On the 2nd March, Helen (Principal Primary School), Beena (Primary Learning Support) and myself represented the school at the first SENIA-India meeting, at Stonehill International School, Banglore. SENIA is an acronym for ‘Special Education Network and Inclusion Association’. The association comprises of educators, professionals and parents whose mission is to advocate for and provide resources/ support to differently abled students.

In this day long session more than 100 participants, from various International Schools came together to learn, connect and share with each other in the field of Inclusive practice. In this meeting we discussed  the most common themes around diagnoses  that international school educators come across in their settings and the high degree of neurodiversity that exists among students. The participants further brainstormed some ways that we could consider giving additional support.

During session 2 which was about differentiation in Maths, the biggest take away for me was  that not only the prefrontal cortex is important because it controls our  ‘Executive Functioning skills’ but our cerebellum is equally important, as it brings together movement+cognition which finally leads to a sensorial learning experience. Adding movement to teaching in the classroom benefits all learners. Most of our Inclusive Practices are based on the Universal Design Principles wherein teachers can instruct a diverse group of students by being flexible and addressing every student’s strengths and areas to develop.

The 3 Principles of Universal Design for Learning are-

  • Provide Multiple Means of Representation- Present information and content in  different ways.
  • Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression- Differentiate ways that students can share what they know.
  • Provide Multiple Means of Engagement- Stimulate interest and motivation for learning based on students learning style and areas of interest.

Here is a picture of collaboration in progress, at the end of the day we all left inspired.

Referencehttps://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/treatments-approaches/educational-strategies/universal-design-for-learning-what-it-is-and-how-it-works

http://cafe.durhamcollege.ca/index.php/curriculum-development/universal-design-for-learning/3-udl-principles

By Harjyot Malhotra

HOD Student Services.