TITLE OF THE SUCCESS STORY
Supporting and individualising
COUNTRY WHERE IT TOOK PLACE
AUTHOR OF THE SUCCESS STORY
Students with learning difficulties
DESCRIPTION OF THE SUCCESS STORY
The main actor involved in this narrative, besides the student, were the Class Teacher; the Special Education Teachers, the Speech and language therapist and the Psychologist of the “Faria de Vasconcelos” schools cluster in “Castelo Branco, Portugal. On entering this schools cluster, the student was already signaled as a student who should benefit from special education support. The student had a poor attendance record caused by learning difficulties, which affected his self-confidence and his attitude. According to the student’s own report he felt learning difficulties and was unable to get organized by himself. The educational follow-up of the various teachers and technicians enabled the creation of a range of conditions that allowed him to improve his learning and to get motivation for studying. Cultural and social animation activities played an important role in this student’s greater interaction and socializing with the other students of the school, and the overall improvement of his general behavior.
An Individual educational program was designed for the student and adhered to. The individual educational program is a working tool that takes into account the student’s profile and the way he is able to function at school. It establishes the educational responses required by the specificities of the particular student, and it is simultaneously a document that binds the school and the student’s parents. In this way educational individual procedures are undertaken which promote the student’s full integration in the school context.
The implementation of the Individual educational program in this case focused on the particular needs of the student: improving his learning, helping him to organize better, contribute to the student’s progression in the cognitive domain and improving his attitudes in and to the school environment. The individual educational program allowed the student to develop the capacity for autonomous work and to interpret knowledge in new contexts.The support continues to focus on strengthening basic key competences, with regard to language and mathematics.
This is clearly a successful story achieved through the combination of different aspects. First, it should be noticed that it was important that when the student arrived at this particular school context, he had already been signaled as being in need of special education support. This gave the school knowledge about the problem in a timely manner and allowed the school time to organize an integrated response. Next, the success may be attributed to the organized educational proposal response, which mobilized a wide range of actors in the internal and external educational community (guardians) and was able to work articulately. Finally, it seems, also, that the definition of an individualized education program, adjusted to the specific needs of the student was a key tool for the effectiveness of the teaching and learning process. This procedure was a facilitator of progression throughout the student’s schooling process, which allowed him to pursue his school path with greater levels of cognitive and social success. This, in turn, increased the student’s motivation and prevented his disinterest.