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Need to pitch content and learning material to context and potential of differently abled children: Focus Group
A focus group consisting of three observers visited a classroom of differently abled children which consisted of nine children ranging from 10 to 14 years diagnosed with delayed milestones (Slow learner, Down syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder). A 30-minute discussion was held after the observation concluded that individualised education plans were not being followed by the teacher.

"The uniform and similar methodology was being followed on the basis of content from a textbook which seemed frustrating experience for children with special needs. Even the tone of the teacher was harsh. No instance of adaptive learning was visible in the small class of 9 students being looked after by a special educator and one volunteer", said one observer.

There is a need for proper training and institution-based support system through review and accommodation of needs of each child. "I would like to suggest that there should be annual capacity building of special educators based on their classroom observations to learn new techniques and prepare relevant learning material along with individualised milestone charts of children," proposed the second observer.

In fact, for children with special needs, the classroom environment should be filled with the teacher and child-made material which should keep on changing as the children progress. Both, communication and professional skills of the special educators should be upgraded through a pedagogy and research unit.

Both proper education and training of special educators should be stressed and their in-service training should be institution-based and on-going so that children with special needs get individualised and differentiated classroom instruction.

Keeping in view, the ethical aspect of the rapid assessment study and ethics of research, the names of the focus group members and observed teacher have been kept confidential. However, the recommendation of training and capacity building of special educators was well taken by the concerned teacher.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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