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Meeting Children's Individual Needs

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Introduction

BA (Hons) Primary Education Year 2 Semester 3 December 2002 Professional Studies Assignment PR2010 "Meeting Children's Individual Needs" Brown & Wragg (1993) identify the ten roles of the teacher as being, "director, facilitator, adviser, teacher, guide, critic, freedom giver, supporter, manager and examiner" (p.31-32). There are many other educational writers who suggest various other dimensions of teaching and the essential teaching skills within these dimensions. Kyriacou (1998) lists the essential teaching skills identified by Dunne & Wragg (1994) as being "ethos, direct instruction, management of materials, guided practice, structured conversation, monitoring, management of order, planning and preparation and written evaluation" (p.6). It is the teacher's task to utilize the dimensions stated above to facilitate the development and employment of these essential teaching skills. According to Kyriacou (1998) this is crucial in order to foster all pupils' learning (p.5). This essay is concerned with how the teacher utilises these diverse roles and skills with the purpose of meeting every child's individual needs. A useful starting point is to consider what the needs of children are. Fox (2001) identifies Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs, which have been divided into two main categories; survival needs including those which are physiological; need for food, liquid, oxygen etc. ...read more.

Middle

The Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education (CSIE) produced a sheet detailing ten reasons for inclusive education falling under the headings of human rights, good education and good social sense. It identifies that it is a basic human right of every child to learn together; given commitment and support, inclusive education is a more efficient use of educational resources and all children need an education that will help them develop relationships and prepare them for life in the mainstream. When planning teachers must set up a learning activity, which effectively achieves the learning outcomes for each individual child. According to Kyriacou (1998) one of the most important skills in teaching is the teacher's sensitivity to pupils needs. "This sensitivity is reflected in the ability of the teacher to plan lessons and adapt and modify their delivery by taking into account of how the lesson will be experienced by different pupils and foster their learning" (p.16-17). Teachers must structure learning within their classrooms in order to move each child forward, this can include differentiating appropriately, using appropriate resources and implementing various teaching and learning strategies inclusive of all children. Differentiating tasks within a class should enable the teacher to set and assess work in order to meet the needs of a range of abilities within the same class. ...read more.

Conclusion

"The concept of reflective teaching encompasses a consideration of the social consequences of educational processes. It also involves us in identifying our degree of responsibility for their consequences" (p.274). The constructivist model of learning, discussed in Bigge & Shermis (1992) one leading theorist of which is Piaget, treats the child as an individual. Child centred approaches based on Piaget's work were introduced and developed to manage the problem for providing individual children with appropriate and direct learning experiences (p.45). There is another perspective which should be considered, Sugrue (1997) discusses Watt's (1989) observations that when dealing with an individuals needs one must be aware of the tension between rights and duties. Similarly Dewey (1916) identifies the importance of balancing the needs of the individual with those of society. According to Sugrue (1997) the teacher has responsibilities not only to the children, but also to society by shaping learners into good citizens and initiating them into cultural traditions. "Children's needs and interests must be tempered by social requirements" (p.11). In conclusion teachers must be aware that they are contributing to tomorrow's society and therefore children have a right to fulfil their potential, schools are obliged to foster learning which enables the children to also fulfil society's requirements. Sugrue (1997) discusses Entwistle's (1970) ideas "Respect for individual difference must be protected and promoted, needs and interests recognised, while wider social interests and responsibilities cannot be ignored" (p.11). ...read more.

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