The Management of Special Needs in Ordinary Schools

The Management of Special Needs in Ordinary Schools

The Management of Special Needs in Ordinary Schools

The Management of Special Needs in Ordinary Schools

Excerpt

Although the literature on special educational needs has much proliferated in recent years, I know of no book that has approached the topic as comprehensively as this. Contributors and editors alike rightly reject narrow definitions of special needs and, in many ways, this book is a plea for more effective teaching and learning strategies for all. Patrick Leeson, writing of the Lower Attaining Pupils Programme, and John Hanson, writing of the Oxfordshire Skills Programme, severally indicate the progress that derives from Feuerstein’s concept of Instrumental Enrichment. Nigel Collins and Jackie Sutherland similarly offer cogent criticisms of the way in which the curriculum content and methodology of some schools actually create pupils whose response to their lack of ownership of their learning processes leads to their designation as disturbed and maladjusted.

The importance of appropriate in-service training in management, using methodologies, incidentally, that are highly analogous to those advocated for effective student learning in other chapters of the book, is emphasised by Frank Hodgson and Alan Trotter.

Both editors make substantial contributions. Neville Jones writes with authority on Welfare and Needs in Secondary Schools; and Tim Southgate writes movingly on both the integration in mainstream of special educational needs students and, with Pru Fuller, on the outstanding work for the physically and mentally impaired of the Aids to Communication in Education Centre in his Oxfordshire school.

Appropriately, since much of the credit for the broad—one is tempted to say all-embracing—sweep of educational innovation in Oxfordshire, the opening chapter is the work of the Chief Education Officer, Tim Brighouse. In it, he demonstrates convincingly that managerial skills are what make effective schools; and that effective schools are the product of LEAs with concern for the individual and vision. He observes with customary forthrightness that present government educational policies are divisive and are undermining the

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