The kickoff meeting of the INTELed Teacher Professional Development (TPD) program was co-organized by the Cyprus Interaction Lab of the Cyprus University of Technology CIL, https://www.cyprusinteractionlab.com) and the Research center on Interactive media, Smart systems and Emerging technologies (CYENS, https://www.cyens.org.cy/en-gb/). The meeting was delivered successfully by Dr Andri Ioannou, Dr Yiannis Georgiou and Mrs Nicoletta Pantela, on October 6th 2018, at the Cyprus University of Technology. The kickoff meeting was attended by 35 in-service primary education teachers working either in mainstream schools or in special schools.
The main aim of the INTELed project (www.inteled.org) is to support Special Education (SEN) and general teachers in acquiring knowledge and skills about the use of embodied and interactive multi-sensory techniques for learning and assessment, for addressing the needs of SEN children. In turn, the overarching goal of the project is the integration of these techniques in the school classrooms, thus contributing in students’ academic, social and emotional development.
The kickoff meeting began with an introductory speech by Dr Andri Ioannou (Assistant Professor, Project coordinator), during which she presented he philosophy and the main goals of the INTELed project. Next, Dr Yiannis Georgiou (Postdoctoral researcher, Project manager) delivered a presentation during which he shared more information about the structure and main timelines of the INTELed Professional Development Program.
During the second half of the meeting, the teachers had the opportunity to participate in a reflective activity, during which were divided in groups of 4-5 and were asked to discuss and reflect on the role of body involvement, motion and physicality in students’ learning, taking into account their everyday teaching practice.
The INTELed TPD will run until May 2019 and adopts a model of teachers as learners, designers, innovators and reflective practitioners. In particular, the first part of the TPD is composed of three face-to-face meetings, each one lasting five hours. During this part, teachers, will have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with various embodied learning environments (teachers as students) and work for the development of different lesson plans focusing on the integration embodied learning environments in the school classroom (teachers as designers). Next, in the second part of the program, the teachers will have the opportunity to implement the embodied learning approach in their school classroom (teachers as innovators), while also reflecting on its impact on their SEN and general education students (teachers as reflective practitioners).