DESCRIPTION OF THE SUCCESS STORY
This is the success story of a male student who enrolled at the professional high secondary education school in Castelo Branco, Portugal and who showed many learning difficulties. He came from a deprived familial background. His mother had experience severe learning difficulties and his sister, who had been a student at the same school, had experienced similar learning difficulties.
The student was kind, very humane, caring and sometimes looked completely lost to his surroundings. Cognitively, however, his difficulties were very great.
All teachers used methodologies and resources that they tried to adpat to this student’s severe difficulty. Resources and materials were prepared exclusively to facilitate his learning and all the time the student spent in school was taken advantage of as learning time, opportunities for passing on information and enhancing all the ‘goodness’ that was inside him as a person.
Ths story is one of success because the student managed to finish his course through professional practical training in contact with small children. When he left, everybody cherished him. The key to the success in this story is that all personnel, teachers and supervisors at the training practice place of this student were always open to introducing those teaching and learning strategies that would make the student progress.
When the student finished school he got a job at a Call Centre and this was indeed a success for a student who was always blushing, was very shy and withdrawn.
The possible explanation of the success of this story lies in the attitudes of the teaching personnel who took advantage of all opportunities as learning opportunities for this withdrawn and mentally challenged young boy. The school extended beyond the walls of the classroom to the professional practice places the student attended to follow his education through.
The transferability potential of this story lies in realizing that it takes a whole community to promote the conditions for the advancement of such a student; that curricula have to be flexible and learning can be done in any context, in and out of the classroom.