Aikaterini Tavoulari

Doctoral Researcher

Aikaterini TavoulariCurrent status

Thesis awaited

Research Topic

“Childhood disability, attitudes and stigma in Greek society”: Exploring the perceptions of caregivers and professionals regarding the repetitive behaviour of children with vision impairment and children on the autism spectrum (a comparative study)

Research Summary 

Thought and knowledge are constructions of perceptions that people have in terms of different aspects of the world surrounding them. Perceptions help people interpret the various aspects of the world, and without their help, their thoughts are simply empty. The way people perceive a behaviour might impact on how they respond to it. As a consequence, discovering the perceptions of caregivers and professionals regarding the repetitive behaviour children with vision impairment and children on the autism spectrum manifest is a great challenge.

Repetitive behaviours do compare across professions and they do compare across disabilities. However, there are implications that are completely different and those lead to various conclusions: On the one hand, the way in which caregivers and professionals perceive a behaviour might impact on how they respond to it and on the other hand, their perceptions may reflect on terminology used or even legislation enacted in a specific country. The question of whether or not a repetitive behaviour is socially acceptable in a very specific context/ culture or it constitutes a social taboo, occurs in multiple occasions. 

Research Interests 

  • Vision Impairment 
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Multiple Disabilities
  • Repetitive Behaviours
  • Perceptions and Social Impact
  • Early Intervention
  • Inclusive Education
  • Special Education

Research supervisors

Dr Liz Hodges and Dr Prithvi Perepa 

Sponsors

The A. G. Leventis Foundation (Zürich / Switzerland).

The Bakalas Foundation (Athens/ Greece)

Membership of Research and Professional Organisations

International Council for Education and Re/habilitation of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI-Europe)

European Educational Research Association (EERA)

Panhellenic Scientific Association of Special Education (P.S.A.S.E.) 

The European Association on Early Childhood Intervention (Eurlyaid)

Children and Childhood Network (CCN), University of Birmingham

Work Experience

Aikaterini currently works as a Research and Teaching Assistant at the University of Birmingham. She is also an active member of the "Children and Childhood Network (CCN)”, which trys to provide a unique forum for collaborations in research, education, policy and practice, for and with children. In parallel, her volunteering activity with organisations/ charities/ hospitals such as the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB)/ U.K. and the Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, enables her to maintain her clinical experience and contact with vision impaired individuals. 

 Aikaterini is a chartered SEN and psychology teacher and she has worked in various public and private Special Education settings both in Greece and in the United Kingdom. Two key aspects of her professional path were dedicated: On the one hand to her personal space office in Athens (“Special Education Centre for Children and Adolescents”), focusing on children and adolescents with multiple and learning disabilities as well as their families. On the other, to her working experince as the Director of the Special Pre-Primary School for the Blind in Athens.

Publications (selected) 

  • “Enhancing inclusion and personal and professional development in Business education and learning using LEGO® Serious Play™”. C. Chapain, L. Evans, A. Tavoulari, M. Tran. BBS Learning and Teaching Conference. Birmingham: 17/ 9/ 2020.     
  • A.Tavoulari, M. Filianou. (2020): An Orff-Schulwerk program for toddlers with partial or total vision loss [In Greek]. Proceedings of the 4th Pan-Hellenic Congress of Special Education: “Modern trends and suggestions in special education”, Society of Greece Special Education/ Harokopio University, Scientific Volume D’. Greece: Readnet Publications (ISBN: 978-618-84140-9-9). Greece: 259 – 276.
  • E. Deropoulou-Derou, M. Gelastopoulou, V. Kalogridi, A. Tavoulari. (2015): “Views and experiences of general and special preschool teachers, regarding the educational policy and the implementation of inclusive collaborative practices”. European Educational Research Association (EERA) (ISBN: 978-963-12-3169-4). Budapest: 7 – 11/ 9/ 2015 
  • A., Tavoulari Katsoulis P., Argyropoulos V. (2014). “Early intervention in Greece: Present November 2014. Situation and proposal for the future”. The 8th International Scientific Conference, Belgrade: 7 – 9/ 11/ 2014 
  • Tavoulari A., Zeza M., Katsoulis P., Zafeira D., Skaltsouni A. (2013). “The use of smell and taste as an alternative perspective for teaching the blind and deaf blind students”. 8th ICEVI European Conference on Education and Rehabilitation of people with visual impairment, Istanbul: June 30 – July 5/ 2013 
  • Tavoulari A., Zeza M., Katsoulis P., Zafeira D., Skaltsouni A. (2013). “The sense of olfaction and taste as a base of an educational project for blind and deaf blind students”, 2nd Pan-Hellenic Congress of Special Education: “Dilemmas and Perspectives in Special Education”, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens/ Faculty of Philosophy Pedagogy and Psychology/ Psychology Domain/ Society of Greece Special Education, Athens, 11 – 14/ 4/ 2013
  • Tavoulari, A., Papoudi, D. (2012). “The imitation ability of a child with autism: How is he responding? Which way? What kind of intervention?” [In Greek], in the research in special education, in inclusive education and in disability, Scientific Volume A΄. Athens: Pedio Publications, pp. 193 – 210.      
  • Tavoulari, A., Papoudi, D. (2010). “From the autistic child to the autistic adolescent: The contribution of the paediatric” [In Greek]. 3rd State of The Art Adolescent Medicine Course, European Board of the International Association for Adolescent Health, European Pediatric Association, Greek Education Society for Prevention and Health Education, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Greek Pediatric Society, Greek Company of Adolescent Medicine, p. 176

Contact details

Email: A.Tavoulari@bham.ac.uk

Website: https://tavoularikaterina.com/ 

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