Misunderstood Minds

This is a very powerful and thought-provoking film that deals sensitively with a number of case studies of children struggling to succeed in the mainstream education system.

The film highlights some complex issues that, to me, reinforced that provision of professional development on learning difficulties and challenges has to be available for every teacher - not just for those who choose to specialise in special needs. Some of the most troubling parts of the film are where children and families talk of how the child struggled in the mainstream system without anyone adequately identifying that they had a problem - or what to do about it. On some occasions the children were just labeled as 'lazy'!

As we move away from 'one size fits all' classroom models of education, as we seek to harness the power of IT to support personalised learning I hope that more and more of these children will have their learning challenges identified earlier and can then get tailored, calibrated support as early as possible. Also, it increases our chances of supporting them without needing to remove them from the social environment of the 'mainstream' school.

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