Presentation Details

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

Prospective Teacher's Role in Understanding Children's Disabilities

Eleni Makris.

This session will present how students who intend to become teachers increased their understanding of the diverse educational needs of those who have physical, emotional and behavioral disabilities. Through multiple instructional strategies which included traditional lecture, guest speakers, collaborative group work, independent inquiry, and technology usage, students were guided to learn about children's unique special needs such as dyslexia, blindness, deafness, downs syndrome, cerebral palsy, bipolar disorder, attention deficit disorder and behavioral disorders. Attention was given to how teachers must alter their instruction to accommodate students with special needs as is required by the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) which requires that all students with disabilities be given free, appropriate public education.

After lecturing on the requirements of IDEA, a legally blind guest speaker was invited to share his unique experiences and to discuss how children with disabilities have distinct educational needs. Students were then placed into collaborative groups and instructed to create Power Point presentations describing children's special need. Each presentation: 1) defined and explained the unique disability; 2) listed the symptoms and signs; 3) noted the causes; 4) provided current treatments; 5) noted the implications for the classroom; 6) informed teachers how instruction can be adapted to assist these students; and 7) referred to websites that raised awareness about the disability. To conclude, each group also generated a quiz relating to their presentation. Combining the quiz questions from each group, a short quiz was developed and administered to each student in class to test their comprehension.


Eleni Makris  (United States)
Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership and Development
The College of Education
Northeastern Illinois University

  • Disabilities
  • Diversity
  • Prospective Teachers
  • College Students
Person as Subject
  • Children with Disabilities College Students

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)