – with EENET’s help

07/04/2014

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“So do you fancy being part of the editing team?”

This was the question I was asked when I joined the EENET team as a volunteer in 2011. I had no idea, in a good way, what I was letting myself in for. Two-and-a-half years later, as Network Coordinator, I am thoroughly enjoying the email conversations I get to have with network members, the letters and cards that arrive in the post, and of course co-editing the articles submitted for the website and the Enabling Education Review.

There are many levels and stakeholders involved in ensuring that educational experiences are inclusive. Stakeholders range from practitioners, such as teachers and community workers on the ground, to those involved in developing policies for education and teacher training. We aim to reflect all of this in the articles we publish in the Review and on the EENET website.

In order to publish as many of your articles as possible in the Review we need to keep them short. However, as I know from experience, writing a 550 or 1100 word article can be really difficult! How do you keep to the word limit while ensuring that all the important elements are included? That’s why editing articles is something that we provide help with.

We are looking forward to reading all of the submissions again this year and discovering the range of issues you are working on. The theme for this year’s Review is Inclusive Education – Beyond Schools. To find out more, read the Call for Articles. If you are not sure whether your work fits within the theme, or you are not sure what to include in your article, email me (info@eenet.org.uk) and we can discuss it.

If you need a reason why it is important to submit articles about your inclusive education work to EENET, read on.

We know from the number of hits on our website, and the emails I receive, that lots of people gain from the inclusive education ideas we share. For example, I recently received a lovely email detailing how useful EENET’s publication, Researching our Experience (based on action research in Zambia), has been for people facilitating workshops and teacher education sessions in India. Although the cultures and contexts are very different, many of the ideas cross over and the activities described in Zambia can be adapted for use elsewhere.

Sharing experiences and examples of promising practice is an important step in improving the quality of education for marginalised groups and in helping to support teachers, head teachers, community leaders, parents, etc, to develop their own knowledge and practice.

So, why not put pen to paper and have a go at sharing your experiences!

 

Su Corcoran

Network Coordinator


What are your favourite inclusive education videos?

28/03/2014

Did you know that if you type ‘inclusive education’ as a search in YouTube, it brings up 408,000 results?

Mind blowing! And incredibly confusing for anyone searching for video materials to use in their own inclusive education work. Of course you can use the search function to narrow down the number of results, but there is still an overwhelming range of options. Plus if you are based in Africa, Asia, Latin America or the Middle East many of the films may be irrelevant to the context of your work, as the majority of inclusive education videos found on YouTube were made for American or European audiences.

You could alternatively search through the websites of relevant NGOs and UN agencies, to see if they have made any useful videos. But that’s time consuming too.

So that is why EENET has decided to create a video catalogue. The catalogue will provide a categorised list of a relatively small number of recommended video materials on inclusive education. It will also provide more information about the content of each video, how it could be used and with whom, etc. The recommended videos will be made available through our website, and we hope also on DVD. Depending on the videos we shortlist, we may develop some user guides too.

So, if you have got some favourite inclusive education videos, then we’d like your help with this project! The details can be found below, and we’ll keep you updated with progress.

Thanks!

Ingrid Lewis

 What do we need from you?

We need your recommendations of videos about inclusive education!

  • You can recommend films that provide an overview of inclusive education, or that focus on specific issues (disability, gender equality, inclusion for other marginalised groups, etc).

— An initial search found many videos do not offer an outline/explanation of what inclusive education is (or what it means to the film maker/organisation).

  • You can recommend videos that were created for awareness-raising purposes, or as training materials, and so on.

— An initial search found that many videos talk about specific projects from an awareness-raising/fundraising perspective. Good quality video-based training materials seem less common, so recommendations for the latter would be particularly appreciated.

  • We need videos that feature different countries/regions. We mostly want videos that are not filmed in Europe, America, etc, but we’ll probably select a few that are.

— The initial search (excluding material from America and Europe) found a predominance of material focusing on Africa and some parts of Asia and an under representation of Latin America for example.

  • We are keen to feature videos that promote participation – for instance, they feature the voices of stakeholders, or were even made by stakeholders.
  • We want videos that are interesting and engaging (e.g. not a filmed lecture, unless it is an amazing lecture!).
  • Ideally we need films that are subtitled, signed and/or available in other languages, to increase their accessibility.

— An initial search has found that subtitled videos are quite common, but signing and other language availability is less common.

What to send us

  • If you don’t have much time, please just email us the website link(s) for your recommended video(s) – or you can share the links here in a blog comment. If the videos are not online, you can send a DVD, CD or VHS copy to the address below; or you could use a Dropbox folder if you want to send us large electronic files.
  • If you have a bit more time, please feel free to tell us why you are recommending the video(s), how you or your colleagues have used them, or how you would recommend that they be used, etc.

We will spend the next month or so viewing and assessing videos, and will then create a catalogue of the most relevant/useful. We may ask for some volunteers to review the draft catalogue in a few months, so if you are interested in doing that, let me know.

Deadline for sending recommendations: 7th April (although the catalogue will be updated periodically, so you can send us recommendations at any time after that too!)

Send DVDs etc to:

EENET CIC
37 Market Street
Hollingworth
Cheshire
SK14 8NE
UK

Please email links to online videos to:

ingridlewis@eenet.org.uk