What is the place of specialist knowledge in the work of teachers with children with special educational needs?

How important is relationship or 'knowing the child' and what is the balance between theoretical and tacit/experiential knowledge in the work of teachers?

Is there a 'special pedagogy' or 'special knowledge' in special education?

Taking these issues in to account, what is the best way to prepare and support teachers in working with children with special educational needs?

These issues will be explored at a special seminar at the Institute of Education, University of London on Thursday 26th June.

The seminar will draw on emerging results from a UK Department for Education funded project focused on exploring best practice approaches to preparing teachers for working with children with special educational needs.

In the seminar, the Principal Investigator for the Project, Joseph Mintz, will also draw on theoretical work developed in his new book, 'Professional Uncertainty, Knowledge and Relationship in the Classroom' which uses a psychosocial frame, based on an integration of the work of Wilfred Bion and Donald Schon, to explore the relationship between theoretical and experiential knowledge in the work of teachers, with a particular emphasis on work with children with special educational needs. By thinking about how teachers deal with uncertainty, the 'in the moment' experience of teachers in intersubjective relationship with children, theĀ author proposes that there is more to be gained by staying with difficult uncertainties rather than fleeing too early in to the promise of expert solutions. The implications of this approach for teacher education policy will be explored in the seminar.
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