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Understanding pedadgogy for SEND

Are pedagogic responses to SEND specialised or not?

Georgina Spry

on 18 January 2018

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Transcript of Understanding pedadgogy for SEND

Unique Differences Position
YES there may be a special pedagogy
and there may be identifiably different types of learners but this is not a reliable basis for planning. The individual learner profile is what counts

If we took up this position we would foreground the category to which a pupil belongs (e.g. dyslexia). We would being our planning with the question 'what do dyslexic learners need?'

We might still draw on our knowledge of what we know about what all learners need and what the individuals need.

However, when taking the general differences position, the category is in the foreground so we tend to think 'Right, so this learner has dyslexia, what special teaching approaches work for dyslexic learners?'
We start with what is known about effective teaching for dyslexia.

When deciding how to teach a learners with the label of SEND there are three possible starting points.
Each starting point reflects a different view about whether specific learning difficulties lead to specific teaching approaches.
1. Start with what we know the
need (e.g. the group of children belonging to the category 'dyslexia') and plan our teaching from there.

2. Start with what we know
'all learners'
need and plan our teaching from there.

3. Start with what we know the
individual learner
needs and plan our teaching from there.
When operating from this position we might take the following stance:

Learners have common needs and individual needs. In choosing how to make a response we must combine what we know about how children learn (and what pedagogic approaches are most effective) with our knowledge of the individual child.

Hence, the 'category' (such as dyslexia) is less relevant and must only be considered in the context of best practice for
this child
and best practice for
children. Knowing the child is part of a group with the label of 'dyslexia' for example cannot help us decide how to teach or what to do. (though it might be an orienting concept).
If we adopt the UNIQUE differences position we start planning by asking 'what works for this individual and what does this individual need?

Though our knowledge of what works for all learners and what works for learners in this particular category is still useful and important, these are in the background when we are starting to plan

The following book takes a 'traditional category' in turn and explores:

How clear and useful particular categories of 'SEND' actually are in terms of boundedness and in helping us decide what to teach
What debates about best responses exist in relation to this category
Whether pedagogic responses are specialised nor not
Whether this category should be approached from a unique differences position or a general differences position.
General Differences Position
YES there is a special and specific pedagogy for identifiably different types of learner.

Is there a special pedagogy for SEND?
Does special education mean special pedagogy?
For example:
ASD = Special Teaching Approach A
Dyslexia = Special Teaching Approach B
With A and B looking very different from what usually takes place in classrooms and A and B looking very different from each other?
What works for ALL children?
What works for this particular individual?
What works for DYSLEXIA?
What works for dyslexia?
WHAT works for ALL children?
What works for this individual?
Lewis, A. and Norwich, B. (2005) Special Teaching for Special Children. London: Sage
In your assignments you must be sure to show that you know about the lack of clarity or controversies associated with 'SEND' and this presentation explored the debate about whether pedagogies for SEND are specialised or not.

Take nothing for granted - nothing in this field is as certain as it seems.
Lewis and Norwich suggest that it might be best to think about most pedagogic responses to most SENDs in the following way
At this end of the continuum
teaching is:
More intense
More repetitive
More multi-modal
In smaller steps
BASICALLY, there is more of it
At this end of the continuum, teaching is:
Less intensive
Less repetitive
In bigger steps
More independent
BASICALLY, there is less of it
IN this way, the pedagogic differences are QUANTITATIVE rather than QUALITATIVE
The teaching is basically the same but is just different in amount, time, pace, support.
We know how problematic it can be to 'fix' a condition on a person from our study of history and models of SEND. We must always be open minded, hopeful and flexible in the way we think about SEND
Consider your stance.

If you were working with a child with Dyspraxia (called Daniel), what do you think is the most important thing to be have expert knowledge about:
(1) It is most important to have an expert knowledge of Dyspraxia and its characteristics, treatments and special responses
(2) It is most important to have an expert knowledge of Daniel as an individual learner and his likes, dislikes, learning styles, family, friends, hobbies, strengths and difficulties
(3) It is most important to have an expert knowledge of how children learn and how best to help them learn.
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