Accommodating the educational needs of students with cognitive disabilities is one of the top priorities of instructors working in inclusive classroom settings. Lack of competencies and knowledge regarding effective teaching practices on the subject matter limits professors’ ability to maximize the success of children with special learning needs. The article by Buli-Holmberg and Jeyaprathaban provides a critical evaluation of the teaching methods in the inclusive school system. This study was particularly chosen as it lays a foundation for the systematic review of core strategies, essential for my project dedicated to the educational needs of students with cognitive impairments.
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Abstract and Overview
This study aims to assess and critically analyze the number of teaching practices for students with learning disabilities. The research question is posed upon the discussion of most effective teaching strategies, as well as the associated factors. To answer the aforementioned research question, a qualitative approach has been taken with the case study as the main methodology present. When observing different classroom settings (traditional or flexible), the investigators derived the three following categories to evaluate the most effective teaching strategies:
Results of the study suggested that traditional practice provides limited support to students with cognitive disabilities, while one-to-one interaction allows students to master the learning quicker. Additionally, small group assignments provide positive interaction along the learning process and closer communication with the instructor. Further discussion of the results needs to take place in order to build the competencies of the teachers to improve the learning process in an inclusive classroom setting.
Analysis and Synthesis
From my perspective, the most important aspect of this research highlights the flaws of the traditional practices, such as low interpersonal interaction and lack of individual approach. I learned that the instructor is encouraged to use small group activities where children with learning disabilities are able to socialize and integrate into society when the one-on-one teaching strategy is not possible. I agree that working in a small group has relatively the same effect as one-to-one interaction which categorically denies the absolute necessity of homeschool education or private tutors for children with intellectual impairments. The main reasoning behind such an argument is that students do not need only the attention of the teacher rather an opportunity to process information at an individual pace. As my project focuses on the need to adopt new educational models built on support and one-to-one communication, the article’s conclusion serves as a part of the empirical evidence necessary to defend my initial argument. The study also informs my group about the positive correlation between a teacher’s support and a student’s speed of learning which allows quantifying an abstract phenomenon of physical and emotional assistance from the professor’s side.
Implications for the Classroom
Instead of relying on the traditional practices only, educators are encouraged to shift their attention to one on one interaction and small group activities with children with intellectual disabilities. In the inclusive classroom setting, teachers should also support students with special needs emotionally, assisting their learning progress and communicating on the personal level. The specific focus needs to be put on the three main factors, support, adaptation, and interaction, to help children with learning disabilities integrate into society more effectively.
Buli-Holmberg, J., & Jeyaprathaban, S. (2016). Effective practice in inclusive and special needs education. International Journal of Special Education, 31(1), 119-134. Web.