Tips for teaching SEN children

In general, the implementation of inclusive education in mainstream schools in EU countries has been regarded as a great challenge to all parties involved in the process.

At a European level, the EU has set a goal of reducing the rate of early school leavers to 10% in all member states by 2020 (European Commission, 2010, p. 9). It is important, therefore, that both policymakers and practitioners have access to the best evidence as to how this might be achieved (https://www.europeanagency.org/sites/default/files/Early%20School%20Leaving%20Literature%20Review.pdf).

On the one hand, teachers often state they lack adequate training and qualification to cope with the needs of SEN students. Although the rate of SEN students in the mainstream schools is not a high one, teachers experience worries and professional deficiency to deal with it. On the other hand, the other two parties, parents and students themselves, experience their own worries on how they will be accepted, treated and educated in a school which has not been designed to provide educational services to children with Special Educational Needs.

One of the best things to do so that the educational environment becomes a friendlier one is to train teachers and the teachers-to-be (university students) to cope with situations which can occur in the classroom and provide them with a bank of study scenarios to have in mind and use in need.

Another practical tip (suggested by the Euroepan School Net) is that the classroom environment also plays a crucial role. It would be a good idea to reorganise the desks layout so that there is enough space and separate areas for learning and playing. Not only would SEN students feel better but their classmates as well. The play area in the classroom would give children the feeling of relaxation and would make it even cozier. It would be best if the colours of the play area and the study area differ, so that students can feel the limits and adapt to the required attitude and mood.

Here is a model of educational areas divided into six zones where students can learn according to their best learning styles: http://fcl.eun.org/bg/learning-zones.

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