How can schools be organized to encourage social inclusion and promote respect for diversity and individual differences? On November 16th this was discussed by members of several stakeholder organizations during an expert meeting on “Effect of policy on schoolyard culture and social inclusion” (Effect van beleid op schoolplein-cultuur en sociale inclusie) in the beautiful Hortus Botanicus, Amsterdam.
Organized by the University of Twente – Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam partnership, and in collaboration with Ellen Starke (Samenwerkingsverband Amsterdam; Orion), the meeting brought together educational organizations (Orion; Leo Kannerschool), school board alliances (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Almelo), and the Dutch Society for Autism (Nederlandse Vereniging voor Autisme), as well as researchers from developmental psychology, governance, architecture, human-media interaction, and data science.
A key concern was the importance of addressing school environment at the policy level, which was discussed from different perspectives, such as: factors affecting children’s school participation, policies on creatinginclusive school environments that also welcome and empower children with diverse needs, and, the use of sensing technologies to facilitate schoolyard culture and identify different network patterns.
Main outcomes of the meeting included setting up new connections and collaborations across disciplines and organizations; and the acknowledgement of a common focus on shaping the right environment for each child to grow and flourish. Also see the news on the UT-VU website here!
Event program: “Opening – wat is het schoolplein project” (Carolien Rieffe, Universiteit van Twente / Universiteit Leiden), “School aanwezigheid meetbaar maken” (Marije Brouwer, Universiteit Leiden), “Nederlands Autisme Register en schoolaanwezigheid” (Anke Scheeren, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), “Regels op en rond het schoolplein, wat werkt en waarom?” (Hanny van Os, Leo Kannerschool Oegstgeest), “Trauma-sensitieve school” (Annette van der Poel, Orion), “Data for policy: Identifying factors in creating an inclusive school policy” (Maedeh Nasri, Universiteit Leiden & Yung-Ting Tsou, Universiteit Leiden / Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), “Smart, interactieve speelpleinen” (Dennis Reidsma & Robby van Delden, Universiteit van Twente)