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Curriculum Adaptation for Inclusive Education | Principles of curriculum adaptation


Curriculum Adaptation for Inclusive Education b.ed notes 

What is meant by curriculum adaptation for special children? 

Throw light on various methods and principles of curriculum adaptation

Adaptation in inclusive education means making the education of children with special educational needs harmonious, accommodative and harmonious with the education of normal children. 

While imparting education to special children along with normal children, normal children have to face hindrances in movement and those with low vision, low hearing, those suffering from orthopedic problems, those who are weak in walking, standing, writing etc. and those who are retarded or slow learners have to be given education. 

One has to face various obstacles like fast pace of teaching, difficult subject matter, small letters written by the teacher on the blackboard, teacher's voice not being suitable, seat not being comfortable, difficulty in writing while holding the pen etc. 

Along with subject teaching, participation in curriculum, learning, co-curricular activities, playing games, In other cases too, special children experience disadvantages due to their physical or mental disabilities. This discrepancy may be different for different categories of disabled children. The teacher has to give extra instruction in teaching keeping in mind the disabilities of special children and make adaptations by providing additional guidance. He also has to make different efforts to adapt the teaching aids to special children. 

In summary, efforts to accommodate special children in inclusive education are called adaptation.


Before understanding the meaning of curriculum adaptation for special children, the concept of curriculum has to be understood. 

Robert M.W. Travers has expressed the concept of curriculum in these words - “A century ago the concept of curriculum used to understand the course material which was prescribed for the students, but in the present time the concept of curriculum has changed. 

Although the ancient concept has not yet completely disappeared, but now it is believed that the concept of curriculum includes all the situations, events planned for increasing the knowledge of students and the theoretical basis that arranges them in the appropriate form. 

According to Munro, “Curriculum should not be defined in terms of subjects to be taken by a student. According to the functional concept of curriculum, it includes all those experiences which are used to achieve the goals of education in school. 

The Secondary Education Commission (1952-53) has also described the curriculum in almost the same sense in these words, “Curriculum does not only mean those theoretical subjects which are traditionally taught in schools, but also the totality of experiences in it. 

It includes those which the student acquires from school, classroom, library, laboratory, workshop, playground and many formal contacts between teachers and students. 

“Thus, the whole life of the school becomes a curriculum which influences all aspects of the life of the students and helps in the development of their balanced personality.” 

It is obtained from the playground and many formal contacts between teachers and students.


Adaptation of curriculum in an inclusive school for special children means adjustments related to the implementation of the curriculum. 

This adaptation can be achieved by making the curriculum flexible or changeable, by adopting adaptation-oriented teaching methods, by providing adaptation-oriented reference books to children on specific subjects/topics, by guidance from experts and source teachers of specific disabilities, by making co-curricular activities suitable for disabled children, This is possible with the help of classmates, use of special supporting teaching materials, organizing special classes if necessary, proper classroom management and school management etc. Below are the details of these methods respectively along with examples -

(1) Making the curriculum flexible -

It is the responsibility of the subject teachers to adapt the curriculum to the special educational needs of special children while teaching the curriculum and doing practical work. 

For example, if a mentally retarded child has not been able to understand abstract topics, then it can be explained by making it simple and analysis based, complete with examples and illustrations. 

To make the curriculum suitable, the subject teacher should explain it with illustrations and examples based on the lives of disabled and underprivileged children. 

To make the subject/matter simple and understandable, it is appropriate to teach it by dividing it into small units so that slow learning children can understand. The subject matter should be taught in an experimental or practical form, such as through science (chemistry, physics) laboratory experiments, By giving a functional form to the subjects of Civics and Social Science like formation of cabinet, children can be given ministers in the class. The voting process can be explained by making a polling station in the classroom. In language teaching, poetry can be explained by staging drama and ruling.


(2) Classroom teaching based on adaptive teaching methods-

One has to resort to teaching sources. For example, hearing impaired children are less able to hear, so the teacher should speak loudly. If they can hear very little, then the teacher should make arrangements to write a carbon copy of what was said to the colleague sitting near that student and give it to the hearing impaired student. Teacher's teaching can also be recorded on a tape recorder, which the child can later listen to and understand by playing it out loud. 

A visually impaired child has poor vision, hence his seating arrangement should be made near the black board in front so that he can see and understand what the teacher has written in big letters. 

If an orthopedic child is disabled in his legs, then seating arrangements should be made for him keeping in mind that he does not face any difficulty in getting up and sitting. 

Explaining through audio-visual material is appropriate for the understanding of mentally retarded children. Audio-visual teaching material is interesting and understandable for all the children in the class. A meeting should be arranged. 

Explaining through audio-visual material is appropriate for the understanding of mentally retarded children. Audio-visual teaching material is interesting and understandable for all the children in the class. A meeting should be arranged. 

Explaining through audio-visual material is appropriate for the understanding of mentally retarded children. Audio-visual teaching material is interesting and understandable for all the children in the class.


(3) Providing simple reference books to disabled children - 

The subject teacher should keep in mind while teaching the class which child is not able to understand the subject/topic taught. If it is not possible for the teacher to pay attention to that child for a long time during classroom teaching, then he should be provided a separate book related to the subject in simple language. 

Books written in large letters should be given to children with low vision and illustrated colorful books should be given to children with retarded intelligence. 

This will develop the habit of self-study in children. While giving the book, the teacher should tell the summary of the topic and page number to the particular student.

(4) Guidance of expert and resource teachers - 

If there is a special problem related to the education of disabled children, then the solution to their learning related problem should be found by sending them to the expert or resource teachers of the disabled children of the institution.


(5) Adaptation in co-curricular activities – 

Co-curricular activities are an integral part of the curriculum. Their area is wide. These activities are useful in the all-round development of the child. These include many activities like literary, social, physical, cultural etc. 

Disabled children should be encouraged to participate in sports activities according to their physical abilities. For retarded and slow learning children who have difficulty in reading, spelling and punctuation, speech activities, debates and essay writing should be encouraged. 

Participation of disabled children in activities like science exhibition, children's fair, annual festival, writing poetry for school magazine etc. should be encouraged and appreciated. Theme based quiz competitions are also a good co-curricular activity.

(6) Cooperation and help of classmates-

Some disabled children are unable to help themselves. Some learning students do not understand the content of the teaching while reading. Even with hard of hearing students, the teacher's intention is not understood due to poor hearing. 

Similarly, for disabled children, teachers should instruct the normal students sitting near them to cooperate and help them. With this arrangement, disabled children will get adaptation in understanding the curriculum.


(7) Adaptation from supporting teaching material-

To make the subjects/episodes of the curriculum interesting and understandable, modern digital means like smart class (which has a big screen and which is connected to the computer to give a film-like form of teaching), television, overhead projector and screen, video film etc. 

Subject teachers should try to understand the subject matter through the medium. This will make it easier for disabled special children to understand the topic/episode.

Principles of Curriculum Adaptation:

The principles on the basis of which the curriculum is designed and amended by the expert committee are also used in the implementation of the curriculum for the adaptation of special children. The curriculum is adapted keeping in mind the following main principles –


(1) Principle of flexibility and diversity –

As beneficiaries of special children, the curriculum and curriculum for them should be suitable for their special needs. Complicated and fixed curriculum is not suitable for disabled children, hence it is necessary to make it flexible and changeable. Diversity of disabilities is also found in disabled children, hence there should be topics in the curriculum of the subjects keeping these diversities in mind. 

Other educational institutions (inclusive schools) and their teachers should have the right to amend or change the curriculum as per the need. 

The Secondary Education Commission is also of the opinion, "There should be sufficient variety and flexibility in the curriculum to take into account individual differences and to adapt to individual needs and interests."

(2) Principle of utility-

Apart from the theoretical topics, subjects should be included in the curriculum of various subjects to make it suitable for the future life of the particular child, that is, to make it useful for life. 

For example, in the course of language teaching, there are stories of success of disabled people in doing various professions, the success of Janmandh Surdas in achieving greatness in poetry, the success of the administration of former US President Roosevelt even when he was suffering from polio, the success of former US President Late. 

By giving the example of Kennedy's mentally retarded sister, inspiration can be awakened in disabled children and they can be told the formula to be successful in life. 

At the primary level, the story of how a handicapped person sits on the shoulder of a blind person and guides the blind person while going to the fair, can be told with useful implications.


(3) Principle of conformity with educational objectives-

For inclusive and special schools, the curriculum should be prepared only after determining the educational objectives and changes should also be made in the implementation of the curriculum keeping the educational objectives in mind. 

The curriculum should be designed and implemented in accordance with the objectives of including disabled children in the mainstream of society, following the principles of inclusion, welfare of disabled people, equality and discrimination-free educational environment, normalization etc.

(4) Principle of child centricity-

Psychology emphasizes on making the curriculum of education child-centric i.e. suitable to the child's interests, needs, capabilities, abilities, intelligence and age. Such a course is interesting and comprehensible. Subjects and relevant topics of education should be included in the curriculum according to the physical and mental abilities of children with special educational needs.


(5) Principle of being related to life-

The curriculum should include such subjects, topics and activities which have a deep connection with the child's present environment and future life. The curriculum should not only include theoretical knowledge but also its practical application in life. 

Disabled children find mere theoretical subjects uninteresting unless they are given a touch of practical life. By making the curriculum practical, practical and functional, it can be related to life. Co-curricular and group life activities should be included in the implementation of the curriculum.

(6) Principle of equality-

Through inclusive education, disadvantaged children with disabilities are given equality of educational opportunities. Even in the curriculum prescribed for them, there should be no discrimination and the curriculum should be adapted according to the principle of equality of general and special children against the attitude of considering disabled people as insulted, tortured or inauspicious.


(7) Principle of correlation- 

The curriculum should be such that interrelationship and correlation between different subjects is promoted. Every subject should be taught by establishing connections with other subjects. 

By keeping in mind the correlation between the compulsory and optional subjects prescribed in the curriculum for disabled children, the subjects become more effective and in accordance with the principle of transfer of learning.

(8) Principle of fullness of experiences-

According to the Secondary Education Commission, “Curriculum does not mean only theoretical subjects, but it includes the totality of experiences.” 

The curriculum for disabled children should also include all those experiences which the child acquires through various activities in the school. 

These activities can be related to the experiences gained in the playground, class room, laboratory, library, co-curricular activities.


(9) Principle of livelihood- 

Disabled people face the problem of setting up a job or business to earn a living after schooling. 

Some mentally retarded children do not understand the things taught in school, some handicapped children do work with their hands more efficiently, some blind children prove to be good musicians, some hearing impaired children are skilled in computer operation, chair weaving, cooking etc. 

Keeping this in mind and identifying the capabilities and interests of the students, a suitable curriculum should be prepared to give them the above mentioned vocational education or craft for earning professional livelihood.