ERIC Identifier: ED262501
Publication Date: 1984-00-00
Author: Brody-Hasazi, Susan - Gillet, Pamela
Clearinghouse on Handicapped and Gifted Children Reston VA.
Serving the LD Student in a Vocational Education Classroom.
1984 Digest, Revised.
Learning disabled students may have difficulties with academic tasks such as
reading and writing. Following directions and understanding lectures may be hard
for them. As a general rule, they forget more often than other students. They
may learn how to sand wood one day, but forget by the next day. In class, they
may appear restless and inattentive. Sometimes they will fail to focus on their
In PUZZLED ABOUT EDUCATING SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS, Lloyd Tindall describes a
typical learning disabled student:
We are in a vocational agriculture classroom in late March as the instructor
explains how to prepare a cornplanter for spring planting. A cornplanter from
one of the student's farms is in the shop awaiting preparation.
The instructor asks the class to read a section of the cornplanter manual
silently. Tom reads for about a minute and then starts bothering the student
next to him. After being asked to continue reading, Tom reads for another 30
seconds and again bothers his neighboring classmates. The instructor asks the
students to list the necessary tasks on paper. Tom has trouble listing the
essential tasks. He cannot identify the essential tasks to be performed. His
thinking appears to be disorganized. His handwriting is poor. Some of his
letters are reversed: a "b" replaces a "d". He has skippped words. We also
observe that Tom is easily distracted by noises outside the classroom. He does
not seem to have the ability to tune out even minor distractions.
When dismissed to go to the shop to perform the tasks, Tom appears to be
clumsy and awkward. He exhibits poor coordination, especially for a student in
the 12th grade. After arriving in shop, Tom cannot remember his task. He is to
grease all the zerks on the cornplanter. He does not remember where the grease
gun is located or how to fill the grease gun....
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE ACCOMMODATIONS MADE FOR LEARNING DISABLED STUDENTS IN
VOCATIONAL EDUCATION CLASSES?
Some learning disabled students need extra time to practice on the equipment.
They need a lighter workload to have more time free for homework. If a student
needs individual instruction, consider hiring a teacher's aide, finding a
volunteer in the commmunity, asking one of your better students to provide
tutoring, or permitting students to work in a small group to complete the
Some learning disabled students have difficulty writing. It may be hard for
them to take notes or to copy from a blackboard due to visual-motor problems.
They may want to tape the class, borrow another student's notes, or have another
student copy notes for them using carbon paper. Oral reports can be substituted
for written papers, and tests can be given orally.
If students have difficulty reading, the special education department of your
school may be able to help them. Until their reading level is raised, they can
be taught through lectures or demonstrations. You can also let them listen to
tapes or have another student read to them.
Students with language difficulty will be helped by being provided a list of
new terms to be studied before class. They may need to learn how to listen. They
may not understand the meanings of gestures or differences in tone of voice or
speed of delivery. Explain these to them. Help them to separate vital points
from unimportant ones by providing a study sheet listing important facts of the
content under study.
An organized, well delivered lecture will help your entire class, especially
your LD students. Speak slowly and clearly. Carefully pronounce new words and
ask students to repeat them. Emphasize your main points. Encourage students to
ask questions or to ask the teacher to repeat what they do not understand. Begin
the lecture by reviewing the learnings of the previous day; end with a summary
of the important points.
Students having difficulty in math may need calculators or other concrete
Many LD people have difficulty thinking in a logical way and completing their
thoughts. Just as they have difficulty paying attention to the outside world,
they have difficulty following their own thoughts. How can you help them
organize? Listen to them think aloud. For example, you can ask them to describe
an object or process they have just seen or used. Given them tasks that make
them organize: Ask them to organize their notes, organize their work area,
and/or even to plan something for the class.
IS IT POSSIBLE FOR LEARNING DESABLED PEOPLE TO SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETE
VOCATIONAL EDUCATION CLASSES?
Yes, many learning disabled people are intelligent, coordinated, and
sociable. Each learning disabled person has unique strengths and weaknesses.
People with learning disabilities can develop good study habits which make them
good students. They must make an extra effort to overcome their handicap. This
extra effort can make them valued employees.
Brody-Hasazi, Susan, George Salembler, and Kathleen Finck. "Directions for
the 80's: Vocational Preparation for Secondary Mildly Handicapped Students."
TEACHING EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN 15 (1983):206-215.
Cobb, R. Brian. "A Curriculum-Based Approach to Vocational Assessment."
TEACHING EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN 15 (1983):216-219.
Gillet, Pamela. "It's Elementary! Career Education Activities for Mildly
Handicapped Students." TEACHING EXCEPTIONAL STUDENTS 15 (1983):199-205.
"Learning Disabled Adolescents: Programs, Curriculum, Teaching Methods, No.
507." A computer search reprint of 100 abstracts. Reston, VA: ERIC Clearinghouse
on Handicapped and Gifted Children, 1983.
Lynch, Kevin P., William E. Kiernan, and Jack A. Stark. PREVOCATIONAL AND
VOCATIONAL EDUCATION FOR SPECIAL NEEDS YOUTH, A BLUEPRINT FOR THE l980S.
Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brooks Publishing Co., 1982.
Phelps, Allen L., and Ronald Lutz. CAREER EXPLORATION AND PREPARATION FOR THE
SPECIAL NEEDS LEARNER. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon, 1977.
Tindall, L. W. PUZZLED ABOUT EDUCATING SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS? A HANDBOOK ON
MODIFYING VOCATIONAL CURRICULA FOR HANDICAPPED STUDENTS. Madison: Wisconsin
Vocational Studies Center, University of Wisconsin, 1980.
"Transition from School to Work for Handicapped Young People. No. 533." A
computer search reprint of 65 abstracts. Reston, VA: ERIC Clearinghouse on
Handicapped and Gifted Children, 1984.
Wircenski, Jerry. EMPLOYABILITY SKILLS FOR THE SPECIAL NEEDS LEARNER.
Rockville, MD: Aspen, 1982.