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Inclusion in early childhood education:
six keys for the future


GRONINGEN (The Netherlands)

12 March – 16 March 2018

You are interested in this course for
the schoolyear 2018-2019
Pre-registration is now possible.

Make your pre-registration  


The Eekhout Academy organizes its international courses in cooperation with local partners and schools.


This course is run in collaboration with VIVES University College (Flanders - Belgium), the Hanzehogeschool Groningen (The Netherlands) and the Eekhout Academy.


The UNESCO Salamanca Statement is still a hot topic. In June 1994 representatives of 92 governments and 25 international organisations formed the World Conference on Special Needs Education, held in Salamanca, Spain. They agreed a dynamic new Statement on the education of all disabled children, which called for inclusion to be the norm.

In addition, the Conference adopted a new Framework for Action, the guiding principle of which is that ordinary schools should accommodate all children, regardless of their physical, intellectual, social, emotional, linguistic or other conditions. With the sustainable
development goals (2015-2030) the United Nations focus on quality of education, equity of gender and social inclusion on all levels.

In this course we deal with six important keys for the teacher/educator in early childhood education to provide, in an inclusive way, quality in education.
These keys are: a holistic view on development, adjustments, collaboration, communication,  reflection and ethos.

We focus on the importance of an process orientated way of working which is dealing with the holistic development of the child (2,5
– 8 year). This is a large but important challenge.
In the context of the school adjustments are very important. We want to stress on universal design of learning.

As a teacher we are not working on an island. In collaboration we have different models to work with in the classroom, the school and
organisations related to the school. Communication next to collaboration makes inclusion effective.
In the way teachers and colleagues are working, reflection is very important.  In an inclusive school we have to build on good fundaments. We need ethos, a good vision and mission on inclusive education.  We want to stimulate equal possibilities for every child with different backgrounds.

In these keys we combine good practices from different countries in Europe. The good practices are situated in Turkey, Denmark, The Netherlands, Portugal, Flanders-Belgium and Lithuania and we focus on children between 2,5 and 8 years old.

This KA1 structured course is the result of an Erasmus+ KA2 project “GO PRINCE:  Good Practices in Inclusive Education  in Early Childhood Education”  (2014-2017).

The seven project partners are: the Northumbria University from Newcastle United Kingdom, the ESEC Coimbra from Coimbra Portugal, the University College SYD in Esbjerg Denmark, the VIVES University College from in Flanders – Belgium, the Vilnius College from Vilnius
Lithuania,  the Balıkesir Üniversitesi from Balikesir Turkey and the Hanzehogeschool Groningen, from Groningen The Netherlands.

The VIVES University College and the Hanzehogeschool Groningen take responsibility for the content of the KA1 course and the Eekhout Academy takes care of the planning and organisation.


Day 1: Sunday (start at 14.00 h)
Welcome, Icebreaking and introduction
Key note: “A broad view on inclusion”
Welcome supper 

During the course week (Monday until Thursday), six different keys to can help to implement inclusion successfully are addressed.  This input is illustrated with examples of good practice and school visits in Groningen and neighbourhood. 

KEY 1:  Holistic view on the development of a child
The process-orientated way of working on the total development of the child is and remains a challenge. When working on inclusion, all aspects are intertwined. Teachers and educators need to have a holistic view in order to implement inclusion in a diverse school setting. 

KEY 2: School adjustmentsAdjustment measures can help a child greatly in its development.  The second key tries to offer different approaches how a school or team of teachers can integrate inclusion in its daily practice. 

KEY 3: CollaborationRecent academic research in education (Nancy Dana, Timperley)stresses the need of collaboration as one of the critical conditions for a successful innovation at school. In this module we will explore several methods and approaches towards better collaboration.
KEY 4: CommunicationCollaboration can’t be realized without clear, transparent, effective, efficient and positive/supportive communication. Implementing inclusion needs a variety of communication channels and communication methods. Not only the child, but also its parents, caretakers, educators, the other teachers and the school tam need to be involved in the process of communication. 

KEY 5: ReflectionIn every quality cycle, reflection is the basis of continuous improvement. In this course we introduce a Danish model that proofed its value and efficiency. 

KEY 6: Ethos (vision and mission)Every quality systems starts with the defining the vision and mission of the organisation that want to deliver quality. Also when introducing inclusion at school, the ethos is an essential part to structure all further planning and build on it.  

Day 6: Friday (official end:  at 12.00 h)
Writing and presentation of own action plan
Evaluation and Certificates

AcQuired competences

  • Develop an understanding of inclusion in early childhood education
  • Develop an understanding of the appreciative enquiry method used to empower teams in setting up and implementing an inclusive way of thinking and working
  • Acquire a number of skills and competences in setting up an inclusive way of working in the classroom, in the school, in the environment
  • Learn about strategies to think with an open mind on inclusive education
  • Expand  understanding of new teaching and learning methods to obtain higher educational quality with focus on inclusion.
  • Pick up ideas from other countries which they can incorporate and transfer into their own practice.
  • Develop their portfolio, in order to structure new ideas and insights.
  • Write  own action plan on the setting up of the inclusive way of working of their organisation.
  • Improved use of colloquial English.
  • Improved knowledge of other European and other continents educational systems.
  • Improved insight of differences and similarities between European and other international countries, resulting in a better understanding and respect.
  • Get an insight in the sustainable development goals and the relation with inclusion.

Feedback from participants

  • Really enjoyed it!!! I liked Joe’s good vibes and Wim’s authority.
  • It was a great course. I learned a lot and we got a lot of input to work with at school.
  • I would like to be informed on the coming courses. Such courses should be open to all administrative staff members in all schools.
  • Discussions, questions, games and exercises made this seminar interesting and useful.
  • Nice international colleagues!



The seminar is organized in Groningen, situated in the northern part of The Netherlands. In de middle ages, Groningen was the regional power of the northern Netherlands, a semi-independent city-state and member of the German Hanseatic League. Nowadays, Groningen is the third biggest university city of the Netherlands. It houses the University of Groningen (about 30,000 students) and the Hanze University of Applied Sciences  (about 25,000 students).

Groningen's cultural scene and nightlife depends largely on its student population. It’s vibrant and remarkable for a city its size. Groningen was elected several times as being the "best city centre" of the Netherlands.
Groningen is also situated at 50 km west of the border with Denmark.
Have a look at and  

If you would arrive earlier (Saturday or Sunday) and/or leave later (Saturday or Sunday), we can book those supplementary nights at a reduced cost (breakfast included).


- We offer a flexible cost structure, allowing you to select the package that fits best your personal or school situation.
- For a detailed explanation, have a look at our 'Cost Structure'.
- Dutch participants, who don't use a hotel room, obtain a reduced fee for the course, the total course fee is € 900.

You can request an Erasmus Plus grant from your national agency which will cover almost all costs of this course.
We can guide you through the process of funding and application. To do so, you need the make a pre-registration.
After pre-registration, we’ll contact you by mail and provide the application help.


There is a very easy access from the international Schiphol airport. A direct train takes you in less the 2 hours to the marvellous city of Groningen. The cost would be somewhat less then € 30.

- Sharing a rental car with 3 other people for all transport during the course, can be cheap and interesting.
- The airport is directly connected to a nice network of highways.  Groningen is situated at 190 km from Schiphol international airport.
- Bring or rent a GPS. 
- Check the prices of rental cars on internet.

From Belgium, Luxemburg, Germany and Denmark (Jutland, Funen)  you can easily reach Groningen by car.  When you are with a group of 3 or 4 colleagues, this makes transport easy and cheap.


Don't hesitate to contact us if you need more information on the content and the organization of the course.
We can provide support during the process, give some help and provide tips for the application documents, advice you on the European Staff Development Plan (part of the application) or your professionalization plan and help you after approval with the practical arrangements (e.g. information on travel and accommodation).

For more information, please contact Mr Wim Simoens, course director.