Accommodating Learners with Specific Learning Difficulties in Educational Settings: Problems and Solutions

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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs) such as dyslexia and ADHD are very common: it is estimated that 10% of the world population has some kind of learning difficulty. Due to the challenges learners with SpLDs face in the teaching-learning process, such learners may not achieve the expected educational goals. Therefore, it is important to make necessary changes in the teaching-learning process to accommodate those learners. For this, education systems should recognise the importance of inclusive practices at policy level and teacher educators and teachers should have thorough understanding of inclusive practices. However, teachers’ lack of knowledge on SpLDs, lack of teacher training programmes which address the issue and lack of sustainable policy on inclusive practices are some key issues that education systems face in accommodating learners with SpLDs.

Recently a teacher-training programme on SpLDs and inclusive practices was conducted in Sri Lanka. Questionnaire and interview responses collected in this programme also highlighted the above issues in addition to other issues such as teachers’ negative attitudes towards SpLDs, institutional barriers such as rigid examination systems and negative socio-cultural ideology towards SpLDs (Indrarathne, 2019). The same programme was then extended to India where similar findings were visible. In this presentation, I will discuss these findings in detail by highlighting the barriers to implementing inclusive practices and discuss possible solutions. During the presentation, I will do a short task to raise participants’ awareness on the features of different types of SpLDs. The participants will also be asked to share their experiences of inclusive practices in their contexts. They will then work in groups to discuss possible solutions before having a whole group discussion on possible future challenges in implementing inclusive practices. // Paper ID 72

Learning Disabilities,Teachers,Cultural Expectations