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Coming together – how teachers can assist CCNs in transition from school to work

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Aim
In our 2011-2015 studies of the use of AAC in special education schools and transition process, we discovered that teachers have little knowledge of and even fewer competencies in communication aids and strategies. To enable teachers to teach CNNs more efficiently and to support their transition, we organized in-service training for all staff. Furthermore, we expanded our research to determine what factors lead to success in teacher development courses, what improved their knowledge and competencies, as well as what obstructive beliefs needed to be changed.

Method
We worked with the staff of three special education schools. We applied an action research approach, commonly used for improving practices in a range of educational environments. Two questionnaires indicated teachers' beliefs and practice of AAC before and after performing teacher development courses.

Results
The teacher development courses improved both attitudes towards AAC and its practice. We were furthermore able to determine several success factors aiding in developing efficient and sustainable teacher courses, to identify areas for improvement, find effective practical methods and measure students' learning achievements.

Conclusion
The vicious circle of poor results due to a feeling of hopelessness was broken by relieving stress and concentrating on progress rather than failures. The teacher development courses were designed taking into account the relevant organization, curriculum, methods and the external experts, developing those factors which lead to success.

Author(s):

Andrea Erdélyi    
Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg
Germany

Ingeborg Thümmel    
Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg
Germany

Manuela Mönck    
Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg
Germany

 

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