Although educational models are largely geared towards the logic of integration, children often experience exclusion or face acclimatization difficulties at school. The models are based on specific external intervention to resolve behavioral problems. It is also possible that the specialist cannot fully apprehend the local, political, linguistic, social or cultural context – or due to his/her lack of time to lead him-herself to hasty or biased decisions. These models also run the risk of weakening the role of the educational and administrative staff on a local level. The approach adopted by Synergy encourages active listening and communication in order to understand the problems in their own rights and develop a network of skills, and knowledge at a local level.
In this context, the “Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation” implements an innovative training program and supervision of teachers at Primary Education schools (License no: 74 / 12.15.2014; F14 / 10/5120 / D1 & F14 / 1973/157312 / D1) on identifying, understanding, preventing and treating behavioral problems (challenging behavior) within the classroom. The action is part of the international research program ‘SYNERGY’, drawn up by the Foundation in cooperation with the institute AT Autism (Britain), Inspire (Malta) and Bond University (Australia).
To promote a collaborative approach in a holistic framework that links schools, teaching staff, parents and other stakeholders.
To bring out the best, scientifically sound, efficient and sustainable practices to address behavioral problems in the classroom.
To improve the ability of teachers to understand and manage behavioral problems in the classroom.
To reduce stress levels that cause behavior problems.
To establish an efficient network of information, skills and dissemination of techniques into the educational community through mentoring and link teachers who will act as multipliers of knowledge to other teachers.
To reduce bullying, exclusion and marginalization of children with challenging behavior.
The Mentors of the Synergy program and the link teachers are trained in the following units during the program:
The «Synergy» program is a flexible operating system that creates and strengthens local knowledge and information networks. The overall coordination run through the AT-Autism Organization, which is based in London and trains regional ‘mentors’ of the participating institutions, through a mentoring process and an evaluation of their research. The “mentors” in turn train selected ‘Link Teachers’ of the schools participating in the program through regular counseling and surveillance visits. Each ‘Link Teacher’ cooperates with a team of 2-3 teachers from the school to further diffusion knowledge and the application of best techniques agreed with their ‘mentors’, members of the research team of the Foundation.
Powerful personal interest, desire or skill acquisition empowerment and knowledge to address behavioral problems in the classroom, enthusiasm, dedication, will to cooperate. What is also positively assessed is active listening, reflexivity, empathy and other communication skills. The choice is not based on teaching experience and qualifications, or requires specific knowledge in neuro-developmental disorders and learning disabilities.
Participation in the program is voluntary. Interested teachers sign a Consent Form which indicates that they may leave without any obligation at any stage. The same applies to schools. In this case, the research team of the Foundation is committed that it will make no use of the material collected.
The program does not burden teachers with additional workload or affect their position in school. In collaboration with the Foundation researchers fill in questionnaires and case record forms at scheduled regular meetings and with absolute respect for the teaching schedule and school program.
The program’s researchers have a discreet presence in the classroom or in other areas of the school unit, with preset appointments with teachers and only with the approval of the school director. They do not attend students in class, but teachers with whom they work so that there should not be any misunderstanding or misrepresentation of their role. This also means that in no case are students with behavioral problems targeted in the classroom.
No. The competence of the research team is to advise and supervise teachers. However, during the implementation of the program special training sessions are organized for teachers on parental counseling.