Portuguese Adaptation of CONNECT Module 1: Two Years and A Pilot Study Later

by Raquel Corval

How did learners respond to the Portuguese adaptation and translation of CONNECT Module 1: Embedded Interventions? Raquel Corval from Portugal shares her experience on using CONNECT Module 1 with her learners. Read about what she did and share your examples.

Exactly two years ago, I came to Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute as a visiting scholar to collaborate with the CONNECT project and I blogged about my experience with trying to adapt CONNECT modules for the Portuguese context. The work that came with adapting and translating CONNECT Module 1 was tremendous but I’ve been fortunate to have a supportive team at GADIF and for additional funding through the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in 2011 to carry out a project, “Práticas Inclusivas: uma aposta na Formação”.

As part of the funded project, we designed, implemented, and evaluated two in-service professional development opportunities aimed to promote evidence-based inclusive practices in embedded interventions. For both the professional development opportunities, we used the Portuguese adaptation of CONNECT Module 1: Embedded Interventions. The first training format was a workshop divided in 3 sessions with a total duration of 8 hours in one week. The second training format, which was more intensive, consisted of various sessions across a period of 3 months with a total duration of 25 hours. Participants of both groups were mainly preschool teachers working with children with disabilities in inclusive classrooms.

Comparing these two approaches, I must share with you how much more rich, rewarding and engaging the more intensive professional development approach was. Their final assignment was to present to the group about a personal dilemma and the way the 5-Step Learning Cycle has helped them think about evidence-based strategies to respond to their questions. As one of the trainers, I was very glad to see how participants were using insights and decision-making skills in multiple contexts for solving new dilemmas. One of the participants applied the 5-Step Learning Cycle to solve a family’s dilemma about the lack of adaptive equipment in their neighborhood public park (Note: Actually, there are currently no accessible public parks for children with disabilities available in Portugal!!). And so the participant is putting in a lot of effort at the moment to create a park of this sort and get this project funded by private investors. In the future, who knows if this doesn’t change policies in Portugal?

I’ll be presenting these findings and more at the upcoming 1st International Early Childhood Intervention Conference in Braga, Portugal. The Portuguese adaptation of CONNECT Module 1 will also be made ‘live’ soon, so stay tuned!”

Community Questions

  1. Do you have similar applications of CONNECT to share?

About the Author:Raquel Corval was a visiting faculty scholar from Portugal, at FPG Child Development Institute, UNC-CH in 2010. She was one of the two awardees to receive funding from the American club of Lisbon in 2010 to collaborate with a US institute of higher education. In Portugal, she is an early intervention lecturer in the School of Education at Instituto Superior de Educacao e Ciencias (ISEC). At the same time, she is also a team member of the school’s early intervention center (GADIF).