Greetings from Maldives!

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1 Greetings from Maldives!

2 Mariyam Azra Abdulraheem, Aishath Sheryn, Fathimath Shadiya, Ali Shareef, Fathimath Shakeela, Adam Zahir (Faculty of Education. Maldives National University Male, Maldives)

3 Objectives You will understand: The research carried out at FE to evaluate effectiveness of the Diploma in SEN (methodology, findings & recommendation) Other efforts at FE to accommodate SEN in pre-service courses

4 SEN legislation (Every child has a right to education!) International legal and non legal instruments National Laws & policies (Disability Act educational provision & Policy on Inclusion categories of need) NC Vision (individuals who are motivated to learn & explore, confident & competent & responsible & productive)

5 The Disability Act (p10,2010) People with disabilities shall have training opportunities within the school system without any discrimination access to basic education, tertiary and higher education (train teachers and provide necessary material/equipment) an environment conducive to learning in all public and private schools special schools with the necessary equipment /material a curriculum that accommodates their needs access to boarding facilities Unofficial translation

6 Inclusion Policy (MoE, 2013) Three areas of need specified *children who need a additional help to learn (LD, Gifted & Talented, ADHD, Children with behavioural problems) *children with a disability (physical, hearing, visual, autism, intellectual disabilities) *Children from disadvantaged backgrounds/ affected by natural disasters, accidents, health problems Describes responsibilities of Ministry of Education, schools, teachers, Advisory Committee

7 EDC, 2011 Map of the National Curriculum The curriculum as an entire planned learning experience is underpinned by a broad set of knowledge, common values and attitudes. What are we trying to achieve? Vision Successful individuals who are motivated to learn and explore; who are inquisitive and eager to seek, use and create knowledge Confident and competent individuals who have a firm belief in Islam, a strong sense of self and cultural identity, and believe in their own capabilities Responsible and productive contributors to their own family, their local community and the global society Principles Islam Identity & Culture Human Rights, Democracy & Justice Holistic Development Personal Excellence Inclusivity Preparation for Life Relevance Shared Values Focus for Learning values relating to Self values relating to Family & Others values relating to Local & Global community values relating to the Environment Knowledge and Understanding Skills Values and Attitudes How do we organize learning? Key Competencies Practising Islam Understanding & Managing Self Thinking Critically & Creatively Relating to People Making Meaning Living a Healthy Life Using Sustainable Practices Using Technology & the Media Key Learning Areas Subjects Islam & spirituality Islam Quran Language & Communication Eng Dhi E. Lit D. Lit F. Lang Mathematics Math M. Sci Chem Environment, science & technology E. Sci Bio Sci Phy ICT Health & Wellbeing Health & PE Hist Social Sciences Social St Geo Creative Arts Art & Design Music Entrepreneurship B. St Acc T.Tour VE Econ Effective Pedagogy Creating a positive learning environment Connecting prior learning to new learning Fostering reflective practice Making learning meaningful Catering to individual differences Ways to Evaluate Impact Measuring learning across all dimensions How well are we achieving this? How well are we achieving this? Using multiple methods Involving the whole school community Using feedback Reflecting on learning and creating a continuous improvement cycle Accountability Measures National standards Positive behaviour Contribution to the society Better choices in life Further education and employment

8 Educational Provision in Maldives for students with SEND Special provision started in 1985 (JS), present set up started in 2004 with a vision: one in each atoll 2250 children with Disabilities, only 230 enrolled in schools (2010, EDC) 11 schools cater to the needs of children with SEN: Hdh, Sh, M, S, GDh,LH, GS/KS, IMS, JS (HRCM, 2010)

9 Research Problem Increasing number of children with SEN Limited educational o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r children with SEN Lack of qualified teachers to meet the needs of ALL A s s e s s t h e effectiveness of the Diploma in Special Educational Need

10 Aims of Diploma in Special Education To be advocates for the rights of all children to education To train teachers to be confident and competent practitioners of all students To develop teaching and learning approaches which respond to the emotional, social, physical, intellectual needs of all students To facilitate partnership between parents and practitioners To support student-centered, developmentally appropriate teaching for all students

11 Course Structure Year 1 Subjects Hrs Semester 1 Concepts and Contexts of SEN/D 56 Cognition and Learning Communication and Language in Special Education Reading and writing for students with SEN Semester 2 Leadership and Management in Special Education 48 Assessment Monitoring and Impact Evaluation Understanding and Managing Behavioural, Emotional and social difficulties BESD Inclusive Education School Experience 2 weeks

12 Research Objective v To assess the effectiveness and the suitability of the Diploma in Special Education program conducted at FE, MNU v Research questions: How do perceptions differ between teachers who did the Diploma and those who did not? How do teachers with the Diploma differ from those without, in meeting the needs of ALL students?

13 Methodology Research design Qualitative approach Research tools Focus group discussions Observations Semi-structured interviews Document Review Sample and Participants One school from Male, one school from South and one school from North SEN teachers (8) Other SEN qualification teacher (4) Mainstream teachers (10) Parents (17) School Heads (4)

14 Methodology Sample and Participants One school from Male, One school from South One school from North SEN teachers (8) Other SEN teacher (4) Mainstream teachers (10) Parents (17) School Heads (4)

15 Methodology - Research tools Focus group discussions Classroom Observations Semi-structured interviews

16 Focus Group Discussions Examples of questions: How confident /competent are you in teaching students with special educational Needs? Name any specific areas that you feel more or less competent/confident? How do you think Dip SEN graduates helped change teaching and learning in classes for students with SEN? Are you interested in doing the DipSEN course? Why/ Why not?

17 Semi-structured Interviews SEN Graduates Other Teachers & Parents Why did you join diploma of Special Education Needs (SEN) conducted by faculty of Education? In your opinion do you think the current training you have is enough to cater for SEN? In your opinion did this program cater your expectations? If so in which areas. Do you think at least a diploma level graduate qualification is necessary for SEN teaching? How did your perception about SEN change through the program? Can you identify an activity that you are doing differently after SEN training? What are your recommendations for this program to make it more effective in the future? How are SEN diploma graduates helping in SEN classroom teaching? Are they bringing any positive changes to SEN classroom teaching through their training? In your opinion, what areas of focus are important to be included in a SEN training program?

18 Semi-structured Interviews School Heads Tell us about the SEN programme in your school. What kind of challenges do you face regarding meeting needs of ALL students? In this school there are teachers who have completed Diploma in SEN and teachers who have competed Certificate courses in SEN and also some without any training in SEN. They all teach in SEN classes. Do you see any difference among the 3 groups in terms of supporting the needs of ALL students? How do they help school meets needs regarding SEN issues? What do you recommend to include in our future SEN training programmes? Parents Tell us something about your daughter /son What is your opinion about the present SEN classes What do you think about training teachers in SEN? Do you come across difficulties because your daughter/son is in these classes? What is your vision for these classes?

19 Findings Perception of SEN graduates Strengths Participants became more competent especially in areas such as inclusion & identification Participants became more confident and initiated activities to raise awareness Areas for Improvement Inclusion of a module on therapies Medium of Instruction (English to Dhivehi) Modules that require revision (Leadership & Assessment)

20 Findings: Perception of Other Teachers Positive aspects of graduate teachers Sharing of knowledge Creating awareness Areas to focus in the program o Therapy

21 Findings Parents perception Parents view on SEN provision (high expectation & grateful, see progress) Parents View on SEN graduates (value teachers) Areas for improvement (resources)

22 Findings School Management perception Strong aspects (made them confident / competent to take initiatives in raising awareness among staff and parents) Areas for Improvement (need to be more specific Dip in Autism /OT / speech therapy) Challenges (funding and resources, physical space)

23 Overall findings Positive aspects Confidence Competence Status of graduates Experience abroad Areas requiring change Medium of instruction Teaching staff to have SEN background Inclusion of therapies, vocational training and counseling Broader school experience (local) Revision of some existing modules

24 Recommendations (Dip SEN) School experience (local and abroad) Introductory module on therapy (early intervention) Networking (platform to discuss concerns & issues and share best practice) SEN training for all Facilitators Degree Program (depth & breadth)

25 Other Efforts Through different subjects

26 Other Efforts Third year subject Introduction to Special Education (56 hrs)

27 Plan: A Degree in Special Education! Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 (To specialise)

28 Dip SEN made a difference in the lives of children with special educational needs/ disability! THANK YOU

29 References: HRCM (2010). Activities Addressing Rights of Persons with Disabilities A Baseline Assessment, Human Rights Commission of Maldives MoE (2013). Policy on Inclusion (Hurihaa kudhin Shaamilkohgen Thauleemu foaru kohdhinumuge Siyaasath). Ministry of Education, Male, Maldives Disability Act- Protecting the rights of people with special needs and providing financial assistance. (2010). Dhivehi Sarukaaruge Gazzette, Vol 39 EDC (2011). National Curriculum EDC (2010). Report on the prevalence of children with SEN in the Maldives (Draft 3)

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