Within the Classroom, Building Capacity for the Teacher

The job, role or career of a teacher is not an easy one. There are many factors that must be kept at the forefront if the needs of all the children in the class and the school are identified, assessed, evaluated and a means of meeting such needs drawn up, delivered, monitored and tailored.

  • every child has a fundamental right to an education, and must be given the opportunity to achieve and maintain an acceptable level of learning,
  • every child has unique characteristics, interests, abilities and learning needs,
  • education systems should be designed and educational programmes implemented to take into account the wide diversity of these characteristics and needs,
  • those with special educational needs must have access to regular schools which should accommodate them within a child-centred pedagogy capable of meeting these needs
  • regular schools with this inclusive orientation are the most effective means of
    • combating discriminatory attitudes,
    • creating welcoming communities, building an inclusive society and achieving education for all; moreover, they
    • provide effective education to the majority of children and improve the efficiency and ultimately the cost-effectiveness of the entire education system.

SMART goals explanation

On a continual basis, children’s strengths and areas of difficulty are recognised – this must inform the teacher’s lesson plan as differentiation is required.

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To do this effectively, a range of teaching and learning strategies must be evaluated and decisions made regarding application and implementation. This would call on the teacher’s confidence and professional judgement in his or her own evaluation and understanding of the range of diversity within each classroom.

The beginning of the teaching and learning experience is the premise that every child is an individual, with his or her individual strengths, needs and modes of learning.

The term “learning styles” refers to the tenet that every student learns differently. Theoretically, a student’s learning style refers to the preferential way in which the student absorbs, processes, comprehends and retains information, in other words learns. Individual learning styles depend on cognitive, emotional and environmental factors, as well as the previously held knowledge and experiences of the child. Principally, everyone’s different. It is important for educators to understand the differences in their students’ learning styles, so that they can implement best practice strategies into their daily activities, curriculum and assessments.

The aim for the teacher is to embrace this diversity and forge a delivery mode that satisfies the learners and their learning styles.

Chart showing memletic styles

To include a child with autism in the classroom the following must be addressed

  • Knowledge of autism
  • Knowledge of autism specific strategies.
  • Inclusion
  • Multi-agency working.
  • The curriculum.
  • Class size – every child has individual needs
  • Other children with special educational needs.
  • Managing the classroom environment.
  • Learning styles.

Read previous: ← Inclusion