Article Review: Educating Students with Learning Disabilities by Ford (2013)
The article “Educating Students with Learning Disabilities in Inclusive Classrooms” by Ford (2013) elicits a great discourse about the significance of developing effective learning strategies for students with learning disabilities. The author has revealed several important methods to improve learning capabilities of these particular students. Some of them include co-teaching, differentiated instruction approach, peer-mediated instruction, and intervention strategy. Under the co-teaching technique, Ford reckons that the collaboration between a general teacher and a special education instructor is important in providing the needed support to students with learning disabilities compared to what a general teacher would offer solely. This technique seeks to eliminate the option of enrolling students in special schools.
Indeed, the co-teaching approach is applicable in the area of English teaching in which I work. In my case, I would teach my subject to all the students indiscriminately while the special education instructor would offer extra assistance to the individuals that need help. The advantage of using the co-teaching model is that any learners who require additional support can receive it. The presence of the special education instructor would allow me to focus not only on the students with learning disabilities but on every individual student. The differentiated instruction strategy involves students with learning disabilities and those with different educational needs. In such a situation, an instructor uses special teaching techniques and learning contents that can match the needs of individual students. Therefore, it is a prerequisite for both general teachers and special instructors to be equipped with a variety of flexible teaching methods to address the necessities of each student. This approach can ensure that learners can comprehend a certain subject in an easy manner and save challenges to their teacher. For example, an English teacher can use assessment as one of the teaching techniques not only for evaluation but also as an instruction tool. This strategy offers the students, including those with LD, an equal opportunity to learn and understand in an efficient way.
The final learning strategy emphasized by Ford (2013) includes the use of the peer-mediated approach. According to him (2013), this is an optional teaching technique that engages students as instructors. In such a situation, the role of the teacher shifts from being the major provider of instructions to becoming a facilitator. The approach can be provided directly or indirectly according to the particular needs of the students. Regarding the direct approach, the student assumes the role of the teacher. Indirect teaching often involves modeling which primarily focuses on enhancing either academic or social-emotional growth.
The use of the peer-mediated strategy is probably the best learning method that can favor students with learning disabilities. As emphasized by Bos and Vaughnm (2006), there is a high probability for students to understand each other compared to what a teacher would know about particular students. Furthermore, a student is likely to feel confident sharing their learning difficulties with peer students. English is not a simple subject and some concepts require much emphasis. A peer-student instructor may teach their fellow students better than the teacher, which indicates why the strategy is so effective. The article of Ford can be used as guidance to everyone whose teaching area is related to students with learning disabilities because it provides some of the most efficient techniques to make these particular individuals understand and learn a given subject in an easy and reliable manner.
Bos, C. S., & Vaughnm, S. (2006). Strategies for teaching students with learning and behavior
problems. Boston, MA: Pearson, Allyn, and Bacon.
Ford, J. (2013). Educating Students with Learning Disabilities in Inclusive Classrooms, Electronic Journal for Inclusive Education, 3 (1).