Need to pitch content and learning material to context and potential of differently abled children: Focus Group
A focus group consisting of three observers visited a classroom of differently abled children which consisted of nine children ranging from 10 to 14 years diagnosed with delayed milestones (Slow learner, Down syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder). A 30-minute discussion was held after the observation concluded that individualised education plans were not being followed by the teacher.
uniform and similar methodology was being followed on the basis of
content from a textbook which seemed frustrating experience for
children with special needs. Even the tone of the teacher was harsh.
No instance of adaptive learning was visible in the small class of 9
students being looked after by a special educator and one volunteer",
said one observer.
is a need for proper training and institution-based support system
through review and accommodation of needs of each child. "I would
like to suggest that there should be annual capacity building of
special educators based on their classroom observations to learn new
techniques and prepare relevant learning material along with
individualised milestone charts of children," proposed the second
fact, for children with special needs, the classroom environment
should be filled with the teacher and child-made material which
should keep on changing as the children progress. Both, communication
and professional skills of the special educators should be upgraded
through a pedagogy and research unit.
proper education and training of special educators should be stressed
and their in-service training should be institution-based and
on-going so that children with special needs
individualised and differentiated classroom instruction.
in view, the ethical aspect of the rapid assessment study and ethics
of research, the names of the focus group members and observed
teacher have been kept confidential. However, the recommendation of
training and capacity building of special educators was well taken by
the concerned teacher.
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