Issues and Challenges in Teaching Science to Special Needs Students Children with special need are the one who deviates from the norm especially in education and would therefore needed special care in form of facilities and material for learning to take place. These are issues and challenges in teaching science to the students Issues
Few general education teachers have had training to teaching students with disabilities, and few special education teachers have had training in science teaching. The problem is twofold and is influenced by decisions made by special education teachers, science teachers, and teacher educators. Cawley (1994) states that science teachers generally have little training or experience with disabilities and, in general, special educators have little or no exposure to science. One might expect that students with disabilities receive science instruction from teachers in special education but this clearly is not the case. Special educators perceive their responsibility as accommodating students who are having difficulty learning and who are generally at least two grade levels behind their peers in basic skills. They seldom teach science, and the science they teach is often text book based. Specialists in adaptations look only at physical accessibility and mobility, not the special needs of the disabled student, which may require adaptations for hands on science investigations Studies reflect a continuing lack of responsiveness by science teachers to adjust the learning environment so that students with disabilities feel a sense of success and accomplishment. Secondary science teachers are generally not sensitive to individual needs and are not as inclined to make adjustments in the materials or instructional strategies for their pupils (Lovitt & Horton, 1994). In learning it is vital for a teacher to develop confidence in students and at the same time make them more motivated in learning the subject. The teacher should also be aware of students and not only making connection to the more responsive one in the classroom.
Another challenge that arises is finishing the content at the same time as the normal students. These students would need more time and effort to make them understand a certain topic and competing against normal student in finishing the content would seem impossible. This is because the special need student needing appropriate strategies in teaching. In addition, carrying out the peer tutoring would be a challenge because the special need students might have difficulties in cooperating among each other. This is because their capacity for understanding emotional and to socially converse with other would be none or near to zero because some of them have trouble interpreting facial emotion (e.g. aspeger syndromes, and autism) Furthermore the Malaysian schools did not have any special laboratory prepared to cater for these students. So in reality it is very difficult for a teacher to conduct normal experiments like normal students.
Children with special need are part of the society. Denying them the right for education would be the same as to denying their human rights. They need to be treated like the normal people and teachers needed to understand that they have potential too. The teacher also should equip themselves with more knowledge to prepare with the students. They need to be ready for any challenges coming their way.