Unit 4: Teaching strategies for students with ID


4.1.  Teaching strategies for developing personal and social skills in students with ID including mild to severe levels of ID, and individuals with high support needs

4.2.  Strategies for teaching functional academics. Methods of curricular content and process adaptations for students with intellectual disabilities

4.3.  Management of challenging behaviours – functional assessment (antecedent, behaviour, consequence), intervention strategies Token economy, Contingency contracting, Response cost, over correction, restitution and Differential Reinforcement and other behavioural strategies

4.4.  Group Teaching at various levels pre-primary, primary levels, development and use of         TLM and ICT for ID

4.5.  Various types of Evaluation: Entry level, Formative and Summative, Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) in the Indian educational system















4.1         Teaching strategies for developing personal and social skills in students with ID including mild to severe levels of ID, and individuals with high support needs


Personal skills

Everyone needs certain self-care skills to simply get through the day. Skills related to eating, dressing, and personal hygiene are requirements for anyone wishing to live even a semi-independent life. In addition to these basic skills are the many skills we use each day to navigate life at home and in the community.
With systematic planning and teaching, the high ability group of children with Intellectual disability learn to eat and drink, dress, brush and bathe on their own by the time they reach secondary level. However, some of them may require minimum assistance in bathing and dressing. At this level the following curriculum content needs to be covered as an extension of primary curriculum.

The curriculum content should cover activities such as eating of different types of breakfast items and sweets appropriately (eg. Eating gulab jamon/rasagulla/payasam with spoon, taking a small piece of chapatti with right hand and taking a small quantity of curry/dal and eating), showing appropriate eating/table manners when children participate in social functions and cafeteria, carrying water, filing water in bottles, folding manageable clothes, bed covers/sheets, cutting pictures, pasting, folding papers and inserting them into covers and the other routine activities. Never underestimate student’s ability. Expose him to various activities and assist in learning.

Focusing on one skill at a time

Children with disability can find everyday activities very challenging, so it’s important to focus on teaching only one thing at a time. For example, a child with cerebal palsy might use a lot of physical and mental energy just to sit upright in a chair, so it can be hard for them to do anything else while sitting.

For children with disability, it also helps to reduce distractions and make sure that your child’s environment is set up for them to learn.

Instructions: teaching by telling

This is teaching children how to do something by explaining what to do or how to do it. This strategy works best if you do some planning before you start.

Modelling: teaching by showing: Visual representation

Children learn what to do and how to do it by watching you. This is called modelling.

It means you can teach your child many things by showing them what to do. For example, you’re more likely to ‘show’ rather than ‘tell’ your child how to pack toys away, wash up a cup or feed a pet.

You can also use modelling to teach your child how to interact with others – for example, asking a teacher for help, or introducing yourself to another person. And modelling is a great way to teach skills that are hard to explain in words, like body language and tone of voice.

Modelling might also be a good option if your child finds it hard to make eye contact with you. Modelling means your child can watch your actions and behaviour as you show them what to do, rather than your face as you tell them.

Teaching step by step: Task analysis

Some tasks or activities are complicated or need to happen in a sequence. For these, you can break the task down into smaller steps, and teach your child one step at a time.

For example, here’s how you might break down getting dressed:

Each of these steps can be broken down into parts as well. 

The idea of step-by-step teaching is to teach one step at a time. When your child has learned the first step, you teach the next step, then the next, and so on. You keep going until your child can do the whole task by themselves. You can use instructions and modelling to help your child learn each step.

A poster showing each of the steps can help too.

Teaching with backwards steps: Backward chaining
It’s often a good idea to teach a complicated task like getting dressed by starting with the last step, rather than the first. This is called backwards teaching.

For example, if you want to use backwards teaching for putting on a jumper, you might help your child put the jumper over their head and put their arms in. Then get your child to do the last step – that is, pulling the jumper down.

Once your child can pull the jumper down, get your child to put their arms through and then pull the jumper down. Go on like this until your child has mastered each step of the task and can do the whole thing.

Helping your child complete the steps; Prompting and Fading
You might help your child by gesturing, reminding them of the next step, or helping physically – for example, putting your hands over your child’s hands and guiding them through the movements. You can gradually phase out your help as your child learns the new skill.

Social skills
Social skills are defined as the set of skills used to interact and communicate with one another. These skills include daily interaction skills such as sharing, taking turns, and allowing others to talk without interrupting. According to Kratchowill and French (1984)  social skills are learned verbal and nonverbal behaviors that are performed within a specific social context. Social skills are necessary to form and sustain relationships with others. These skills may be acquired through gradual learning and are largely influenced by a variety of social agents present in the culture. This process of learning and acquiring in the society is called socialization and when these skills are performed adequately they are referred to as social competency. Social competence includes both social skills and adaptive behavior. Children differ greatly in their social traits because of the influence of family, neighborhood and school environment which are important units of a society. Schools and classrooms are social environments where children function effectively from instructional activities that occur in an interactional context.

To be accepted as a member of the group and part of the community, one needs to have smooth interpersonal relationships for which adequate language and communications skills are required. Often children with Intellectual disability fail to interact with groups meaningfully in an acceptable manner. It is observed that most of the children with Intellectual disability  have limited vocabulary and have difficulty in speaking in sentences, understanding and following instructions and narrating incidents in a sequence. Various activities should be planned to develop these skills at secondary level.

Acceptable behaviour towards persons of opposite sex needs to be taught subtly and constantly during social situation at this state. Do’s and dont’s should be clearly specified to avoid embarrassment. This training should be continued into prevocational stage also.

*Social Stories can be used to teach social skills to children with such disabilities as autism or intellectual disability. A situation, which may be difficult or confusing for the student, is described concretely. The story highlights social cues, events, and reactions that could occur in the situation, the actions and reactions that might be expected, and why. Social stories can be used to increase the student’s understanding of a situation, make student feel more comfortable, and provide appropriate responses for the situation.  We recommend that you incorporate visuals into the stories as well.  These visuals can be drawings created by the student, imported images from Google, picture symbols / icons, or photographs. 



4.2         Strategies for teaching functional academics. Methods of curricular content and process adaptations for students with intellectual disabilities


It is important to know that despite difficulties in a learning environment students with intellectual disability can and do have the capacity to acquire and use new information. There is a range of inclusive teaching strategies that can assist all students to learn but there are some specific strategies that are useful in teaching a group which includes students with intellectual disability:

Individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID, formerly Intellectual disability) benefit from the same teaching strategies used to teach people with other learning challenges. This includes Intellectual disabilities, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and autism.

One such strategy is to break down learning tasks into small steps. Each learning task is introduced, one step at a time. This avoids overwhelming the student. Once the student has mastered one step, the next step is introduced. This is a progressive, step-wise, learning approach. It is characteristic of many learning models. The only difference is the number and size of the sequential steps.

A second strategy is to modify the teaching approach. Lengthy verbal directions and abstract lectures are ineffective teaching methods for most audiences. Most people are kinesthetic learners. This means they learn best by performing a task "hands-on." This is in contrast to thinking about performing it in the abstract. A hands-on approach is particularly helpful for students with ID. They learn best when information is concrete and observed. For example, there are several ways to teach the concept of gravity. Teachers can talks about gravity in the abstract. They can describe the force of gravitational pull. Second, teachers could demonstrate how gravity works by dropping something. Third, teachers can ask students directly experience gravity by performing an exercise. The students might be asked to jump up (and subsequently down), or to drop a pen. Most students retain more information from experiencing gravity firsthand. This concrete experience of gravity is easier to understand than abstract explanations.

Third, people with ID do best in learning environments where visual aids are used. This might include charts, pictures, and graphs. These visual tools are also useful for helping students to understand what behaviors are expected of them. For instance, using charts to map students' progress is very effective. Charts can also be used as a means of providing positive reinforcement for appropriate, on-task behavior.

A fourth teaching strategy is to provide direct and immediate feedback. Individuals with ID require immediate feedback. This enables them to make a connection between their behavior and the teacher's response. A delay in providing feedback makes it difficult to form connection between cause and effect. As a result, the learning point may be missed.



4.3         Management of challenging behaviours – functional assessment (antecedent, behaviour, consequence), intervention strategies Token economy, Contingency contracting, Response cost, over correction, restitution and Differential Reinforcement and other behavioural strategies 


A functional behavioral assessment (or FBA) is a process that identifies a specific or target behavior that interferes with a student’s education. The assessment attempts to designate the particular behavior, identify the factors that support the behavior, and determine the purpose of the behavior. The process leads to an intervention plan and steps that one can test to improve the student’s situation. The functional behavioral assessment informs a teaching plan that can develop a more acceptable alternative behavior for the student that will not interfere with the student’s education.

ABC falls under the umbrella of applied behavior analysis, which is based on the work of B.F. Skinner, the man often referred to as the father of behaviorism. In his theory of operant conditioning, Skinner developed a three-term contingency to shape behavior: stimulus, response, and reinforcement. 

ABC, which has become accepted as a best practice for evaluating challenging or difficult behavior, is almost identical to operant conditioning except that it frames the strategy in terms of education. Instead of the stimulus, there is an antecedent; instead of the response, there is a behavior; and instead of the reinforcement, there is a consequence.

Antecedent-Behavior-Consequence (ABC) is a significant component of understanding the function of behavior. If a child is in ABA therapy or a therapeutic preschool program for additional behavioral support, their teachers and therapists will often examine these components of behavior.

What exactly does ABC mean?
Antecedent: This refers to the stimuli or activity that occurs just before a child exhibits the behavior. In some cases, the antecedent is also the root cause of the behavior for the child.
Also known as the "setting event," the antecedent refers to the action, event, or circumstance that led up to the behavior and encompasses anything that might contribute to the behavior. For example, the antecedent may be a request from a teacher, the presence of another person or student, or even a change in the environment.
Behavior: This refers to the behavior that follows the antecedent.
The behavior refers to what the student does in response to the antecedent and is sometimes referred to as "the behavior of interest" or "target behavior." The behavior is either pivotal—meaning it leads to other undesirable behaviors—a problem behavior that creates danger for the student or others, or a distracting behavior that removes the child from the instructional setting or prevents other students from receiving instruction. Note: A given behavior must be described with an "operational definition" that clearly delineates the topography or shape of the behavior in a way that makes it possible for two different observers to identify the same behavior.
Consequence: This refers to the event or consequence that follows the behavior.
The consequence is an action or response that follows the behavior. A consequence, which is very similar to "reinforcement" in Skinner's theory of operant conditioning, is an outcome that reinforces the child's behavior or seeks to modify the behavior. While the consequence is not necessarily a punishment or disciplinary action, it can be. For example, if a child screams or throws a tantrum, the consequence may involve the adult (the parent or teacher) withdrawing from the area or having the student withdraw from the area, such as being given a timeout.

By looking at a behavior in a logical chain of progression, it is easier to determine the function of a behavior and better understand why a child is acting in a certain way.

Here’s an example of using ABC to understand a child’s behavior:
Antecedent: The therapeutic preschool teacher prompts the student to come to the carpet for circle time.
Behavior: The child will not move and begins to cry that they do not want to join circle time.
Consequence: The therapeutic preschool aid stays with the child to try and help the child regulate their behavior.

ABC chart
ABA therapists will often use ABC charts to map out specific behaviors and examine the function of behavior in children. By looking at the entire cycle of a behavior, from the stimuli that incites the behavior to the consequence, the therapist or teacher has a greater understanding of a child’s behavioral patterns. The insight that an ABC chart provides also helps to create a comprehensive treatment plan.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a type of therapy that focuses on improving specific behaviors, such as social skills, communication, reading, and academics as well as adaptive learning skills, such as fine motor dexterity, hygiene, grooming, domestic capabilities, punctuality, and job competence. ABA is effective for children and adults with psychological disorders in a variety of settings, including schools, workplaces, homes, and clinics. It has also been shown that consistent ABA can significantly improve behaviors and skills and decrease the need for special services.

Token economy,

Misbehaving learners and disciplinary problems are a disproportionate and intractable part of every teacher’s experience of teaching (Marais & Meier, 2010). Providing teachers with skills and strategies to manage disruptive behaviour effectively in the classroom is essential as the classroom can be a contributory factor to the occurrence of disruptive behaviour particularly to the frequency and severity of such behaviours. O’Leary & Drabman (1971) posited that a less confronting, easier, and more positive means of managing disruptive behaviour in the classroom is the token economy.

The token system is a strategy where the student receives a token after completing a specified academic task, or using an appropriate behavior. Anything that is visible and countable can be used as a token. The token itself has no value, but is traded in for a backup reinforcer after a specific number of tokens are earned. Backup reinforcers are meaningful items, activities, or privileges such as food items, extra recess, toys, etc. The success of a token economy relies on the appeal of the backup reinforcer.

·        Token systems can address challenging behaviors that are maintained by escape from demands. A token is provided upon completing a specified task. The task could be an entire worksheet or a few questions, depending on the student. Using a token system provides reinforcement for something the student may find difficult.

·        Token systems may also address challenging behaviors that are maintained by attention. The student gets attention when the token is provided and when the tokens are exchanged for the backup activity.Token systems can also be used as a part of a reinforcement system. Specific student behaviors, such as a replacement behavior, can be supported and reinforced by providing a token when those behaviors are observed.

·        A token system can also help teach students how to work toward short and long term goals (i.e., end of the week computer time).

·        A token system can teach students to monitor their own progress in class. They see that they are earning tokens for expected participation and behavior.

Contingency contracting,

'Unless' and 'except' are important words depending on when they are used. For example, if I say, ''I am going to the theater tonight with Dave and Jody,'' you would likely assume that, come hell or high water, I'll be taking in a play or movie tonight. Of course, if I were to say, ''I will be going to the theater tonight unless it is snowing,'' you know for certain there's something that might stop me from going, and you also know exactly what that thing is: snow. Yuck.

We put conditions like the one in the above example on things all the time. Conditions are so present that they're included in various business dealings or even in the classroom. When these conditions become official in a signed contract, they are called contingencies, and this is called a contingency contract. In this lesson, we will explore contingency contracts and how they are used in the classroom.

Contingency contracting is an intervention that involves identifying a behavior, the conditions under which the behavior is supposed to occur, and the consequences for both achieving the goal and failing to perform to a criterion. The target client collaborates with the practitioner to develop the contract and then signs the contract to indicate agreement with the contingencies outlined. Because the target client and the practitioner work together to specify relevant aspects of the contract, the target client is clearly involved in the planning and consent process. In addition, they can indicate their preferences related to the behavior, when it should occur, and the consequences for the behavior, so those preferences can be incorporated into the contract.

While the target behavior is the bulk of the contract, there are several other components which are vital:

Contract Conditions: With the student, decide under what conditions the contract will be in effect (the times, classes, and activities), for example, in math class or on the playground.

Contract Completion Criteria: The criteria describe the level of performance for completion. Does the behavior need only be achieved once or will it need to be maintained for a period of time (i.e., “Student will complete 60% of math homework for eight days in a 10 consecutive day period”)?

Reinforcers: The contract should include a reinforcer or reward that the student will earn upon contract completion. This should be something the student chooses, within reason. Edibles, small toys, free time, and “no homework” passes are examples of reinforcers which could be effective. Positive consequences (i.e., rewards) should be delivered immediately upon contract completion.

Review and Renegotiation: Include dates on which progress will be reviewed with the student. You may choose to review the contract weekly with the student to help keep him or her on track and to evaluate progress. If you see no progress after a couple of reviews, it may be necessary to renegotiate the contract. Goals may be unreasonable and reinforcers may be inappropriate. It is also appropriate to state a goal date for contract completion.

Language and Signatures: The contract should be written in simple, clear language that the student can understand. For example, “reward” should be used instead of “reinforcer.” This will make the contract more relevant to the student. Both you and the student should sign and date the contract and, if working in collaboration with parents, they should also sign it. When it will not infringe upon the privacy of the student, it can also be appropriate to have an outside party or witness sign the contract, such as a friend of the student or another adult that the student trusts.

Response cost

 Response cost is the term used for removing reinforcement for an undesirable or disruptive behavior. In terms of Applied Behavior Analysis, it is a form of negative punishment. By removing something (a preferred item, access to reinforcement) you decrease the likelihood that the target behavior will appear again. It is often used with a token economy and is best used when a student understands the implications.

The basic unit of instruction in an ABA Program is the "Trial." Usually, a trial is very brief, involving an instruction, a response, and feedback. In other words, the teacher says, "Touch the red one, John." When John touches the red one (response), the teacher gives feedback: "Good job, John." The teacher may reinforce each correct response, or every third to fifth correct response, depending on the reinforcement schedule.

When response cost is introduced, the student may lose a token for an inappropriate behavior: the student needs to know that he or she can lose a token for the target behavior. "Are you sitting nicely John? Good Job" or "No, John. We don't crawl under the table. I have to take a token for not sitting."

You need to constantly be evaluating the effectiveness of response cost. Does it really reduce the number of inappropriate behaviors? Or does it just drive the inappropriate behavior underground, or change the misbehavior? If the function of the behavior is control or escape, you will see other behaviors popping up, perhaps surreptitiously, that serve the function of control or escape. If it does, you need to discontinue response cost and attempt differentiated reinforcement.

Pros of a Response Cost Program

Cons of a Response Cost Program


Over correction

Overcorrection is a behavioral intervention developed by applied behavior analysts and is based on the belief that the problem behaviors of persons with autism spectrum disorders are maintained by social factors (e.g., attention from other people, escape, or avoidance of low-preference academic activities such as math) or nonsocial factors (e.g., sensory reinforcement). Overcorrection is a name given to an intervention procedure that consists of two components (restitution and/or positive practice).

Overcorrection is a hugely powerful intervention because it adds on a little extra aversiveness. As a consequence for problem behavior – the student will need to complete an effortful behavior to fix the damage caused by the inappropriate behavior. Overcorrection can also involve extra work. This can be very punishing. Punishment will reduce the future chance of problem behaviors.


There are a few different ways this can work.

Restitutional Overcorrrection

After a problem behavior, the student must return the environment to it’s previous state and then some. You rip up a worksheet, you need to remake all of the copies and clean all of the tables. If you knock over a bookshelf in a tantrum, you need to clean the books and clean the break area. So the student must add to the environment to make it better.

Positive Practice

After the problem behavior, the student must repeatedly practice the correct response. You threw your work, now you have to redo the same task 4 times. You ran in the hallway, now you need to walk the route 5 times.

This intervention is not meant to be mean. It’s meant to provide an aversive consequence for a highly disruptive problem behavior that needs decreasing. It’s evidence based. It’s not picking on a kid. This is to be used with behaviors that majorly need reducing. Overcorrection is effective when other interventions have not worked, the behavior results in a major destruction, and  the behavior is not at a high frequency. You can’t be utilizing this intervention 10 times per day. When implementing this intervention, do not provide praise for engaging in the overcorrection behaviors.


Restitution is a philosophy of discipline that is based on intrinsic motivation. It is created by Diane Gossen and based on William Glasser’s Control theory principles. Restitution Helps students to develop self- discipline and helps teachers to become better managers and mentors. We learn to become the student or the teacher we want to be even in difficult situations.

Restitution focuses on how people can creatively correct their mistakes emphasizing positive solutions. Mistakes are viewed by all as opportunities to learn and grow. We learn to make things right with people.

Restitution gives kids an opportunity to “payback” for their misbehavior. They’re given a logical consequence that is directly linked to their behavior.

Instead of receiving a quick timeout for destroying someone's property, restitution gives a child a chance to make amends with the victim. In addition to timeout, the child may also have to loan his favorite toy to the victim for a specified period of time.


Differential Reinforcement

People tend to repeat those behaviors for which they are reinforced or rewarded. A student who receives a smile from the teacher or looks of admiration from classmates for a particularly perceptive answer in class will probably strive to continue giving good answers. Conversely, people often avoid engaging in behaviors for which they are not reinforced. For example, a student whose classmates reject him because he calls people names or who loses recess as a result of clowning around in class will probably refrain from repeating that behavior in the future.

In some instances however, a student is reinforced for inappropriate behavior. When classmates laugh at a student’s antics, or a lesson is delayed because of misbehavior, the student is inadvertently rewarded for misbehavior and, consequently, disruptions can increase.

A teacher who is knowledgeable about reinforcement and who delivers it appropriately has effective options available with which to encourage positive behavior. Similar options can be used to decrease or eliminate negative behaviors. The rest of this module discusses a behavioral intervention called differential reinforcement and how it can be used effectively in the classroom.

In general, differential reinforcement involves either giving or withholding reinforcement, depending on whether the behavior is desirable or undesirable. Differential reinforcement techniques are designed to decrease instances of problem behaviors by:

a.     Giving a student reinforcement when a behavior (e.g., laughter or joking) occurs in the presence of one stimulus (with peers during free time)

b.     Not reinforcing the behavior in the presence of another stimulus (e.g., when the teacher is providing instruction)

When differential reinforcement is used consistently, student behaviors that are reinforced will increase, and student behaviors that are not reinforced will decrease or be eliminated entirely. A teacher who guides a student to engage in a behavior (e.g., joking) only in the presence of a particular stimulus (e.g., with peers during free time) is one who has established stimulus control.



4.4          Group Teaching at various levels pre-primary, primary levels, development and use of         TLM and ICT for ID


While it is important that children experience a variety of classroom organisational frameworks, working collaboratively provides learning opportunities that have particular advantages. Children are stimulated by hearing the ideas and opinions of others, and by having the opportunity to react to them. Collaborative work exposes children to the individual perceptions that others may have of a problem or a situation. These will reflect the different personalities and particular abilities of other members of the group and make for an interactive exchange that will help to broaden and deepen individual children’s understanding. Moreover, the experience of collaborative learning facilitates the child’s social and personal development, and the practice of working with others brings children to an early appreciation of the benefits to be gained from co-operative effort.

Education typically designed for children from 3 years of age to the start of primary school. The educational properties of pre-primary education are characterized by interaction with peers and educators, through which children improve their use of language and social skills, and start to develop logical and reasoning skills. Children are also introduced to alphabetical and mathematical concepts, and encouraged to explore their surrounding world and environment. Supervised gross motor activities (i.e. physical exercise through games and other activities) and play-based activities can be used as learning opportunities to promote social interactions with peers and to develop skills, autonomy and school readiness. 

The Pre-Primary environment includes children ages 3 through 6 years (preschool and kindergarten). 

The three-year cycle is an essential part of education. Children stay in the same room with the same teacher and group of children for 3 years. During the three-year cycle, children experience different roles, responsibilities, and perspectives.

Young children learn by observing and interacting with the older children. Older children gain a true understanding of concepts by teaching it to their younger peers. Each year, children become more independent, leading up to their 3rd year (Kindergarten) where they have the unique opportunity to be community leaders and role models.

Benefits of mixed age grouping:

In an ECCE (Early childhood are and education) centre there may be teachers who struggle with ways to meet the needs of all the learners in their classrooms. Alternately there may be some children who struggle with learning, others who perform well on their developmental tasks, and the rest fit somewhere in between. Each child has its own pace of learning. Within each of these categories of children, individuals also learn in a variety of ways and have different interests. However the curriculum used is most often driven by ‘one size fits all’ approach and with the expectations that all children will achieve the standards by the end of the academic year.

In response to this situation most often ECCE teachers and caregivers would use the concept of ‘differentiation’ to meet the varying needs of their learners. At its most basic level, differentiation consists of the efforts of ECCE teacher/ Caregiver to respond to variance among learners in the classroom. An ECCE Teacher / Caregiver may approach differentiation by (1) content—what the child needs to learn or how the child will get access to the information; (2) process—activities in which the child engages in order to make sense of or master the content; (3) products—culminating projects that enable the child to rehearse, apply, and extend what he or she has learned in a topic; and (4) learning environment—the way the classroom/ ECCE centre works and feels.

There is ample evidence that children are more successful in school and find it more satisfying if they are taught in ways that are responsive to their readiness levels, interests and learning profiles (Tomlinson, 2000). So it may be helpful for children work sometimes with like-readiness peers, sometimes with mixed-readiness groups, sometimes with children who have similar interests, sometimes with children who have different interests, sometimes with peers who learn as they do, sometimes randomly, and often with the class as a whole.

In the above context, Multi-age grouping refers to "a class grouping in which students of different ages and identified age levels are grouped together in a single classroom for the purpose of providing effective instruction" (Miller, 1995, p. 29). The multi-age environment is deliberately created for the benefit of children, not because of economic needs or declining enrolment. The intention is to allow children of various ages and abilities to progress at their own individual pace rather than according to specified objectives for a particular grade level.

Research shows that multi-age groupings benefit both younger and older students in the classroom. In primary classrooms, it is standard practice for children to sit around grouped tables – usually with four to six children in each group. According to Dr. Lilian Katz, "Mixed-age grouping resembles family and neighbourhood groupings, which throughout history have informally provided much of children's socialization and education. The intention of mixed-age grouping in early childhood settings is to increase the heterogeneity of the group so as to capitalize on the differences in the experience, knowledge, and abilities of the children”. Moreover, children learn from each other and from older children- thereby facilitating cooperative learning skills. In rural areas multi-age grouping is more often a pragmatic response to the needs of communities, where it is practical to set up a single Anganwadi/ ECCE centre for a village or settlement. Various reasons such as insufficient students of a similar age, places with limited physical or human resources may seem viable to have a multi-age grouping in the ECCE centres.

The benefits of co-operative learning may be summarised as follows:

1. It helps to raise the achievement of all students

2. It helps to build positive relationships among the students, thus creating a learning community in which diversity is valued

3. It gives students the experiences they need for healthy social, psychological and cognitive development (Johnson, Johnson and Holubec, 1994).

Students at the primary school level are quite impressionable and there is no better time for them to develop the very valuable competences that working in a group has to offer. At the primary school level they are mature enough to have an understanding of what group work requires. Many of the studies conducted were centralized around childhood developments. Students who can successfully work in groups from the primary school level are usually better equipped for when entering higher level learning institutions. They would have learnt to comfortably relate with peers and adults, such as teachers or other authority figures, they would have learnt the value of self-expression and self-explanation, actively listen and respect the views of others. These students realize that as individuals we have different backgrounds, experiences and traditions and as such may have diverging approaches to the same problem. These students will also be better able to differentiate between the need to work collaborative and the need to work competitively and in so doing will know when best to apply the respective approaches.

Both the teachers and the students play a pivotal role in the success of collaborative learning. Teachers are not expected to only assign tasks and sit back while the students work on their own. Teachers must play an active role throughout the process. They must plan for the assignment with clearly structured tasks that will promote collaborative interactions, promote interdependency and stimulate cognitive thinking among students. Teacher must monitor the process providing ongoing feedback and be readily able to resolve conflicts should they arise. Teachers should be able to actively scaffold their students, knowing when their support is needed and that it should gradually be withdraw.

Students in order to successfully achieve their objectives in groups must appreciate the benefits of group work. They must have a clear understanding of the desired objective and the sub-task requirement to successfully achieve the objective. They must be able to actively and reflectively listen to each other and utilize creativity and objectivity to work positively together. In so doing they will learn to foster positive work attitudes with others, thereby improving on their interpersonal skills as they prepare for the work world.




The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) advocates the full and effective inclusion of persons with disabilities in all realms of life. Article 9 stresses that individuals have a right to participate fully in all aspects of life on an equal basis with others, with equal access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) and systems, including the Internet. 

Assistive Technology (AT) is a derivative of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) with the history linked to computer.

As very important as AT to the learners at all levels of education has been, the use of computer and other technologies, as extended to children with Intellectual disabilities, have benefited and enhanced lives and given many children with Intellectual disabilities options of intervening in their various educational and cognitive problems, with available resources to assist both teachers and learners overcome classroom teaching – learning challenges.

To achieve this laudable feat in improving the learning of children with Intellectual disabilities, Allan (2015) identified the principles behind the introduction of this technology into the teaching – learning process. He identified that:

·         Assistive technology can only enhance basic skills, and not replacing them. It should be used as part of the educational process, and can be used to teach basic skills.

·         Assistive technology for children with disabilities is more than an educational tool; it is a fundamental work tool that is comparable to pencil and paper for non-disabled children.

·         Children with disabilities use assistive technology to access and use standard tools, complete educational tasks, and participate on an equal basis with their developing peers in the regular educational environment.

·         The use of assistive technology does not automatically make educational and commercial software/tools accessible or usable.

·         An assistive technology evaluation conducted by a professional, knowledgeable in regular and assistive technology, is needed to determine whether a child requires assistive technology devices and services and should be specified in the children’s instructional plans.

·         Assistive technology evaluation must address the alternative and augmentative communication needs, that is, ability to communicate needs and change the environment for children with disabilities. •

·         To be effective, an assistive technology evaluation should be ongoing process.

It was maintained that sticking to these principles, assistive technology assists to enhance the independence of children with Intellectual disabilities, because oftentimes, these children bank on parents, siblings, friends and teachers for assistance (Raskind, 2000). Relying on others may slow the transition into adulthood, and may also lower self-esteem, as it demands children with Intellectual disabilities to depend on others, rather than themselves, to solve a problem. Assistive technology moreover, provides a way for children with Intellectual disabilities to achieve specific tasks on their own.

As per the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) Act, 1995, Intellectual disabilities means a condition of arrested or incomplete development of mind of a person which is specially characterized by sub normality of intelligence. This condition may occur in the form of borderline Intellectual disabilities, mild Intellectual disabilities, moderate Intellectual disabilities, severe Intellectual disabilities and profound Intellectual disabilities. The assistive devices for the persons with Intellectual disabilities include worksheets, workbooks, picture boards, charts, pencil grip to aid in writing skills, educational toys and games, blocks, models of common objects, letters, numerals etc. and need based special devices for performing activities of daily living (ADLs) and educational materials. The assistive device also may be any item advised by the Rehabilitation Professional or treating physician.



4.5         Various types of Evaluation: Entry level, Formative and Summative, Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) in the Indian educational system


Entry level

Entry-level evaluation analyzes the school preparedness of all new students to ensure they have the best possible chance of success in attaining their academic goals. Evaluation results are used in the placement and advising process to ensure students are enrolled in courses appropriate to their skill level. As students matriculate through their academic programs, their progress is tracked and the information gained is used to evaluate and strengthen programs and services. An important component of entry-level assessment is the provision of student support activities. This requires collaboration between the UAC, General Education Committee (GEC), University Curriculum Committee (UCC), Enrollment Management Committee and Office of Student Affairs. The specific priorities for entry-level assessment are to:

·         Ensure that entering students have basic skills adequate to succeed in school.

·         Improve retention rates of entering students as they matriculate through the system.

·         Provide entering students with experiences that will help them clarify their educational and personal goals.

·         Evaluate the effectiveness of the entry-level assessment/placement process.

·         Provide university-wide student support services, activities, and resources which complement academic programs.

·         Strengthen the delivery of student services to improve access, placement, and advisement through integration of assessment and activities with emphasis on at-risk students.

·         Produce useable centralized, qualitative and quantitative information for use in institutional decision making.


Formative and Summative

Formative Evaluation:

1. Formative evaluation is used during the teaching learning process to monitor the learning process.

2. Formative evaluation is developmental in nature. The aim of this evaluation is to improve student’s learning and teacher’s teaching.

3. Generally teacher made tests are used for this purpose.

4. The test items are prepared for limited content area.

5. It helps to know to what extent the instructional objectives has been achieved.

6. It provides feed-back to the teacher to modify the methods and to prescribe remedial works.

7. Only few skills can be tested in this evaluation.

8. It is a continuous and regular process.

9. It considers evaluation as a process.

10. It answers to the question, whether the progress of the pupils in a unit is successful?

Summative Evaluation:

Summative evaluation is used after the course completion to assign the grades.

2. Summative evaluation is terminal in nature. Its purpose is to evaluate student’s achievement.

3. Generally standardized tests are used for the purpose.

4. The tests items are prepared from the whole content area.

5. It helps to judge the appropriateness of the instructional objectives.

6. It helps the teacher to know the effectiveness of the instructional procedure.

7. Large number of skills can be tested in this evaluation.

8. It is not regular and continuous process.

9. It considers evaluation as a product.

10. It answers to the question, the degree to which the students have mastered the course content.


Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE)

Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) was a procedure of assessment, directed by the Right to Education Act, of India in 2009. This assessment proposal was introduced by state governments in India, as well as by the Central Board of Secondary Education in India, for students of sixth to tenth class and twelfth in some schools.

CCE pattern includes formative and summative assessments to keep a check on the student’s overall development. Be it digital schooling or physical school structure, without this periodic and wholesome assessment process, a teacher cannot deliver constructive feedback to the students. So, the continuous and comprehensive evaluation process highlights the strengths and addresses the pain areas of a student for constructive remedial action. 

Aim of Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE)

Features of Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE)

Aspects of Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE):

The assessments of the performance include both scholastic and co-scholastic activities. Curricular and core subjects-related areas are included within scholastic activities whereas life skills, attitudes, and values are included within co-scholastic activities.

A) Scholastic Assessment

Scholastic areas comprise all the activities that are related to various subjects within the academic curricular; the educator aims to align the cognitive domain objectives along with different subjects.

To get a better understanding of this they can refer to Bloom’s Taxonomy which is a framework to classify learning objectives.

The educators must ensure that the students participate in various activities in all the subject areas; in case the student falters anywhere the teacher should guide him/her accordingly. The learning objectives can only be achieved through online assessment and active engagement from the students combined with productive feedback and guidance from the teachers; this is where the importance of continuous and comprehensive evaluation lies.

B) Co-Scholastic Assessment

It has been a long and repetitive practice of most schools to focus more on the scholastic activities while ignoring the co-scholastic activities. With major educational reforms introduced over the years, schools and colleges alike have emphasized co-curricular activities. These activities include:

Life Skills

The essential abilities that enable an individual to deal with any given situation tactfully and effectively are called life skills. In other words, these are psycho-social and interpersonal skills that help people to make decisions, make appropriate judgments, come up with innovative and creative solutions to a problem and enhance one’s productivity.

UNICEF, UNESCO, and WHO have enlisted ten core life skills that are instrumental in dealing with daily challenges and overcoming difficulties. The core skills are as follows:

How To Assess Life Skills?


One of the most assured ways to identify a student’s outlook and state of mind is through his/her behavior and attitude in the classroom. The teachers must focus on the student’s development of healthy behavior and attitude towards their teachers, peers, classmates, programs of the school, and the whole school environment. The institutes can make use of student tracking system to get complete track record of student’s behavior in institute.

How To Assess The Students’ Attitude?

Various techniques which can be utilized effectively to assess the student’s behavior are as follows:

Co-Curricular Activities

The growing concern for the holistic development of students has urged the schools to put equal emphasis on co-curricular activities which include various recreational games and sports. It has been discovered that sports and any other activities contribute to beneficial physical development, character education, and social skills.

Some of the noteworthy co-curricular activities include :

Functions of Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE)

Key Benefits of Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE)

1. A very common occurrence among students is that they get extremely stressed out due to exams; some even stay up all night just to revise that one chapter in which he/she has a problem. CCE is a useful tool that can be used to reduce the anxiety or fear which clouds their minds whenever the exams approach nearer.

2. The CCE evaluates the learning needs and abilities of students. With CCE, students can constantly test their abilities and put their best foot forward. The CCE allows teachers and students to identify the areas where students need more help.

3. CCE helps teachers to systematize their strategies for effective teaching. Continual evaluation allows the teacher to detect weaknesses and identify certain students' learning styles. By identifying a student's learning difficulties on a regular basis, it helps in improving student performance.

4. CCE is child-centric and treats each student as an individual. It aims to build on the unique abilities, strengths, and development of each child. 

5. Continuous and comprehensive assessment which is a crucial part of this evaluation structure helps to assess the progress of the students.

6. The CCE provides teachers with various assessment activities that allow them to diagnose students' defects. When a teacher gives feedback of assessment activities, he/she helps students identify problem areas and provides feedback and support to help them improve their performance.