Lynchburg College partners with Dominica to hold a one-week training for teachers
The Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development is partnering with the Lynchburg College in Virginia, USA to conduct a one-week training programme in Special Education for a group of 30 teachers from both primary and secondary schools in Dominica.
Special Education Coordinator Mrs Helen Fontaine said that the training is intended to provide specialized training for teachers and other educators in the area of effective instructional practices for students with special needs and those experiencing difficulties in the classroom.
“Thirty teachers from both secondary and primary schools will learn about children with special needs, characteristics, and the services that they need. They will focus on strategies for addressing literacy and numeracy skills for special needs learners, they will learn more about differentiating instructions and adapting the curriculum to meet the diverse needs of students. They will also autism spectrum disorder, since this is a group of students we have not started to address within our system”, said Fontaine.
The facilitators for the training are Dr Glenn Buck of Lynchburg College, Dr Jim Patton of the University of Texas, and Dr Ed Polloway of Lynchburg College. Dr Polloway said that the topics chosen during the training are relevant to the development of students’ education, especially those with special needs.
“Not only do we believe these topics are important in Dominica, but we see them as being universal in the rest of the region. We focus on how best to deliver special education, how to design instructions that is effective in response to learners with special needs and how to address the needs of the growing number of students who are identified as having autism spectrum disorders”, said Dr Polloway.
Chief Education Officer Mr. Stephenson Hyacinth said that the Ministry of Education is pleased to be undertaking this training and hopes to close a few gaps that need to be closed in today’s education system.
“We have some students who are going through the cracks and this is our primary concern. How can we save our struggling students? How can we prevent students, after seven years of primary school still being unable to read at their grade level? We have set the benchmark for at least a ninety percent success rate at all levels of the education system”, said Hyacinth.
During the training, teachers will cover topics such as characteristics of children needing special education, literacy and numeracy strategies, curriculum adaptations, differentiation of instructions and transition, and an overview of autism and the implications for teachers. The program will close on Friday, July 9th 2010.