Special Education in Irish Classrooms: A Practical Guide

It was through participation in the INTO online course for learning support and resource teachers, that I first encountered Fiona King's comprehensive research into the area of peer tutoring and in-class support within the Irish Context.

The main role of the learning support and resource teachers team is to provide supplementary teaching in the pupil's own classrooms and by withdrawal to a learning support room.{mospagebreak}

The Learning Support Guidelines state that shared teaching approaches in the pupils own classroom must be considered (LSG, 2000 Pg46).

This book is full of valuable insights and practical advice on the successful implementation of tried and tested models of in-class support, for example peer tutoring, co-operative/collaborative teaching (co-teaching) and parrallel teaching.  Essentially it is a ‘how to' book, providing extensive practical examples of quality supplementary in-class support teaching, based on the authors own research and experience. 

Differentiation is seen as the key to successful curricicular inclusion and alternative teaching methods, resources and groupings are examined in an attempt to best meet the needs of all pupils. 

Key Topics covered include;

•·    Ideas for the structure of in-class support systems
•·    Getting started and following a strategy
•·    Applying peer-tutoring strategies
•·    Practical guidelines for assisting reading comprehension skills
•·    Tips on encouraging creative writing
•·    Successful teaching strategies for mathematics
•·    Effective instruction for spelling in a whole class situation
•·    Useful resources and websites.

There is a very comprehensive chapter on the transition of children with SEN to second level.  The chapter on practical strategies for parents will be of assistance, not only to parents but also to teachers and SNA's. 

Finally a glossary of terms and abbreviations demystifies the languate surrounding the area of special educational needs.  I have no hesitation in recommending this book as an invalluable resouce for all teachers, SEN's and NEPS psychologists.




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