Understanding Special Educational Needs: A Guide for Student Teachers

Understanding Special Educational Needs: A Guide for Student Teachers

Understanding Special Educational Needs: A Guide for Student Teachers

Understanding Special Educational Needs: A Guide for Student Teachers

Synopsis

Teachers need to be fully equipped to respond to diversity in today's classrooms now more than ever before. The Professional Standards for Qualified Teacher Status and Induction Standards are now the driving force behind initial teacher education, and students will need to demonstrate their competence against these, and in particular, their understanding of Special Educational Needs in today's inclusive classrooms. Each chapter of this indispensable text explores an important topic within SEN and directly relates it to the competencies, making it an essential course companion. Chapters on topics relating to the code of practice, school policy, literacy and numeracy, ICT, emotional and behavioural difficulties and dealing with parents all follow a similar template, which includes: *A commentary on the relevant professional standards *Contextualising of the standards *What teachers can do to promote effective practice Detailed referencing will lead students to pursue more detailed individual texts, which address many of the issues in greater depth. This is an ideal, highly accessible text for student and new qualified teachers who need a reliable introduction to today's vital issues within Special Educational Needs.

Excerpt

A great deal has been written in the past ten years or so about the organisation and management of inclusive approaches in education for children experiencing learning difficulties and disabilities (collectively referred to here as 'special educational needs-SEN'). A great deal of this work has been undertaken with a focus upon strategic direction at a national level, government policy and its ongoing impact on whole schools. Much of the statutory guidance being issued in England, for instance, retains a focus on the bureaucracy of inclusion, and offers a somewhat managerialist approach which seems to deny the crucial role of the teacher as the real facilitator of the process. It therefore seems vital that a return is made to a focus on the work that teachers actually 'do' in classrooms. This is the heartbeat of the movement towards inclusive education for SEN.

Emphasising a teacher's role at the core of SEN and inclusion brings with it many benefits, both intrinsic and pragmatic. The classroom practitioner who has reflected upon their own 'personal theory' regarding inclusion will be in a better position to contribute to wider developments in the whole school and to influence those colleagues who may be 'inclusion-resistant'. One of the most effective ways of doing this is by becoming a 'model' of good practice. Moreover, teachers who ask tough questions about their own pedagogy become far more resilient supporters of inclusive approaches, in that this kind of interrogation enables important parallels to be drawn between 'good' and 'inclusive' teaching. Finally, an emphasis on the individual ensures that the primacy of the social relationships between teacher and child is maintained.

Any positioning of the classroom teacher at the heart of developing good inclusive practice for SEN has to come with a major

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