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ERIC Identifier: ED262501
Publication Date: 1984-00-00
Author: Brody-Hasazi, Susan - Gillet, Pamela
Source: ERIC 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 task.

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 project.

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 aids.

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.

MORE INFORMATION

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.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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