Unit III: Including Children with Disabilities in Education

3.1. Edgar Dale’s Model of Services

3.2 Identifying special needs of children with disabilities

3.3 Curriculum Adaptations, Use of Technology, TLM and Educational Aids

3.4 Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation in Disabilities

3.5 Developing and organizing resource room in regular/inclusive schools








3.1. Edgar Dale’s Model of Services

Dale’s Cone of Experience is a model that incorporates several theories related to instructional design and learning processes. During the 1960s, Edgar Dale theorized that learners retain more information by what they “do” as opposed to what is “heard”, “read” or “observed”. His research led to the development of the Cone of Experience. Today, this “learning by doing” has become known as “experiential learning” or “action learning”.

According to Dale’s research, the least effective method at the top, involves learning from information presented through verbal symbols, i.e., listening to spoken words. The most effective methods at the bottom, involves direct, purposeful learning experiences, such as hands-on or field experience. Direct purposeful experiences represents reality or the closet things to real, everyday life.

The cone charts the average retention rate for various methods of teaching. The further you progress down the cone, the greater the learning and the more information is likely to be retained. It also suggests that when choosing an instructional method it is important to remember that involving students in the process strengthens knowledge retention.

It reveals that “action-learning” techniques result in up to 90% retention. People learn best when they use perceptual learning styles. Perceptual learning styles are sensory based. The more sensory channels possible in interacting with a resource, the better chance that many students can learn from it. According to Dale, instructors should design instructional activities that build upon more real-life experiences.

Dales’ cone of experience is a tool to help instructors make decisions about resources and activities. The instructor can ask the following:

       Where will the student’s experience with this instructional resource fit on the cone? How far is it removed from real-life?

       What kind of learning experience do you want to provide in the classroom?

       How does this instructional resource augment the information supplied by the textbook?

       What and how many senses can students use to learn this instructional material?

       Does the instructional material enhance learning?

3.2 Identifying special needs of children with disabilities

Common special needs include difficulties in learning communication challenges, emotional and behavioral disabilities, physical disorders as well as developmental inabilities. Children with such needs are called children with special needs.

The Special Education system has been for children with special needs in a way that it addresses every student’s individual differences and difficulties. Ideally, this is the process that involves individually planned and carefully supervised methods of teaching procedures, modified equipment, instruments and materials adapted for the purpose. It also contains accessible settings, and other arrangements designed to help children with special needs achieve a higher level of personal self-sufficiency and success in school and community and the society as a whole than would be available if he/she were only given access to a typical classroom education in the common public education system.

Children with special needs of this kind are likely to benefit from supplementary educational services, separate methods of teaching, access to a resource room and use of technology which is specially made to suit their requirements. Intellectual giftedness is also termed as a difference in learning; children having this are also called children with special needs. They can also benefit from specialized teaching techniques or singular educational programs, but the term “special education” is generally used to specifically indicate instructions given to pupils whose special needs reduce their ability to learn independently or in a classroom.

Where a pupil is identified as having a special educational need we follow an approach which takes the form of cycles of “AssessPlanDoReview”.

This means that we will: 

As part of this approach every child with SEN will have an individualised SEN Support Plan/IEP that describes the child’s needs, outcomes & provision to meet those needs.  Parents and child views are integral to the this process.

3.3 Curriculum Adaptations, Use of Technology, TLM and Educational Aids

Adaptations are changes permissible in environments which allow the student equal opportunity to obtain access, results, benefits, and levels of achievement. These adaptations consist of both accommodations and modifications.

Adaptation fall under four major categories:

Content: What the student needs to learn. The instructional concepts should be broad based, and all students should be given access to the same core content. However, the content’s complexity should be adapted to students’ learner profiles. Teachers can vary the presentation of content, (e.g., textbooks, lecture, demonstrations, taped texts) to best meet students’ needs.

Process: Activities in which the student engages to make sense of or master the content. Examples of differentiating process activities include scaffolding, flexible grouping, interest centers, manipulatives, varying the length of time for a student to master content, and encouraging an advanced learner to pursue a topic in greater depth.

Products: The culminating projects that ask students to apply and extend what they have learned. Products should provide students with different ways to demonstrate their knowledge as well as various levels of difficulty, group or individual work, and various means of scoring.

Learning Environment: The way the classroom works and feels. The differentiated classroom should include areas in which students can work quietly as well as collaborate with others, materials that reflect diverse cultures, and routines that allow students to get help when the teacher isn’t available.

Accommodations are changes in course content, teaching strategies, standards, test presentation, location, timing, scheduling, expectations, student responses, environmental structuring, and/or other attributes which provide access for a student with a disability to participate in a course/standard/test, which DO NOT fundamentally alter or lower the standard or expectations of the course/standard/test.

Modifications are changes in course content, teaching strategies, standards, test presentation, location, timing, scheduling, expectations, student responses, environmental structuring, and/or other attributes which provide access for a student with a disability to participate in a course/standard/test, which DO fundamentally alter or lower the standard or expectations of the course/standard/test.

If your child’s disability is preventing him or her from accessing grade level content then your child may need accommodations and/or modifications written into his or her Individualized Education Plan (IEP). The accommodations or modifications your child receives will depend on your child’s age, disability, classroom placement, and whether your child has an IEP. The accommodations and/or modifications that your child receives on state assessments will be slightly different from the ones your child receives in the classroom.

There are nine basic types of curriculum adaptations. They are listed below along with examples.(**Modification and *Accommodation)

1. **Quantity-Adapt the number of items to learn or the number of activities to complete:

·        Reduce or limit the use of scan sheets for test answers;

·        Reduce the number of items for assigned tasks;

·        Reduce the amount of copying;

·        Reduce the number of problems;

·        Reduce the number of concepts and expectations introduced at any given time;

·        Reduce the number of terms the student must learn at one time;

·        Reduce length of assignments;

·        Have student learn 2-3 concepts from each chapter.

2. *Time-Adapt the time allotted and allowed for learning, task completion, or testing:

·        Create a timeline for completing a task;

·        Allow student to take assignment home;

·        Allow extra time in class to complete assignments;

·        Review frequently;

·        Allow additional time to complete tests;

·        Give short breaks.

3. *Level of support-Increase the amount of personal assistance to keep the student on task or to reinforce or prompt use of specific skills.

·        Peer buddies;

·        Check for comprehension;

·        Read tests aloud;

·        Use groups to write together;

·        Peer tutor.

·        Starting a computer for a student;

·        Guiding a hand during handwriting;

 4. *Input- Adapt the way instruction is delivered to the learner:

·        Cooperative groups;

·        Visual aides;

·        Concrete examples;

·        Hands-on activities.

5. **Difficulty-Adapt the skill level, problem type, or the rules on how the student may approach the work:

·        Calculator for Math problems;

·        Simplify task directions;

·        Outline with blanks;

·        Word banks;

·        Provide page number and paragraph to help student find answers;

·        Number the handouts for reference during lecture;

·        Supply a study guide with key concepts and vocabulary in advance;

·        Give alternate test; 9. Vary format of tests;

·        Grading spelling separately from content;

·        Open book tests;

·        Change rules to accommodate learner’s needs;

·        Use high interest/low-level books to motivate students to read;

6. *Output- Adapt how the student can respond to instruction:

·        Verbal vs. written response;

·        Communication book;

·        Allow students to show knowledge with hands-on material.

7. *Participation-Adapt the extent to which a learner is actively involved in the task:

·        Have student turn pages on book that the teacher is reading;

·        Hold globe in geography;

·        Listen to a taped story while others are engaged in reading aloud;

·        Color map while other students label the map;

·        Find related pictures in magazines of concepts presented while other use resource material to research information;

·        Some learners will discuss concepts while others use selected computer programs for reinforcement;

8. ***Alternate Goals- Adapt the goals or outcome expectations while using the same materials. This is only for students with moderate to severe disabilities.

·        In a social studies lesson, except a student to be able to locate the colors of the states on a map, while other students learn to locate each state and name the capital.

9. ***Substitute Curriculum (Functional Curriculum)- Provide different instruction and materials to meet a learner’s individual goals. This is only for students with moderate to severe disabilities.

·        During a language lesson a student is learning toileting skills with an aide.

·        Community-based instruction;

·        Learning how to use a communication device;

·        Learning how to do laundry;

·        Learning cooking/grooming skills

Use of technology in inclusive education

Classroom teachers support students with diverse abilities and needs, cultural backgrounds, experiences and learning styles. As teachers, we are required to make use of strategies and resources that engage, motivate and encourage active participation and learning by all students.

Students with learning difficulties can be defined as students who experience particular difficulties in achieving at school that are not due to a disability or impairment.

Inclusive learning technologies can be described as those technologies, whether software or hardware, that help students learn strategies to bypass, work around or compensate for their difficulties. Many of these technologies incorporate Universal Design features which focus on providing learning resources that accommodate for learner differences. A comprehensive source of information on topics relating to Universal Design for Learning and Technology can be found by going at the website for the Centre for Applied Special Technology

3.4 Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation in Disabilities

Evaluation (Mulyankan): This involves making a value judgment on a performance since they are graded or scored. They are summative in nature .and are considered as actual measure of level of quality at the time of evaluation.

As per NCF 2005, CCE is frequently cited as the only meaningful kind of evaluation. CCE requires careful thinking about when it can effectively be employed in a system. Such evaluation places a lot of demand on the teachers’ time and ability to maintain meticulous records for meaningful execution and reliability as an assessment tool. If this simply increases stress on the children by reducing all activities into subjects of assessment, or aids to make them experience the teacher’s ‘power’, then it defeats the very purpose of education.

CCE, as the term suggests should be continuous and on-going. These are not formal tests; rather they should be planned to help assess the student’s on-going progress towards the teaching-learning goals. Planning and designing the evaluation should thus be an essential component of teaching. An advantage of CCE, if planned appropriately, is that it helps to check for student’s learning, allowing the teacher to intervene as needed and offer guidance, if necessary. Evaluations are helpful to understand how the student is learning, to what extent and whether the teaching and curriculum goals are reaching the students.

Continuous: The term refers to evaluation that is ongoing, formative in nature and not conducted only at the end of a teaching-learning unit. The CCE Primary Package (NCERT) explains that evaluating students during teaching-learning process “gives clues about children, which the teacher can act upon timely to enhance learning, especially where children are facing difficulties and special help is needed … [it] does not require the use of structured tests which are given to all children at the same time. In this process, they may not even know that they are being assessed. Thus continuous should not mean more frequent formal tests.”

Comprehensive evaluation refers to understanding the student’s learning ‘holistically’ i.e., to assess the student’s learning progress through all aspects of growth and development - social, emotional, physical (including gross motor and fine motor), moral, cognitive aspects.

Collecting comprehensive, holistic information about the student’s progress will help get an understanding on “how the child works in groups, does paper-pencil test, draws pictures, reads pictures, expresses orally, composes a poem/song, etc.” (CCE Primary Package, NCERT). Observing and understanding the student’s performance across multiple dimensions of development will help in evaluating the child comprehensively rather than focus only on cognitive or intellectual functioning. This allows you to evaluate the student’s express learning, talents and growth in different dimensions, tapping onto some of the strengths that a student may possess which traditional or formal tests would not be able to draw out, for example, athletic abilities, social skills, artistic and/or fine motor activities, abilities such as drawing, painting, singing or dancing.

CCE in Inclusive Classrooms

CCE can be incorporated in the inclusive classroom while engaging teaching through a variety of activities including the suggestions presented in the previous sections. Incorporating strategies for attending to diverse needs in classrooms would be particularly useful in developing CCE processes for the classroom. NCERT’s CCE guidelines, in its publication for primary classrooms, offers indicators of assessment as follows; however, any of the approaches explained earlier, or a combination can be utilised to develop a plan for the CCE in an inclusive classroom:

1. Observation and Recording: Reporting, narrating and drawing, picture reading, making pictures, tables and maps;

2. Discussion: Listening, talking, expressing opinions, finding out from others;

3. Expression: Drawing, body movements, creative writing, sculpting, etc.;

4. Explanation: Reasoning, making logical connections;

5. Classification: Categorising, grouping, contrasting and comparing;

6. Questioning: Expressing curiosity, critical thinking, developing questions;

7. Analysis: Predicting, making hypotheses and inferences;

8. Experimentation: Improvising, making things and doing experiments;

9. Concern for Justice and Equality: Sensitivity towards the disadvantaged or differently-abled, showing concern for environment; and

10. Cooperation.

3.5 Developing and organizing resource room in regular/inclusive schools

Resource room is a separate setting, either a classroom or a smaller designated room, where a special education program can be delivered to a student with a disability, individually or in a small group. Resource rooms are used in a variety of ways ranging from instruction, homework assistance, meetings, or representing students' alternative social space.

Purpose of Resource Room

Resource room is both for students who qualify for special education services or for general education students who need some special instruction in an individualized or small group setting for a portion of the day. Individual needs are supported in resource rooms as defined by the student's Individual Education Plan (IEP).

Students come or are pulled to the resource room for a variety of reasons. Most commonly, they come there to access the educational materials in a manner that better suits their learning styles and capabilities.

Sometimes, the regular classroom can be noisy and full of distractions, and the students come to the resource room to be better able to focus and take in the material, especially when new information is being introduced.

At other times, the material taught in the general education classroom is above the student's level and the resource room serves as a more serene place where the student can go over the material at a slower pace.

The resource room has almost always a maximum ratio of five students to one teacher, and students often find themselves working with a teacher or a paraprofessional one on one. This heightened attention helps students focus better, be more engaged, and understand the material more easily.

Other Uses of Resource Rooms

Very often, students also come to the resource room to be assessed and tested, whether for their special needs or any other academic exams, as the resource room provides a less distracting environment and thus a better chance at success. Regarding special needs testing, to determine special education eligibility, a child is re-evaluated every three years, and in most cases, the reevaluation happens in the resource room.

Many resource rooms also support the social needs of their students, as the small group setting is less threatening, and students who sometimes fall on the outskirts of the general education classes are more willing to step out of their comfort zones and make friends.

The resource room also more readily provides opportunities for behavior interventions, and teachers frequently coach students on their social skills, often by helping them take on leadership responsibilities, such as helping another student learn.

Very often, the resource room also serves as a meeting place for IEP evaluations. Teachers, paraprofessionals, parents, students, and any legal representatives typically spend well over 30 minutes discussing the specificities of the student's IEP, reporting on how the student is currently doing in all aspects outlined in the plan, and then revise any sections as needed.