Giving Compass' Take:

• An Individualized Education Plan helps students learn at their own pace and is personalized to suit their specific needs.

• How will an Individualized Education Plan help foster agency in students? 

• Read about the effects of student-centered learning. 

An Individualized Education Plan (IEP) attempts to not only identify areas of challenge for a student—fine motor skills, language development, reading and comprehension, written and verbal language skills, social interaction, etc.—but to also put a mechanism in place to address those challenges. While the intentions behind an IEP are good, much work remains to be done.

Curriculum itself must be personalized in order to truly meet the needs of students with learning disabilities.

Let's consider a few of the challenges that children with learning difficulties traditionally face and discuss how changes in practice might better serve their needs.

The question then arises, How do you change the course and, more importantly, the depth of the course so that a child is able to learn just the right level of information and feel successful? In the absence of this adjustment, the burden is entirely on the child.

The solution is to provide only the information that is absolutely critical and not focus on irrelevant facts. Remember, it is not easy for the child to know what is important and what is not. If a student chooses to focus on a particular subject in later studies, he or she can then concentrate on learning all the facts to attain mastery.

For children with learning difficulties, focusing on a preferred subject provides a sense of accomplishment and a small “win” while at the same time helping them improve.

A child who is strong in math may have challenges with English reading comprehension and other subjects like history, geography, earth science, etc. that are dependent on it. If a child is having trouble with reading comprehension and expressive language skills, all the time should be devoted to addressing those challenges, rather than asking the child to learn every other subject in great detail. There is very little value in detailed study of multiple subjects without fully addressing such foundational challenges.

Read the full article about Individualized Education Plan by Venkat Ratnam at EdSurge.