At schools, groups of students with evaluations and certificates from psychological-educational counselling centres with special needs can be quite numerous. In each class there are those who need adaptation of space, forms and methods, as well as those for whom teachers are required to adapt educational requirements. In the school year 2018/2019, 169.3 thousand children and adolescents with special educational needs were educated in schools (excluding schools for adults), which accounted for 3.7% of the total number of students.
How to act so that educational processes for these students are organized to effectively support the learning process?
Who are pupils with special educational needs (SEN)?
Students with SEN in mainstream schools can be divided into three groups.
Pupils who have an evaluation for special educational needs due to physical disability, including aphasia, mild intellectual disability, hearing impairment, visual impairment, autism, including Asperger’s Syndrome, multiple disabilities, threat of social maladjustment, social maladjustment.
Special education is organized for them. They can also benefit from various forms of psychological and pedagogical assistance in accordance with the MEN Regulation of 9 August 2017 on the conditions of organizing education, upbringing and care for children and youth with disabilities, social maladjustment and at risk of social maladjustment .
Students with other psychological and pedagogical counselling evaluations or opinions (including: students with specific educational needs, chronically ill, requiring individual teaching, covered by early development support or one-year compulsory pre-school preparation) based on the Regulation of the Ministry of Education of 9 August 2017 on the principles of organisation and provision of psychological and pedagogical assistance in public kindergartens, schools and institutions.
Needs of SEN pupils
To identify the needs of SEN pupils, it is necessary to analyse the documents of the individual pupil (certificate, opinion, medical documentation, etc.), to talk to the parents and to observe the pupil in the school environment. Only then it is possible to say what adaptation of space, forms and methods of work and educational requirements a particular student needs. Overriding from the point of view of teachers (teaching team) will be the needs for organizing educational processes in a manner conducive to learning. In this area each student (and especially those with SEN) needs:
Specialist teachers who plan, implement and evaluate the educational process in accordance with the principles of special education or with forms of psychological and pedagogical assistance. It is important that the work follows a plan (in special education IPET), is based on sound knowledge of the student’s abilities and areas for development that require support, is based on indicators of success (measures of achievement), and allows the student to understand the educational process itself, which promotes his/her sense of security.
- A space conducive to learning (safe, understandable, predictable).
- Individualized pace of work and adapted forms and methods.
- Individualized assessment of performance based on clear expectations communicated to the student