Special Teaching in Higher Education: Successful Strategies for Access and Inclusion

By Stuart Powell | Go to book overview

Afterword

Stuart Powell

Having brought together a range of topics and tried to connect them into unifying themes, I remain aware of the difficulties of laying down principles for an effective pedagogy that will apply across curriculum areas for all students. I am also aware that the range of topics addressed in this book will necessarily exclude some groups of students and some situations in which higher education teaching will, in one sense or another, need to be special. I suggest that this does not render the enterprise of this book wasted, but rather perhaps incomplete. Certainly, the range of situations requiring special teaching of one kind or another is likely to expand over future years as the changes noted in the main body of the text of this book take effect. For those of us who want to pursue an agenda of widening participation and an inclusive approach to the education of all students, the opportunities for testing our ingenuity and commitment are considerable.

I note also that on many occasions I have suggested that academic staff need to be made aware of various issues, and it does seem to me that, accepting all the specific guidance given by colleagues and the strategies for successful inclusion, a central need is for the general awareness of all academic colleagues to be raised. It is clearly not enough for support staff to have knowledge of special learning needs, skill in curriculum adaptation and alternative modes of delivery and attitudes that are likely to enhance the prospects for inclusion for all, if they find themselves operating in isolation of their colleagues. In short, all staff should have defined access to these things. Planners and curriculum organizers, as well as those who deliver the teaching, need to be aware at least of the issues, and be prepared to seek advice and guidance where necessary. The pervasive intention to include the needs of all students in the whole of the process of curriculum design

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