Space as a pedagogical tool for children with additional educational needs participation and empowerment.

Irida Tsevreni, Konstantina Bentenidi, Education in the North

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The paper explores the dialectical relationship between children and space and the empowering role of space in the development of disabled children. The research presented in this paper was conducted at a special primary school in Athens through participatory design workshops with teachers and children with special educational needs such as autism and Down’s syndrome. The children at the school were regarded as designers of space and were consulted for the design of a creative play and learning environment in their school ground. The findings of the research include an analysis and synthesis of children’s and teachers’ ideas in an architectural plan of a play and learning environment for children with special educational needs. They also include the creation of six spatial categories that a creative play space should incorporate in order to reinforce children’s development and contribute to their empowerment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-95
Number of pages6
JournalEducation in the North
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016

Bibliographical note

Many thanks to the headmaster of the school, Panayotis Kassianos, for his support and the teachers Eleni Mavrogonatou, Niki Valsami and Marina Prantsidou and the children of the school for their participation in the research and their valuable help.


  • special educational needs
  • additional educational needs
  • creative play and learning environment
  • space
  • critical pedagogy of space
  • participation
  • empowerment


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