Students at Ghent University created ELLeN-inspired multimedia products

In December 2023, Master students of Gender and Diversity at Ghent University presented their multimedia products on the topics of ‘neurodiversity and neurodiversity and learning’. Students collaborated with lived experience experts in their work over several months.

Two excellent examples of the work produced are Amaryllis and Simon’s podcast and Evy, Tim, Femke and Souad’s instagram wall.

Virtual teacher education workshop hosted by UMBC’s TESOL program

On December 7th, Jules Buendgens-Kosten held a workshop on “Neurodiversity in the Classroom: Universal Design for Learning”, hosted by the TESOL program at University of Maryland, Baltimore County. During this 1-hour event, attended by 31 local educators from different subject disciplines, they drew on ELLeN educational materials (“IO1”) and on ELLeN interviews (“IO2”) to introduce key ideas related to neurodiversity and Universal Design for Learning, and to present the ELLeN project more generally.

A slide on neurodiversity. It shows a picture of a meadow, and a quote by Murray: “One aspect of human diversity is the variety of processing styles we have: what we call neurodiversity. Like other kinds of diversity, it is probably a net positive, but it comes with serious challenges for those who are seen as divergent.”

Final Multiplier Event

ELLeN held their final Multiplier Event on November 27th  and 28th as part of a symposium sponsored jointly between the Institute for Diversity Studies (Link: and the Dortmund Competence Center for Teacher Education and Research (Link: ) at the TU Dortmund. Additional funding was provided in part by the “Stifterverband” as part of DiTAIL, and through a generous donation by the “Friends of the TU Dortmund”.

Over the course of three presentations, members of the ELLeN Team shared different aspects of the work that has transpired over the last three years and that will be disseminated in the coming weeks and months. Caro Blume offered an overview of ELLeN and highlighted its relationship to the theme of the symposium: Teaching and learning about digitality and diversity in (foreign) language teacher education. Raúl García, and Pasquale Uferkamp illustratively shared information about the process and products developed for teacher educators and professionals looking to extend their knowledge of neurodiversity and English language learning. This was followed by insights into the collected data, with Michelle Proyer and Geert van Hove reporting on how pre-service teachers involved in participatory research grappled with the tensions of teaching inclusively in systems that are not always inclusive. Rieke Dieckhoff then joined Raúl García to discuss the findings from descriptive and qualitative data, likewise revealing pre-service teachers’ perspectives on ELLeN-related activities and content.

The symposium was attended by members of the TU Dortmund community, as well as external visitors who braved the weather and related travel delays to join the sessions. The questions and comments by the members of the audience demonstrated an appreciation for the complexity of preparing pre-service teachers for challenging educational environments, and equally, the importance of doing so.

Conference proceedings are planned for publication in 2024.

Two ELLeN multiplier events in one week

This week saw two multiplier events in just a few days. First, on November 13th 2023, a hybrid event in Vienna, focused on inquiry-based learning and the “lessons learned” of the project and featuring exciting guest speaker Katta Spiel, who shared their research on neurodiversity and games with the audience.

Organizers Julia Hüttner, a woman with mid-length brown hair wearing a colorful blouse and a light blue blazer and Michelle Proyer, a woman with long blond dreadlocks, who wears a black top and a colorful scarf, sitting at a conference table during a short break.

Then, on the 16th, an online event with a focus on our forthcoming book of interviews. Carolyn Blume described how inquiry based learning – specifically interviews with neurodivergent individuals and stakeholders in inclusive education – were integrated in teacher education seminars. Rieke Dieckhoff introduced the audience to the editing process that turned these interviews into a forthcoming book. Geert van Hove shared shared some conclusions we drew from this project. Special highlight was the talk by James Docherty, a university student who had been interviewed for this project, who candidly shared his experiences at school and his experiences as an interviewee in the ELLeN project.

On the left side is a screenshot of a slide. It says the following: "In the ELLeN-project when listening to experts-by-experience we were confronted with a clear message.... TEACHERS CAN INDEED MAKE A DIFFERENCE".

On the right is an image of Geert van Hove. He has white hair and a white beard and mustache. He has black-rimmed, round glasses, a gray scarf and a deep-red shirt. He is in the middle of gesterung with his hands.

Multiplier Event at Goethe University Frankfurt brings together different stakeholders

On July 17th, 2023, different stakeholders met at a Multiplier Event focussing on drawing on neurodivergent experiences for teacher education. Jules Bündgens-Kosten greeted the attending teachers, teacher education students, teacher educators and researchers and presented a “beta version” of the ELLeN interview book, made available exclusively to participants at this event. This interview book comprises a selection of interviews with neurodivergent individuals and stakeholders in inclusive education, which were conducted by teacher education students within the ELLeN project. Then, Aleksander Knauerhase held a workshop on autism. Finally, everybody had plenty of opportunity to exchange experiences, questions and ideas at “thematic tables”.

A finalized version of the ELLeN interview book will soon be published and made available to all interested individuals.

Aleksander Knauerhase, a teacher educator and two students in discussion at one of the thematic tables. The four people are sitting at a table covered with a white paper table cloth. One person is writing on it, another person seems to have finished writing on it. One person looks at the camera.

ELLeN projects hosts successful event on “Neurodiversity in a Capitalist Era”

On June 13th, 2023, Geert Van Hove (University Ghent) and Michelle Proyer (University of Vienna) welcomed nearly 40 participants from around the world to their online seminar on “Neurodiversity in a Capitalist Era”. The keynote speaker, Alica Broderick from Montclair State University, presented an engaging talk on how neurodiversity is commodified, and what this means e.g. for activism. Jospehine Go Jefferies from Newcastle University and Oliver Koenig (Bertha von Suttner Privatuniversität) served as respondents, who added their own research perspectives and considerations to create a complex tapistry of ideas and challenges. A short introduction to the ELLeN project was featured as well.

Alicia Broderick presenting via Zoom. You can see a woman with long, slightly curly hair, glasses and a light blue top. She is sitting on a sofa or armchair, looking at the camera, smiling while speaking and gesturing. In the background, you can see a tree through a large window.