A critical comparison of two Pedagogical Approaches
implemented to teach learners with ADHD,
in Mainstream Schools.
In this assignment I aim to critically compare two pedagogies; Teacher-Centred Learning (TCL) and a problem solving approach, used to teach learners with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in mainstream schools. I will use the example of Problem-based Learning (known as PBL) for a problem solving approach. My interest in a comparative study of these two pedagogies derives from my experience as a teaching assistant in a U.K. mainstream school, where I specifically worked with learners who had varying behavioural issues, including ADHD. As I worked in small groups or on a one to one basis I was able to develop my methods of teaching to best suit each individual and found that a ‘one size fits all’ approach was not adequate. It was through this work that I wanted to better understand the most practicable and successful pedagogies to implement when teaching learners with ADHD. Also, in Education today there seems to be a great want to ensure ‘Inclusive Education’ for all is occurring and that means allowing learners, even those with Special Educational Needs, the right to access mainstream education. UNESCO (1994:11-12) stated that: ‘Children should learn together, wherever possible, regardless of any difficulties or differences they have…..There should be a continuum of support of services to match the continuum of special needs encountered in every school.’ However, for this to happen effectively teachers need to be able to adapt their pedagogies, (teaching methods) to suit all, and not just the majority of their students. Learners with behavioural disorders, such as ADHD, must be able to engage and actively partake in lessons. In This assignment I will define Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and use the abbreviation ADHD. I will also define the two pedagogies, referring to them as TCL and PBL. In addition to this I will specifically compare certain aspects of the two pedagogies. These will be; the link to different learning theories that underlie both of these approaches, how each pedagogy is implemented and finally the practability of each method before summarising.
Definitions and Descriptions
Everyone who has worked within education will be familiar with the setting of a classroom. Those students who are eager to learn sitting at the front, the majority of the class who just want to do enough to pass, and no more, sat in the middle, and those disruptive naughty students sat at the back who the bulk of teachers either ignore or send out. But what if those students at the back are not naughty, but just disengaged? What if they cannot learn within the specific style that the teacher is using? What if they suffer from ADHD? ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a common behavioural disorder. It is defined by the APA (1994) as, ‘a developmental, neurobiological condition defined by the presence of severe and pervasive symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity.’
Children who have ADHD commonly have the following characteristics, according to Kids Health Organisation; ‘an inability to pay attention to detail…problems with organisation….distractibility...running around…excessive talking…and difficulty waiting their turn.’ (Kids Health. n.p.) Therefore, given these traits, it is understandable that their academic skills and functioning will suffer. These are just a few of the more common symptoms and from these I think it is clear to see that these learners are not naughty children at school. But in fact, they are learners who have trouble in regulating their behaviours. I have chosen to look at TCL as one of the pedagogies as I have seen it in practice in many different settings, and I have seen it work and fail. A TC approach relies on the teacher to determine what...