Differentiation: Using Teaching Strategies That Facilitate Learning in the Inclusive Classroom

Differentiation: Using Teaching Strategies That Facilitate Learning in the Inclusive Classroom

Dorothy A. Sisk
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5727-2.ch003
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The purpose of this chapter is to explore ways teachers can differentiate the curriculum, activities, and materials to help ensure successful learning for students with special needs in the regular classroom. General teaching strategies, academic modification, socialization strategies, and what teachers can do to help students with special needs will be discussed. Students with special needs include students with autism spectrum disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, intellectual disabilities, hearing impaired or deaf, vision impaired, gifted, communication, language and speech disorders, health impaired and physical disabilities, and emotional and behavioral disorders.
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Main Focus Of The Chapter

The main focus of the chapter is to demonstrate that students with special needs can be educated in the regular classroom with other non-exceptional students, rather than providing for their needs in separate classrooms.

Issues, Controversy, Problems

Even today there are controversies concerning the educators of special needs students. Some educators are not convinced that the student with special needs can be taught in the regular classroom without negative effects on the non-exceptional students. One issue is the concern of educators that meeting the needs of exceptional students take excessive teaching time from the entire class. In addition, there is concern that the regular classroom teacher may not have the knowledge or skills to meet the needs of special education students in the regular classroom.



Inclusive education is largely about a commitment toward educating students with special needs alongside their same-age peers with varying abilities in a general education classroom. The objective of the chapter are will explore ways teachers can develop knowledge and understanding of how differentiation can ensure students with special needs have access to appropriate curriculum, activities and materials to become successful learners. We will emphasize the importance of technology in the 21st century classroom to afford students opportunities to keep up with our changing world. Technology provides accessibility to the curriculum, and can include a computer, iPad, audio/visual equipment or assistive devices and educational software. Most students with special needs benefit from a “hands-on” approach to help them to fully understand lessons. In addition, manipulative are important tools that can assist special needs students in demonstrating their knowledge and developing deeper levels of understanding.

The first exceptionality the chapter will focus upon is the student with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Symptoms of ASD vary in severity, and that is why it is called a “spectrum.” It includes students with Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Asperger Syndrome, Rett Disorder and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder. Intelligence quotients of these students vary from severe intellectual delay to gifted, and all five sub-categories have impairment in social, communication, and behavioral skills.

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