- Diverse Learner Courses
- Aiding Students with Learning Disabilities
In this course Dr. Donna Walker Tileston covers a broad range of topics in the worlds of brain research and special education. Because she ends every unit with a hands-on practitioner's approach to improving classroom strategies, the brain research is an introduction and provides vital background to a classroom teacher who is working to enlarge his or her toolbox for working with students with special needs. Many of the ideas and classroom strategies, however, apply equally to the regular education teacher and classroom.
After presenting a brief history of special education, Dr. Tileston introduces and explains the key legislation that has changed the lives of people with special needs. She discusses the services schools are required to provide and makes suggestions for what schools can do to best implement the standards set in federal and state laws. Dr. Tileston then focuses on three systems of thinking and the roles they play in learning. She then draws a distinction between declarative knowledge and procedural knowledge, definitions that are used throughout her presentations. She offers many examples of mental models that students may learn to construct in order to increase their ability to recall and organize pieces of information. Shifting gears to emotional and behavioral disorders, as well as attention disorders and solutions,
Dr. Tileston looks first at the brain's involvement in emotions and behavior and attention disorders. For all of the disabilities she explores, she recommends a variety of tactics to better engage students, including providing much structure, such as scaffolding in curriculum and behavioral expectations; consistency in every aspect of classroom life; and constant positive and specific feedback. Ultimately, this course's goal is to ensure that all students receive a high quality education and become independent and empowered in their learning.