Much of public schools’ instructional practices are designed to rehab or repair a student’s learning deficit. These remediation and corrective methods help resolve a student’s skills gap quickly and effectively. This is a widely-recommended instructional practice because of its success rate in reducing learning difficulties for kids in regular education programs. Remedial instruction is designed to close the gap between what a student knows and what s/he expects to know.
However, for children diagnosed with a learning disability in special education, remediation and corrective methods may not be as effective. In fact, most learners in special education consider remediation mentally painful.
Remediation is typically rote learning. In most remediation classes, special education students are required to repeatedly practice a specific skill until they reaches mastery. Even though, their learning disorder may prevent their brains to fully receive, process, analyze, or store that information; the student is still compel to complete remedial school work.
Students describe this as a painful act because no matter how much they try; they just can not attain mastery of certain math and reading foundational skills. And because they can not reach mastery, they are stuck in a repetitive cycle of remediation.
Special education instruction does not have to be implemented in this matter. Instead, public schools can build on a learner’s strengths and work around weaknesses. The primary focus is to use the child’s dominate learning style to teach them the grade-level curriculum and reinforce learning math and reading foundational skills. Students have multiple ways to complete assignments based on their learning style.
There are benefits to moving ahead with a strength-based approach to special education as opposed to staying with remediation current model. A strength-based approach is possible alternative to remedial instruction.
- Armstrong, T. (2011). The power of neurodiversity: Unleashing the advantages of your differently wired brain. Cambridge, MA: DaCapo/Perseus.
- Armstrong, T. (2012). Neurodiversity in the classroom: Strength-based strategies to help students with special needs succeed in school and life. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.