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Universal Design and Differentiated Instruction for students with Special Needs Essay (Article)

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Updated: Nov 25th, 2019

Purpose

The purpose of this review is determining how students with special needs have developed academically as well as establishing co-teachers’ level of skills. Differentiated instruction is a teaching theory that is applied in relation to the personal and various students’ technicalities.

This is aimed at giving students a number of choices and information to add up their thoughts. This mode of teaching necessitates co-teachers to be flexible in their presentations and vary their teaching according to students’ expectations (Scruggs, Mastropieri, & McDuffie, 2007, pp. 400-416).

The increased number of special cases has called for teachers and teacher educators to greatly value differentiated instruction as a more assisting tool to help special students succeed. This article analyses the basis behind Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and Differentiated Instruction for students with special needs. This is prompted by the desire for a more flexible design of program to decrease barriers to students’ access to materials as well as learning environment (Smith, Robb, West, & Tyler 2010, pp. 25-35).

Differentiated training is a system of finding out the various student potentials. This is aimed at maximizing growth and success of individual students based on their background, preparedness, language as well as preference. The aim of differentiated instruction is to inculcate skills to co-teachers to positively impact learning to a range of students in various situations.

Students with disabilities require different handling to achieve the required excellence effectively (Smith et al., 2010, p. 35-43). For this to be achieved, co-teachers require special skills such as adequate time planning, voluntary contribution, respectfulness, broad teaching stance, managerial support as well as instructional values and performance.

Design

To enhance education for students with disabilities, Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) requires that co-teachers should be trained on differentiated instructions. This is aimed at ensuring that students with disabilities receive instructions they deserve as well as achieve their full potential (Fernsten, 2012, pp. 147-149). Special skills and knowledge are essential in the achievement of the goal of educating students with special needs.

No Child Left Behind and IDEI Act aim at the provision of general education curriculum and programs to students with special needs in the least restraining environment. This has necessitated provision of exceptional work to cater for appropriate accommodations and modifications in the general education classroom. The special education teacher should provide more instructions to special students in order to help them understand and comprehend the logic (Smith et al., 2010, p. 35).

To accommodate the needy student, teachers may provide short-term assistance or redirect tasks to prompt attention. For instance, an instructor may stand at a mailbox to ensure each student put their folder in the right slot or move about the classroom picking littered materials.

Research has stressed on the importance of instructor training, content mastery, small class presentation as well as increased interest in order to overcome co-teaching challenges. To improve on co-teachers’ services, they need to be flexible, increase model usage, vary instructional patterns, communicate actively as well as seek more training(Smith et al., 2010, p. 35).

For successful co-teaching, administrative support as well collaboration with general teachers has to be effective. Study has linked teacher collaboration to amplified confidence, which can result to more testing, risk-taking as well as constant improvement.

Conclusion

Co-teaching is helpful to general as well as special education students socially and academically (Fernsten, 2012, pp. 148-150). Recommendations such as time management, student appreciation as well as good relations of co-teachers will result to their development.

The special education teacher plays a vital role in a co-taught classroom hence collaboration is of great essence. The general teacher usually employs the whole class whereas the co-teacher assists students requiring special attention.

There has been contentment to teachers, administrators as well as students from the practice of co-teaching. Study shows that great improvement to education of students with special needs has resulted from the skills that co-teachers learn in addition volunteerism (Scruggs et al., 2007, pp. 400-416).

Critique

Classroom instructional practices have not been altered considerably in reaction to co-teaching. They have been generally upheld as whole class, impelling the special education co-teachers to try and fit within this model to support the needy students. To co-teach effectively and efficiently, a number of recommendations have been made: study skills training, managerial skills training, peer mediation, strategy instruction, self-monitoring and advocacy skills.

Consequently, the model of co-teaching is actually being utilized less effectively than it should in reality be (Smith et al., 2010, p. 35). A good relation involving the co-teacher and the general educator requires full respect as well as understanding. Genuine collaboration must be natural, voluntary, impulsive as well as development tailored.

The dominance of general education teacher is brought about by class ownership, content base and large number of general students; not expertise or experience. This inclines the special education teacher to offering assistance in the context of the existing classroom, mediating a high level of content knowledge for acceptance (Scruggs et al., 2007, p. 400).

Hence, educators should understand the co-teaching setting to implement the least restrictive learning environment for students with special needs effectively. Although sometimes it is difficult to implement, digital media may help teachers to realize UDL.

References

Fernsten, L. A. (2012). Promoting Student Comprehension with Cooperative Learning. Social Education, 76(3), 147-150.

Scruggs, T. E., Mastropieri, M. A., & McDuffie, K. A. (2007). Co-teaching in inclusive classrooms: A metasynthesis of qualitative research. Exceptional Children, 73(4), 392-416.

Smith, D. D., Robb, S. M., West, J., & Tyler, N. C. (2010). The changing education landscape: How special education leadership preparation can make a difference for teachers and their students with disabilities. Teacher Education and Special Education: The Journal of the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children, 33(1), 25-43.

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IvyPanda. (2019, November 25). Universal Design and Differentiated Instruction for students with Special Needs. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/universal-design-and-differentiated-instruction-for-students-with-special-needs/

Work Cited

"Universal Design and Differentiated Instruction for students with Special Needs." IvyPanda, 25 Nov. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/universal-design-and-differentiated-instruction-for-students-with-special-needs/.

1. IvyPanda. "Universal Design and Differentiated Instruction for students with Special Needs." November 25, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/universal-design-and-differentiated-instruction-for-students-with-special-needs/.


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IvyPanda. "Universal Design and Differentiated Instruction for students with Special Needs." November 25, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/universal-design-and-differentiated-instruction-for-students-with-special-needs/.

References

IvyPanda. 2019. "Universal Design and Differentiated Instruction for students with Special Needs." November 25, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/universal-design-and-differentiated-instruction-for-students-with-special-needs/.

References

IvyPanda. (2019) 'Universal Design and Differentiated Instruction for students with Special Needs'. 25 November.

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