Book Review Engaging Learners with Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities

Engaging Learners with Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities: A resource book for teachers and teaching assistants by Barry Carpenter and others

Children and young people with CLDD have a range of conditions and combinations of conditions which can often be unfamiliar to educators. It can be challenging to engage them with learning, so there is a very real need for approaches and resources to engage this group of children in learning. The Engagement for Learning Framework has been developed and trialled by over 100 educational settings (both special and mainstream) with learners from early years to post-16, so educators can be confident that the methods are well tried. It gives practitioners from a range of disciplines a shared means of assessing, recording and developing personalized learning pathways and demonstrating progression for these children. The focus on inquiry means that however complex a young person’s needs, educators will be able to apply the approach. Clearly presented, despite the complexity of the material, the book gives an in-depth view of using the Engagement for Learning Framework effectively; the case studies show the impact of the system. I like the fact the book specifically includes Teaching Assistants, who play a vital role in any classroom and especially with students with complex issues, where they are frequently providing essential one-to-one support. The impressive qualifications of the authors makes this an authoratitive book that will be highly valued by all involved in the teaching of CLDD young people.

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