The inclusion of pupils with special educational needs leads to new curriculum challenges for teachers. For learners with severe learning difficulties a tailor-made curriculum is needed. Research conducted in the Netherlands emphasizes the complexity of designing curricula for these pupils. Teachers often consider their expertise to be insufficient. In this study the potential of technology as a tool to support teachers for designing tailor-made curricula for pupils with severe learning difficulties is investigated. The study can be characterized as design research. The study consists of three phases: (1) needs and context analysis, (2) design and formative evaluation of prototypes and (3) (semi-)summative evaluation of a final prototype. During the first phase of the research a systematic preliminary research of problems and context was made. This phase has provided insight in characteristics of a web based tool to support teachers in designing numeracy lessons for pupils with severe learning difficulties and to stimulate professional development. An evolutionary prototyping approach was used to develop a promising prototype. There was an important role for formative evaluations to ensure that the support tool would be valid, practical and effective. Finally, a (semi-)summative evaluation took place at three schools for primary education. Besides, two focus groups were held with teachers and peripatetic teachers. The potential of the web based tool to support teachers on the job and foster professional development is partly realized in school practice. The tool appeared to be helpful in supporting teachers to develop innovative numeracy lessons. The curriculum framework, exemplary lesson materials and background information about learning and teaching appeared to be practical and effective. Stimulating an active construction of meaning by a cyclic process of (re)designing, experimenting and reflection on the intended, implemented and attained curriculum leads towards more purposeful acting of teachers. Teachers found it difficult to design a coherent curriculum over a longer period. The aim to stimulate the involvement of colleagues for interaction and collaboration. was not realized. Teachers used the tool without interaction and collaboration with colleagues. A stand-alone tool seems to be insufficient to stimulate this.
|Award date||27 Nov 2013|
|Place of Publication||Enschede|
|Publication status||Published - 27 Nov 2013|