Special needs and inclusive education, the Italian experience of overcoming segregation

Rating: 5/57 users

Course category: Inclusion and Diversity
Locations: Bologna, Palermo
Preregistration: Online in the course webpage

Related courses: Preventing conflicts and tackling Early School Leaving, Diversity in the classroom​: teaching tolerance and overcoming prejudices, Intercultural Learning and Cultural Diversity in education

You can check in our Course Catalogue all the courses available in 2022 and 2023.
You can check here what our past participants say about us and our courses.


Course overview

Inclusive education is not an optional extra; it is a basic necessity. We must put the most vulnerable at the heart of our actions to achieve a better life for all” said Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth. Statistics prove that students with learning disabilities in segregated schools catered for special education needs will be more likely to be earlier school drop-out or to have fewer opportunities when entering the job market. Inclusion of students with special needs in mainstream schools is an important goal, and Italy has been a pioneer in this field and with only the 0,01% of students with special needs in segregated schools leads EU countries in inclusive education.
Participating in this course teachers and education staff will get to know and analyse the Italian model discussing strategies and approaches to fight the segregation of students with special needs and to include them in the mainstream education. Participants will get to know and practice working methods and tools that they will be able to use after the course to work with students with special needs.

Learning Outcomes

This training course is aimed at getting to know strategies, methodologies and tools to include all students in education and at learning how inclusive education works in Italy and how overcoming segregation of students with special needs is indeed possible
The general aim of this course is to foster excellence and inclusion in education by providing teachers, headmasters, education staff and policy makers with knowledge and inspiration to make inclusive education a reality in their school.
Thanks to this course the participants will:
- Get to know the key principles, benefits and values of inclusive education;
- Learn about the Italian inclusive education model of overcoming segregation and including students with special needs in mainstream education;
- Get acquainted with ICT tools and platforms that support and ease the learning process of students with special needs;
- Get to know and discuss teaching strategies and practical activities to foster participation and enhance learning;
- Discover the power of peer-involvement and peer-education;
- Visit Italian schools and institutions active in the field of inclusive education and students with special needs;
- Exchange good practices and discuss challenges with Italian teachers as well as education staff from other EU countries participating in the training course.

Target Audience

This course is addressed to teachers, trainers, educational counsellors, career counsellors, school psychologists, headmasters, school management and administrative staff working in primary schools, secondary schools, vocational schools, training centres, adult education institutions, kindergartens and pre-primary schools, higher education institutions, and NGOs.
Please mind that the course may include teachers from different school levels. In case you would like to attend a session tailored for your school level, please write to info@erasmuslearningacademy.eu to check if there is any session planned.


Standard daily programme

Please find below the standard indicative daily programme that will be personalized on participants needs and professional profiles.
Our standard program comprises 7 days of course, of which the first one is dedicated to networking, preparation and cultural immersion and the last one to follow up, specific needs and cultural activities. Please note that we always do our best to accommodate the specific needs of our participants in a flexible way, including but not limited to budget restrictions and travel arrangement. Participants can choose to arrive 1 day before the start of the course and/or leave one day after the end of it in order to enjoy a deeper cultural immersion. Upon specific request we can organize longer or shorter versions of this course.
Day 1
- Participants arrival
- Orientation and information about the venue and the city
- Networking activities
- Walking tour in the venue’s city
Day 2
- Course introduction
- Teambuilding exercises
- Competences ex-ante evaluation
- Inclusive Education in Europe: basic concepts and current statistics
- Visit to a local school and discussion with local teachers on the challenges and best practice to include students with special needs
Day 3
- The Italian inclusive education model: how it works and which are its outcomes
- Frameworks for an inclusive school environment: co-teaching and parents cooperation
- Visit to a local school experienced in inclusive education and discussion with local teachers on strategies, approaches and results
- Cultural activities in the venue’s city
Day 4
- The power of Peer-education: overcoming segregation by fostering inclusion and cooperation
- Practicing, designing and delivering peer-led activities
- Optional cultural visit outside the venue’s city (Florence, Cefalù, El Teide...)
Day 5
- Making inclusive education a reality: strategies, policies and working
- Real-life case: an Italian teacher experience, lessons learned and practical strategies adopted
- Sharing experiences and best practices in working with students with learning disabilities
- Visit to a local institution working with young people with physical and learning disabilities and discussion on the benefits of inclusive education
Day 6
- The extra-benefit of using ICT tools and platform to support the learning process
- Visit to a local school using ICT tools to work with students with learning disabilities and discussion with local teachers
- Cultural activities in the venue's city
- Farewell dinner
Day 7
- Space for discussion of future cooperation and planning follow up activities
- Course roundup and final evaluation
- Validation of learning outcomes and certification ceremony
- Additional training session tailored to specific needs (optional)
- Optional cultural activities or additional guided visit in another major city
- Participants departure


We tailor the working methods based upon participants’ needs, attitudes and professional profiles in order to ensure high productivity, effectiveness and transferability into practice.
The standard methodology is highly practical and participative with hands-on approach that comprises real-job examples, case studies examination and simulations. We embrace collaboratively working methods that foster mutual learning and cooperation among participants. Our focus is on learning in an interactive and international environment knowledge applicable to the real contexts and/or in the classroom. The pedagogical methods that we use are based upon experiential training, group and peer activities, learning-by-doing and best practices’ exchange. They include visits with local schools and institutions allowing the participants to better understand the local education system as well as exchange ideas and contacts.
Morning Wrap-up and brief daily evaluations are foreseen to ensure quality of education and to adapt the learning programme to participants' needs better tailoring the education.
We organize optional social, networking and cultural activities in order to give participants the opportunity to know Italy as well as to exchange best-practice and establish professional cooperation and links.
The training and staff team is multinational thus giving a full European dimension to the course.
To discover more on our courses check the ELA Blog, our photogallery and videogallery and give a look to what past participants say about us and our courses.

Sessions planned

You can find below the sessions planned. If none of these dates suits you please mind that we may organize an additional session ad-hoc for your school if there are at least 6 participants interested so feel welcome to contact us at info@erasmuslearningacademy.eu to let us know about your needs. When adding an ad-hoc session we may be able to organize it in your language.
16/01/2022 - 22/01/2022 (Bologna)
27/03/2022 - 02/04/2022 (Bologna)
15/05/2022 - 21/05/2022 (Bologna)
15/05/2022 - 21/05/2022 (Palermo)
09/10/2022 - 15/10/2022 (Bologna)
09/10/2022 - 15/10/2022 (Palermo)
12/02/2023 - 18/02/2023 (Bologna)
12/02/2023 - 18/02/2023 (Palermo)
30/04/2023 - 06/05/2023 (Bologna)
30/04/2023 - 06/05/2023 (Palermo)
08/10/2023 - 14/10/2023 (Bologna)
08/10/2023 - 14/10/2023 (Palermo)
26/11/2023 - 02/12/2023 (Bologna)
26/11/2023 - 02/12/2023 (Palermo)

Language of the course

The course is held in English. For groups with at least 8 participants, we can organize an ad-hoc session in a different language.
Please write an email to info@erasmuslearningacademy.eu to get more information about it.

Costs and Erasmus+ funding

Teachers, trainers, headmasters and any other staff of education organizations are eligible to receive an Erasmus+ grant covering all the costs to attend our training courses including travel, board and lodging, cultural activities and all fees. Our training courses are tailored to be fully funded by Erasmus+ and we offer different options to ensure the best comfort and quality at a price that is within the Erasmus+ grant.
We are proud to tailor our training courses to both participants' learning and practical needs and to ease your participation at our training courses, we will gladly take care of all the practical arrangements. If you prefer, you can take care of some of the practical arrangements by yourself (e.g. meals, local transport...), though we will manage the organization of your accommodation in order to ensure optimal logistic organization, safety and time-efficiency. We always provide board and lodging in the same hotel in which we organize the course thus ensuring optimal comfort and potential of networking with the fellow participants. Read more about how we take care of your subsistence and practical arrangements.
The most common option that we offer to schools and organisations costs EUR 1220 and includes course fee, certification and support fee, accommodation in single room, 2 coffee breaks per day, 3 meals per day, walking tour in the venue’s city, a sum-up dissemination video and local transport during the course. For schools sending 2 or more participants we can offer accommodation in double rooms and we can provide as well accommodation for people or relatives accompanying the participants.
When attending our courses, we recommend you to request 9 days of individual support for your subsistence costs, 7 days for the course plus 2 additional days for the travel. In this way you can have more flexibility in planning your stay and you can enjoy all the cultural activities planned from the first to the last day of the course. You can read here more about the Erasmus+ funding. Shall you have need any help with filling the budget during the application stage or have any problem with your grant please let us know and we will see support you.

Certification and validation of learning outcomes

At the end of the course, each participant will be awarded a certificate of attendance in , together - if requested - with the Europass Mobility Certificate.

Our certificates are in line with the Erasmus Quality Standards and so include a short description of the course and its learning outcomes, dates, venues, the name of the course provider and the course instructor(s).

We support the participants in every step of certification and validation of learning outcomes with specific focus on European instruments and Erasmus plus requirements such as staff mobility/learning agreement, quality commitment and Europass mobility certificate.

We experienced that schools and education organizations may require additional documents to certify the competences learned or the presence in the training course. Upon request we can provide those documents as well as we provide photos of the training course and a sum-up video that can be used for visibility and dissemination purposes.


The Erasmus Learning Academy

The The Erasmus Learning Academy (ELA), is a training centre that strongly supports and believes in the innovation, modernisation and internationalisation of education.

Our mission is to foster excellence and quality improvements in education and training. We design and deliver training courses and structured training events for teachers, trainers, headmaster and other education staff and we support them in participating in learning mobility experiences (e.g. jobshadowing, study visits, ...) to foster the improvement of their competences and the quality of education.

We work in the education sector since more than 10 years, thus we know the real context and the challenges which teachers are facing every day. Fueled by our genuine, motivated and passionate approach, we regularly participate in international training and European conference to keep our know-how up-to-date. We actively participate in the network of Erasmus organizations in a multitude of ways: hosting participants from other countries and sending our staff abroad through Erasmus+ KA1 mobility projects; taking part in conferences and contact activities organised by the National Agencies and the EU institutions; ideating or participating in Erasmus+ KA2 innovation projects and strategic partnerships; sharing our knowledge with other organisations that have less experience in the Programme by providing advice, mentorship or other support.

We’ve a strong know-how in organizing international training courses for teachers, headmasters and educational staff and in the last 5 years we’ve successfully received and trained over 3000 teachers and education staff coming from all over Europe as you can read from the reviews on School Education Gateway and on our website.

We’ve extensive experience in delivering education staff training especially in the framework of European programmes. You can read here more about our experience and meet our team. We’ve experience in providing linguistic, pedagogical and cultural preparation before the course as well as support and assistance during and after it. We know how to support and guide participants providing clear and comprehensive information before the courses and how to assess and recognize their learning outcomes through national and European instruments (i.e. Europass, ECVET, …). We put a strong effort on facilitating the share the process of sharing results and knowledge gained during the course.

Past participants appreciated especially the quality of instructions, our interactive and hands-on approach focused on practice and experiential training as well as our support in project implementation, practical arrangements, certification and dissemination. Most of our participants receive funding from the Erasmus+ programme.

As partner, we bring a strong added value to an Erasmus+ project thanks to our long-lasting experience, our international presence (eTwinning, SEG, EPALE…), our involvement as stakeholder in EC initiatives and our dissemination and visibility capacity.

We know how crucial is providing linguistic, pedagogical and cultural preparation before the mobility, as well as support and assistance after it. That's why we go the extra mile to support and guide participants, providing clear and comprehensive information before the courses and making them feel comfortable and safe. You can read here the 7 reasons why we may be the right partner for you.

We work in the education sector since more than 10 years, thus we know the real context, the challenges that teachers are facing every day. We regularly participate in international training and European conference to keep our know-how up-to-date. We’re experience in tailoring our courses to the participants needs and profiles thus enhancing personal and professional development.

Our approach

We support our partners in every step of the course: from application, to preparation, to monitoring and evaluation, to organization of practical arrangements and collection of all final documentation. During the application phase, we can guide you with our experience, providing concrete tips as well as the learning outcomes and daily schedules of our courses. We tailor our training courses to both our participants' learning and personal needs. For this reason, we provide personalized working methods and training programmes based on the participants thus ensuring that the competences learned are relevant and applicable to real contexts. This is why our courses are unique and special, each in its own way. At the end of each course, we provide participants with photos of the activities and a summary video to help our partners in the dissemination phase.

We put a special emphasis on the social and cultural dimension of our courses. We are in love with our culture and we’re glad to offer foreigners the opportunity to get a taste of it. Beside the training activities, for the participants interested to discover our artistic heritage and traditions, we organize cultural and recreational activities. Upon request, we organize guided tours to some of the most beautiful Italian cities like Florence and Venice. During our courses in Palermo, we can arrange visits to the pictoresque Cefalù. When in Tenerife, participants will have the opportunity to visit El Teide volcano and relax in Lago Martianez.

We’ve been abroad in training courses and we know what teachers need to feel cared for. We're proud that our participants feel at home during our courses and we undertake to make them feel comfortable and to cater for their personal, practical and educational needs. Indeed, in addition to delivering the training, to ease and enhance your participation at our training courses we can take care of all the practical arrangements. We provide board and lodging in the same hotel where the course takes place, thus ensuring the best comfort and coziness as well as effective time management. With our standard format, accommodation, meals, local transport during the courses as well as cultural programme are provided by us and are fully covered by the Erasmus+ funding. In this way participants just need to organise their travel and can rely on us for all the other practical arrangements.

Above all, we know the impact we can have on society, we love our work and we enjoy being with teachers and education staff. You’ll see it, you’ll feel it.

Our quality standards

The Erasmus Learning Academy follows high standards of quality in line with its mission to foster excellence and quality improvements in education and training. Driven by passion and motivation for our work we don’t leave any stone untouched when it comes to offer the highest quality and continue improve our courses.

As an organization at both internal and external level we strive to adhere to the following 10 guiding principles:

- Make excellence the minimum standard
- Be flexible and open to change
- Always experiment with new things
- Grow and enable the people around you to grow
- Amaze the user and make him/her a fan of yours
- Focus on the solution and on what you can do
- Clarify priorities and goals
- Thank yourself and strive for something more
- Look for feedback, learn from errors
- Listen, listen, listen (and talk)

In addition to these internal principles when organizing international training courses we fully comply with the Erasmus Quality Standards and the principles set in the European Quality Charter for Mobility. You can read here how we comply with these standards. More than merely following and adhering to these principles we fully believe in them. It’s more than 10 years that we organize and participates in international training courses and learning mobility projects so we know how these principles stand at the core of a quality experience and how they make the difference between in term of both personal satisfaction of the participants and systemic impact of the training course. If you are working with other course providers we recommend to check if they know and comply with these principles.

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Discover more about the Erasmus Learning Academy

Erasmus Learning Academy

Course organiser
ELA (Erasmus Learning Academy)
Bologna and Palermo, Italy

Contact organisation

Upcoming sessions

08.10.2023 > 14.10.2023
08.10.2023 > 14.10.2023
26.11.2023 > 02.12.2023
26.11.2023 > 02.12.2023

Show past sessions

Rate & review

Reviews only come from verified course participants via the European Commission's Mobility Tool+. If you participated in this course, use the Mobility Tool+ to submit a review. If the course is not listed in the Mobility Tool+ yet, please provide to your project coordinator the following course ID: 53794.

Cursul a fost foarte interesant, placut, bogat in informatii . S-a prezentat cu lux de amanunte sistemul educational incluziv aplicat in Bologna, avand la baza cateva legi foarte importante . Totodata, au fost prezentate metode de lucru, carora li s-a evidentiat caracterul incluziv si modul cum se putea aplica la clasa. Foate important a fost faptul ca un coleg , profesor la o scoala din Roma , ne-a vorbit si exemplificat, cum a lucrat cu anumite cazuri. Am vizitat si o scoala de profil , unde am fost intampinati cu mult profesionalism de colegii nostrii italieni ,ni s-au pus la dispozitie resursele lor, dandu-ne exemple de bune practici.

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Cursul a fost foarte interesant,util , benefic pentru locul meu de munca.Am învatat despre modelul italian de educatie incluziva . A fost un schimb de experienta interesant. Ceea ce am învatat voi aplica în activitatea mea.Interacțiunea dintre participanti a fost bună.

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Un curs foarte bine structurat și derulat. Organizatorii cursului au fost extraordinari, au oferit sprijin pentru buna desfășurare, atat pt curs in sine, cat si pentru cazare, masa, vizite culturale. Trainerul (Francesco Tarantino) a fost foarte flexibil, competent, bine organizat, ne-a motivat si implicat in activitati. A fost o experienta profesionala si culturala deosebita.

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I have attended a course in Bologna Italy, where I learned about the italian model of inclusion. It was a great experience because we had a very well prepared trainer who tought us the teoretical part of the course, but also the practical part of it.I personally changed my perspective on inclusive education, and I hope to apply it in my school.

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Cursul a fost foarte interesant. S-a prezentat cu lux de amanunte sistemul educational incluziv aplicat in Bologna, avand la baza cateva legi foarte importante . Tot o data, au fost prezentate metode de lucru,carora li s-a evidentiat caracterul incluziv si modul cum se putea aplica la clasa. Foate important a fost faptul ca un coleg , profesor la o scoala din Roma , ne-a vorbit si exemplificat, cum a lucrat cu anumite cazuri. Am vizitat si o scoala de profil , unde am fost intampinati cu mult profesionalism de colegii nostrii italieni si din nou ni s-au pus la dispozitie resursele lor.

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I 've learned how to create an inclusión classroom and which are t'he BEST methodologies to do It.

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I agree with the attencion and the quality of the course

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ELA (Erasmus Learning Academy)
ELA (Erasmus Learning Academy)
Rating: 5/5110 users


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