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Can we make the special ordinary? Personalising the education of pupils with SEN…. and everyone else Nick Peacey.

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Presentation on theme: "Can we make the special ordinary? Personalising the education of pupils with SEN…. and everyone else Nick Peacey."— Presentation transcript:

1 Can we make the special ordinary? Personalising the education of pupils with SEN…. and everyone else Nick Peacey

2 What is personalisation? ‘The key to tackling the persistent achievement gaps between different social and ethnic groups. It means a tailored education for every child and young person, that gives them strength in the basics, stretches their aspirations, and builds their life chances.’ (Department for Education and Skills, London, 2005).

3 What is personalisation? Personalisation implies that schools should have systems in which the needs of all pupils are understood and their learning planned accordingly It does not mean that every child needs an individualised curriculum, but rather that schools need to cater for the range of aptitudes, interests and abilities of all their pupils

4 We have set up our systems as if pupils with SEN need special pedagogies curricula groups plans (IEPs) Do they?

5 Does the pupil with SEN need a special pedagogy? Most of what is seen as special pedagogy is : -the provision of some sort of support or assistive technology -emphasised or ‘intensified’ ordinary good teaching Davis & Florian 2004, Norwich and Lewis 2007

6 Does the special needs pupil need a special pedagogy? Norwich and Lewis (2007) report that only pupils with autism spectrum condition and ADHD were seen as requiring a pedagogy that is specific to their group needs ‘the more important agenda is how to develop a pedagogy that is inclusive to all learners’ Davis and Florian 2004

7 Does the pupil with SEN need a special curriculum? Often such curricula are seen as inferior Is it not better to work for a flexible curriculum designed to value many areas and forms of learning? Then we can mould the curriculum to meet all learners’ needs….

8 Does the pupil with SEN need a special group? Let me get this straight: we are going to catch up with the rest of the class by going slower than everyone else. Bart Simpson

9 Pupil grouping Effective teachers seem to use a mixed economy ‘Low ability groups are unlikely to be successful as there is nowhere for new ideas to come from.’ esearch.htm esearch.htm

10 Another form of special group? What does research tell us about teaching assistants? Other adults like having them around Pupils sometimes like having them around Pupils with them attain less well than similar pupils without them(eg Ofsted 2006)

11 Does the pupil with SEN need a special plan? Often the special plan (individual education plan) ends up on a shelf Many teachers never use them to plan

12 Does the pupil with SEN need a special plan? Some schools have individual target and review systems for all pupils so ‘special’ individual plans are not needed

13 How can we take personalisation forward? We can learn lessons for all from: our knowledge of communication difficulties improving environments for pupils with SEN specialist teachers, psychologists,therapists pupils with SEN and/or disabilities

14 A diversion- it is worth getting communication right 50-70% of all pupils identified as having social, emotional and behavioural difficulties have identifiable (but not always identified) speech, language and communication impairments (eg.Benner 2002)

15 A dynamic process: the incorporation of strategies and approaches A strategy or approach starts by being used with a few It is adopted more widely It is recognised as useful for all

16 Lessons from advice on SEN How often do we ask educational psychologists, therapists and specialist support staff to advise on individuals in schools? How often do we take their advice-and they can be rare and expensive resources- and use it to improve learning for all?

17 Visual timetables Visual timetables are often advised for pupils with autism In fact, they benefit all pupils

18 Symbols are recommended for pupils with communication difficulties Why not use them to support learning for all?

19 Tema 4 Los nutrientes del bosque

20 Classrooms for communication We know from research that teachers still talk through 60-75% of most lessons Classrooms need to be good listening spaces Research has demonstrated how poor acoustics damages the attainment of all, particularly pupils with SEN (Shield and Dockrell 2002) English building regulations for schools have been tightened - all new classrooms should have good acoustics and all will benefit

21 Lessons from pupils with disabilities Eleni Burgess, 14 year old wheelchair user, surveyed another 80 wheelchair users just leaving the English education system She produced a booklet of ideas which has been used all over England: 1000 copies were sold within a week of publication

22 Do ideas of ‘special’ needs prevent us seeing other student characteristics, such as pupils’ philosophies of learning? Carol Dweck studied why some girls who succeeded in primary school failed in secondary school. She found that those who succeeded in both phases believed if they tried hard enough they could learn But girls who succeeded in primary but failed in secondary attributed any success to being clever, not hard work. So when they failed, they decided they were not clever. They also had a reason for failure: learning success was not in their nature! Do we discuss these things with pupils?

23 Some conclusions Much that we have thought special for the few will benefit many Minorities benefit from most things that benefit everyone else

24 Personalisation is a challenge to the temptation to put pupils in separate boxes We do not like adults being segregated in our societies In our schools, by working towards personalisation, we take de-segregation- inclusion-forward It will not be easy, but the benefits for all will be great


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