Vera Coelho at the EARLI SIG 5 Conference 2018 – Learning and Development in Early Childhood in Berlin 2018
The ITC grant I received allowed me to attend the EARLI SIG 5 Conference 2018 – Learning and Development in Early Childhood , that took place at the Freie University, Berlin, between the 29th and 31st August.
During the conference days, various current challenges related to early childhood education and development were discussed, including the diversity and inclusion of children with disabilities, at-risk, from ethnic minorities and with any health related problems.
Particularly during my presentation at a single papers session, the societal challenge of mental-health in educational contexts was highlighted and researchers attending the session showed interest in better knowing the role of teacher´s and inclusive education in supporting children´s participation and mental health outcomes at such settings. In this scope, I had the chance to discuss this topic with a colleague from the University College of Southeast Norway, that was presenting at the same session, and discuss possible collaborations. Other researchers also posed questions and an interesting discussion on the intersection between education and mental health was generated.
The participation of the researchers attending the session in the discussion of all the papers presented reinforced that the issue of educational inclusion and development of children with disabilities is, in fact, a societal challenge connected to mental health in many countries, and that this must be taken into account when discussing education and development of young children. It is through the discussion and multidisciplinary research of interrelated aspects such as disability status, mental health, child functioning and participation, that we can be better understand how these issues can be approached by teacher´s individualized interventions during daily routines at educational settings.
My participation in the EARLI SIG 5 conference, supported by the ITC grant I received, contributed positively for my professional development as a PhD. student and as a junior researcher, giving me the possibility to connect with European multidisciplinary research networks focusing on individualized interventions in educational settings, for supporting the participation and mental health of young children with disabilities or at-risk.
Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences| University of Porto