Project Winter School of “Special Educational Needs – Train the Teacher Trainer"

Welcome to the website of the Winter School of the DAAD-funded project "Special Educational Needs (in Regular Schools) – Train the Teacher Trainer" which will be held in from 12th til 24th March 2023.

The Europa-Universtität Flensburg (EUF) will welcome 15 researchers from five universities located in Iraq and the Kurdistan region who will participate in workshops and lectures on the topics of inclusive education and cooperative and collaborative learning. School visits will be part of the Winter School program in order to demonstrate inclusive education in Germany to our colleagues from Iraq and Kurdistan. Furthermore, the participants of the Winter School will be receiving a training workshop on the use of the inclusive learning management system LAYA Iraq which is specifically implemented and enhanced for the use in Iraqi universities and schools in order to teach about inclusive education.

Lectures and workshops will be held by the staff of the Department of Special Education, most notably Prof. Marie-Christine Vierbuchen (project lead), as well as external researchers from Germany and Austria.


Day/Time 9:00 - 12:30 12:30 - 14:00 14:00 - 17:30 17:30 - 19:00
12.03. (Sun)  Arrival
13.03. (Mon)

Welcome at EUF
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Glassmann, President of International Relations
Welcome at Winter School
Prof. Dr. Marie-Christine Vierbuchen, EUF

Lecture: How Do young Students learn most effectively? – Promoting Learning By Creating Effective Learning Environments
Prof. Dr. Frederike Bartels, University of Vechta

Lunch Break City-Tour  
14.03. (Tue)

Welcome from the International Center (IC)
and presentation of EUF

Ulrike Bischoff-Parker, President of the IC (9:00 - 10:00)

Campus Tour (10:00 - 11:00)

Lecture: Social Information Processing and Inclusive Education
Prof. Marie-Christine Vierbuchen (11:00 - 13:00)

Lunch Break   Presentation of Iraqi Universities and Regions Part I
Winter School Participants
15.03. (Wed) Workshop: Supporting and Teaching Children wich Physical Impairments
Sönke Thies, University of Oldenburg
Lunch Break Workshop: Introduction to LAYA Iraq
Constantin Mauf-Clausen , University of Vechta and Nicole Vieregg,  EUF
Presentation of Iraqi Universities and Regions Part II
Winter School Participants
16.03. (Thu) Workshop: Selected methods for evidence-based reading promotion
Yrsa Duborg and Janne Berner, EUF
Lunch Break Lecture and Workshop:  Inclusive Assessment – From Feed-Back to Feed-Forward Eva Verena Kleinlein, University of Vienna  
17.03. (Fri) Workshop:  Dealing with diversity and
promoting equity

Prof. Dr. Heike Wendt, University of Graz
Lunch Break    
18.03. (Sat) Free time
19.03. (Sun) Free time
20.03. (Mon) Workshop: Dealing with diversity and
promoting equity

Prof. Dr. Heike Wendt, University of Graz
Lunch Break Workshop: Dealing with diversity and promoting equity
Prof. Dr. Heike Wendt, University of Graz
21.03. (Tue) School Visits
(split into three groups)
Lunch Break Workshop: Using the  "Didactic Model for Inclusive Teaching and Learning" in Teacher Training
Dr. Julia Frohn, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
22.03. (Wed)
starts at 9:30 due to Ramadan
Lecture: Invisible Disabilities: Learning and the Task of fostering cognitive abilities in the Classroom
Prof. Dr. Clemens Hillenbrand, University of
Lecture: Cooperative Learning – Mutual Support of Students as a Relevant Aspect of Inclusion
Prof. Dr. Christine Schmalenbach, University of Hamburg
23.03. (Thu)
starts at 9:30 due to Ramadan
Lecture: Functional Analysis of Academic
Performance Problems – a primer

Prof. Dr. Gino Casale, University of Wuppertal
Workshop: Functional Analysis of Academic Performance Problems – a practical course
Prof. Dr. Gino Casale, University of Wuppertal
Ending Ceremony  
24.03. (Fri) Departure

Team and Lecturer

Prof. Dr. Marie-Christine Vierbuchen is the head of the Department of Special Education and a professor in the Field of Learning at the University of Flensburg. She is an expert in the topics of inclusive learning and teaching, as well as inclusive classroom management. She is the lead of "Special Educational Needs (in Regular Schools) - Train the Teacher Trainer" (SEN-T³), funded by the DAAD, in cooperation with five Iraqi universities to enhance inclusive education in Iraq. Her research interests include classroom management techniques and inclusive education.

Nicole Vieregg, M.Sc., is a research assistant and project coordinator of the SEN-T³ project, funded by the DAAD, at the University of Flensburg. She finished her Master’s degree in Computer Science in January 2021 and has previously worked in two inclusive education research projects, Dig*In and FDQI-HU II, at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Her research interests include inclusive design, software engineering and inclusive media education. She is one of the developers of LAYA Iraq.

Dr. Simone Onur is a researcher and scientific coordinator of the Zentrum für Bildungs-, Unterrichts-, Schul- und Sozialisationsforschung (ZeBUSS) at EUF.

Antonia Söhlke is the new project assistant of SEN-T3.  She is studying German studies and Special Education in the Field of mental development and social-emotional development at Europ-Universität Flensburg in her first semester.

Andrea Anderson, M.Ed., is a research assistant and Ph.D. student at Europa-Universität Flensburg. She graduated at EUF with a master's degree in Special Needs Education and English. For her Ph.D. thesis she intends to develop a formative assessment for German EFL (English as a Foreign Language) learners and study its implementation in the inclusive classroom.

Prof. Dr. Frederike Bartels is a professor for primary school education at the University of Vechta. She is the lead of the DAAD-funded project "Digital and Inclusive – Innovative Teacher Training for Primary School Teachers in Iraq" (LEILA) and cooperates with five Iraqi universities as well as the SEN-T³ project by Prof. Vierbuchen to enhance inclusive education in Iraq. Her research interests include primary school education and inclusive education.

Constantin Mauf-Clausen obtained a B.A. in teaching English and German in secondary schools. He graduated with a master's degree in Literary and Cultural Theory. He switched careers and is currently working on obtaining a B.Sc. in Computer Science. He is involved with LAYA as a developer since. With LAYA, he aims to create a tool that is inclusive in every aspect.

Prof. Dr. Clemens Hillenbrand holds a full professorship for Learning Disabilities at the University of Oldenburg. Based on a scholarship from the "Cusanuswerk" he passed his studies in special education at Hannover, Würzburg and Basel, worked as a teacher in a hospital school as well as in special schools for learning disabilities and language disorders. His PhD in 1991 at the University of Würzburg focused a historical topic "Reformpädagogik und Heilpädagogik". The academic career started at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, after several stations he is working now at the department of Special Education and Rehablitation at the Carl-von-Ossietzky University Oldenburg. From 2007 to 2017 he has been the editor of the Zeitschrift für Heilpädagogik and member of the board of the Verband Sonderpädagogik (Association for Special Needs Education). Current research interests include international projects on teacher education (e.g. Iraq, Indonesia, Azerbaijan, Slovenia), evidence-based prevention of learning disorders and mental disorders.

Sönke Thies works as a research assistant and as a teacher for special tasks within the area of pedagogy with physical and motor impairments at the University of Oldenburg. After completing his degree of Special Needs Education in Oldenburg and working in Spain he is working since 2014 in DAAD funded projects between the University of Oldenburg and different Iraqi Universities, as the actual project Professional Development in Special Needs Education in Iraqi Universities (PROD-I/ since 2022). His teaching and research focal points are the implementation of inclusion in the Iraqi education system, international and intercultural comparative special education, school inclusion of children with disabilities, didactics and lesson planning regarding a focus of physical and motorical development.

Eva Kleinlein is a university assistant and Ph.D. student at the Centre for Teacher Education at the University of Vienna, Austria. She is engaged in research on international perspectives on inclusive education and inclusive teacher education, on inclusive assessment and diagnostics, and on transcultural constructions of heterogeneity and diversity. Methodologically, she concentrates on qualitative research and particularly on digital methods and Grounded Theory Methodology. In her Ph.D. thesis, Eva focuses on teachers’ practices of handling diversity around the world by conducting asynchronous narrative audio messages from educators worldwide about their experiences with diversity and inclusion.

Prof. Dr. Heike Wendt, Professor for Education Research and head of the Institute of Education Research and Teacher Education at the Faculty of Environmental, Regional and Educational Sciences of Graz University in Austria. Her research interests are in international comparative research and school development with a focus on questions of equity and transitions of education systems. She served for more than 10 years as national research coordinator for Germanys participation in international large scale assessment studies and is involved in numerous international research projects and partnerships. She has published more than 10 books and 150 articles and book chapters.

Yrsa Duborg is a qualified occupational therapist and special education teacher specialized in special education in the field of learning and mental development. She has experience in teaching in inclusive secondary schools and DaZ-centres (German as second language). Since February 2021 she is a delegated teacher for special duties at the University of Flensburg, Department of Special Education in the Field of Learning, and teaches students during their Bachelor and Master studies.

Janne Kristin Berner is a trained special education teacher who specializes in special education in the field of learning and pedagogy and didactics for furthering emotional and social development. Her educational focus lies on inclusive primary school education. Since August 2021 she started teaching students in their Master studies at the University of Flensburg, Department Special Education in the Field of Learning.

Dr. Julia Frohn is a researcher and coordinator of the project FDQI-HU at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin as well as a research assistant from Prof. Vera Moser at the Goethe University Frankfurt. Her research interests focus on inclusive didactics, teacher professionalization as well as impact of the pandemic-caused distance learning on curricular structure and design in heterogeneous learning groups and education justice.

Prof. Dr. Christine Schmalenbach  is Assistant Professor of Special Education at the University of Hamburg, Germany. One of her main topic areas is the support of socio-emotional development in combination with academic learning, specially through Cooperative Learning. She has done research and implemented teacher trainings in Germany and El Salvador.

Prof. Dr. Gino Casale is professor for methodology and didactics in learning and emotional-social development at the University of Wuppertal since 2020. Previously, he held the professorship for Emotional and Social Development in Inclusive Schools at the University of Paderborn. After receiving his PhD from the University of Wuppertal, he worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the Universities of Cologne and Wuppertal and as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Bouvé College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University in Boston (USA).

Gino Casale is the author of over 70 articles, book chapters and monographs. He is Associate Editor of the "International Journal of School & Educational Psychology", peer reviewer for numerous international journals and peer reviewer for the German Federal Ministry of Health and the German Research Foundation. His research focuses on evidence-based prevention concepts for special education in learning and emotional-social development, on the professional competence of teachers for special education, and on digital learning in special education contexts.

The Winter School is supported by
  • DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service)
  • EUF Central Committee for Europe and International Affairs
  • EUF Central Committee for Research and Knowledge Transfer
  • ZeBUSS
  • Fördergesellschaft der Universität Flensburg e.V.