The Study Programme includes a compulsory practical training programme of 20 ECTS (500 hours of total working time)
Practical Training can be implemented in Special Education School facilities and/or General and Professional Education School facilities, as long as there are students with disabilities and/or special educational needs studying in them. Also, Practical training can be implemented in Centers for Educational and Consultative Support (in Greek “Κ.Ε.Σ.Υ.” – Transliterated into “K.E.S.I.”), in Children’s Healthcare Centers of the Ministry of Health, in municipal advisory centers, in Centers for Communal Mental Health, in public hospital schools and other public or private institutions supervised by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, which provide education, consultative and supporting services to people over the age of 15 with disabilities.
Practical training, which is certified by the supervising professor of the Postgraduate Programme and the attendance book signed by the director of the School facility or the Center for Educational and Consultative Support’s chief of staff, or other institutions mentioned in this paragraph, includes:
- Observation and course or teaching intervention planning. In the observation and course planning context the students’ involvement in the teaching process or supervised autonomous teaching can be included, provided that the students are sufficiently prepared and under the responsibility of the supervising professor and the school’s teaching staff.
- Supervision of the practical training in providing student support in completing their assignments, specialized seminars in applied pedagogy, learning and teaching and/or case-studies in teaching students with disabilities and/or special educational needs.
The purpose of the practical training is for students, as future Special Education teachers, to learn and observe the school environment as well as the behavior of students with disabilities and special educational needs, to evaluate them at a given educational level, to plan and implement teaching interventions and courses. The practical training takes place in the first three semesters of the programme and offers a total of 20 ECTS: 5 in semester A, 5 in semester B and 10 in semester C. The workload required for every student is 125 hours in semester A, 125 hours in semester B and 250 hours in semester C.
Pupils with disabilities and special educational needs are considered those who their whole school life or for a certain part of it develop signs of evident learning difficulties due to sensory, mental, cognitive, developmental factors, mental and neuropsychiatric disorders, which – according to the interdisciplinary evaluation – affect adapting to schooling and learning processes. The same category includes pupils with: mental disability, sensory processing disorder, physical disabilities, chronic non-curable diseases, speech disorders, learning disabilities, A.D.H.D., developmental disorders (autism spectrum disorder), psychiatric disorders, multiple disabilities, complex cognitive, emotional and social difficulties, juvenile delinquency and gifted students.
At the beginning of each semester, students are required to choose the institution where they will do their practical training, which is supervised by a specialized professor. Each supervising professor leads a small group of students and arranges regular meetings with them. During their practical training, students will be responsible fora particular number of pupils to whom they will provide teaching support. For that particular reason, students will be provided with special forms/protocols, in which they will note their observations on the pupils’ behavior and the school environment, their teaching intervention plans, the results of their interventions as well as the general impression they obtain from the practical training process. The students’ attendance to their practical training will be monitored and recorded in a special attendance book and they will be certified by the school teacher or the institution director as well as by the supervising professor.