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How to Engage Learning Disabilities

The world of education has come a long way in understanding how learning disabilities affect students as they develop through their academic careers. Educators can use new techniques and insights to engage students who struggle with any number of abilities. An online Master of Arts in Teaching with a Specialization in Special Education – General Curriculum from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP) can assist graduates in reaching their potential as teacher leaders in special education. Graduates of this online graduate program will be prepared to meet the needs of exceptional children in K-12 school settings by conducting a comprehensive study of behavioral and instructional techniques and provide appropriate support and strategies for students with mild-to-moderate disabilities.

Educating Students With Learning Disabilities

Over the years, efforts have increasingly been made to include students with learning disabilities and enhance their education. However, students with learning disabilities can have difficulty focusing on classroom lessons, remembering concepts, performing specific tasks or adapting to changes in their routine. Luckily, educators can support and work with these students to help them learn and succeed. Specialized instruction adapted to meet students’ needs can increase access to learning for many.

The field of special education has transformed in recent years by exploring ways that teachers can modify their classrooms to include students with learning disabilities. Adapting teaching strategies to better support the needs of their students is a beneficial way for educators to manage this goal. Breaking up learning into small parts, or “chunking,” is a process where educators break up large swaths of information into smaller and smaller sections to relieve the cognitive load on the student’s brain. It engages the short- and long-term memory more efficiently to make learning less overwhelming.

Using a visual aid, such as a whiteboard, can help some students visualize the direction of the learning chunks. Using additional visual aids in the classroom — such as charts, diagrams, videos and photographs — can help connect words and images, making learning more accessible and enjoyable. Assistive technology in the classroom helps students with varying learning disabilities use their strengths to navigate around their challenges. Assistive technology can aid students to address listening skills, reading and comprehension, math problems, organization and memory issues, writing difficulties and more. Teachers can modify these assistive technologies to help every student reach their potential.

Educators who stay current with the changing understanding of various psychological, social and cognitive influences that encompass the learning process are better equipped to engage students with learning disabilities. Some students with learning disabilities may struggle with engagement and motivation more than their peers. Studies have shown that by using extrinsic motivators and verbal praise, a student’s intrinsic motivation, academic outcomes and learning goals may improve. A classroom that encourages, respects and includes students of all backgrounds and learning abilities is a welcoming environment where students know they belong.

How UNC Pembroke Can Help

UNCP’s 100% online degree program can help expand professionals’ understanding of the process, procedures and policies for providing special education services and the contemporary issues that impact professional roles. By emphasizing the relationship between practice and research, this program also covers the psychometric measures and data available to evaluate and respond to the progress of individual students.

With courses such as Advanced Studies of Exceptional Children, Policies and Procedures in Special Education, Behavior Management and Support, Mild to Moderate Disabilities: Reading/Written Language Strategies and Instruction and more, graduates of this program will be prepared to stay current on the evolving dialogue of special education and engaging students with learning disabilities.

Learn more about UNC Pembroke’s online Master of Arts in Teaching with a Specialization in Special Education – General Curriculum program.

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