By Aano.

3Children are like sponges that soak up events in their social and\educational environment. Some come to us inherently intelligent, while others still need to have their intelligence developed to a socially/academically acceptable limit. Right now in our country, enough time and resources are still not channeled to meet the educational needs of both astute and, or less than average students on the basis of teacher preparations, provision of resources, teaching strategies and academic accommodations. These precedents and the growing illiteracy rate in the country are spreading like wild fire and other countries are leaving us behind as regards to education, social, economic and literacy matters.
Though the answer to the challenges in education is not a case of 1+1 = 2, majority of students are still being taught using only direct instruction in classes, which means that teachers are still doing most or all of the talking with the students serving mostly as spectators. Most teachers are intent on covering the curriculum regardless of their students’ capacity to understand or follow along with lessons being taught. In these instances, it would be impossible for teachers to use cooperative learning, diversify instruction or use other types of instruction in the classrooms. Some students with learning disabilities just give up because most teachers will not have the time to work with them in such a fast-paced environment. Is it fair to teach all students with the same traditional methods used in the last two centuries, or is it time to implement the use of diverse teaching strategies in our schools? It is on this premise that 1 decided to write on the use of the drill and practice teaching strategy for children with learning disabilities, dyslexia and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). There are children with special needs!

1Definition of Terms

What is Learning disabilities?

Learning Disabilities is a generic term that refers to a heterogeneous group of disorder manifested by significant difficulties in the acquisition and use of listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning and mathematical abilities.. These disorders are intrinsic to the individual and presumed to be due to the Central Nervous System Dysfunction. Even though learning disabilities may occur concomitantly with other handicapping conditions (e.g. sensory impairment, mental retardation, social and emotional disturbance) or environmental influences (e.g. cultural differences, insufficient/inappropriate instruction, psychogenic factors) it is not the result of those conditions of influences (Miller & Mercer, 1997).
Dyslexia is a set of disorders that is characterized by difficulties in processing single words. For example, some students see letters reversed (such as b and d), making it difficult to read words containing either of these letters. This is a hidden disability because a teacher may not know ‘who has dyslexia until they are put into a situation that requires skills in literary or processing information.’
ADHD, stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and is also known as Attention Deficit Disorder ADD. There are three types of ADHD, one of which does not show up as hyperactive behaviours in school settings – that is, an inability to sit still for extended periods, fidgeting, and restlessness. In addition they are easily distractible and have trouble controlling their impulses (Lehman, 2004).

Teacher helping girl in classroom

Drill and Practice Teaching strategy

Drill and Practice Method is an instructional strategy which “promotes the acquisition of knowledge or skill through repetitive practice.” It refers to small tasks such as the memorization of vocabulary words, or the practicing of mathematical facts and is also found in more sophisticated learning tasks or physical education games and sports. Drill- and-practice, like memorization, involves repetition of specific skills, such as division and multiplication, or spelling. To be meaningful to readers, the skills built through drill-and-practice should become the building blocks for more meaningful leaning.
Use of Drill and Practice method

Drill and practice teaching strategy is one of the best teaching methods to support students with dyslexia, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and learning disabilities in their processing difficulties. Despite its demerits, this teaching strategy is important in acquiring basic knowledge in different facets of education and life skill areas; mathematics, languages, literature, motor skills, sports, music and other types of intellectual pursuits. Neuroscientists say that “The thing…that wires a child’s brain. or rewires it after physical trauma …is repeated experience.” And if such connections, once formed, are used too seldom to be strengthened and reinforced, the brain figuring they’re dead weight eventually prunes them away.” This statement supports the importance of repetition as a prevalent condition in the formation of a human brain.

Drill and practice teaching strategy is a proven research based method, although some researchers through the years have arrived at a premise that excluded it as an effective method for students with learning disabilities. If used in resourceful ways to validate it, most researches still agree that it facilitates students’ attainment of knowledge through rephrasing or repetition of activity in a way as to help them retain or process information, despite their processing deficiencies. In other words, “instruction simply needs to be presented to struggling learners at the point of their current achievement and systematically escalate their learning. The drill and practice strategy, which is a form of direct instruction, is effective for introducing other teaching methods and providing basic “step-by-step skills,” which serves to engage students in scaffolding information. It can also be used in varied forms like explicit teaching, demonstrations, didactic questioning to facilitate students’ attainment of knowledge through rephrasing or repetition of activity in a way as to help students with learning disabilities retain or process information, despite their processing difficulties.

It is New Year, 2016, and most educators are still practicing the one size fits all type of teaching to teach both children with and those without learning disabilities in our classrooms. Majority of the schools in Nigeria are having an increase in admission of children with learning disabilities and some parents and teachers still regard such children who fail to understand concepts taught twice or thrice as dullards, inattentive, intelligent and, or slow learners. Many students with learning disabilities and many of their peers agreed that presently, using only traditional educational methods of teaching limits student& ability to have meaning/diverse learning experiences that support their academic growth and self-sufficiency.

Drill and Practice Teaching strategy

Drill and Practice Method is an instructional strategy which “promotes the acquisition of knowledge or skill through repetitive practice.” It refers to small tasks such as the memorization of vocabulary words, or the practicing of mathematical facts and is also found in more sophisticated learning tasks or physical education games and sports. Drill- and-practice, like memorization, involves repetition of specific skills, such as division and multiplication, or spelling. To be meaningful to readers, the skills built through drill-and-practice should become the building blocks for more meaningful leaning.
Use of Drill and Practice method

Drill and practice teaching strategy is one of the best teaching methods to support students with dyslexia, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and learning disabilities in their processing difficulties. Despite its demerits, this teaching strategy is important in acquiring basic knowledge in different facets of education and life skill areas; mathematics, languages, literature, motor skills, sports, music and other types of intellectual pursuits. Neuroscientists say that “The thing…that wires a child’s brain. or rewires it after physical trauma …is repeated experience.” And if such connections, once formed, are used too seldom to be strengthened and reinforced, the brain figuring they’re dead weight eventually prunes them away.” This statement supports the importance of repetition as a prevalent condition in the formation of a human brain.

Drill and practice teaching strategy is a proven research based method, although some researchers through the years have arrived at a premise that excluded it as an effective method for students with learning disabilities. If used in resourceful ways to validate it, most researches still agree that it facilitates students’ attainment of knowledge through rephrasing or repetition of activity in a way as to help them retain or process information, despite their processing deficiencies. In other words, “instruction simply needs to be presented to struggling learners at the point of their current achievement and systematically escalate their learning. The drill and practice strategy, which is a form of direct instruction, is effective for introducing other teaching methods and providing basic “step-by-step skills,” which serves to engage students in scaffolding information. It can also be used in varied forms like explicit teaching, demonstrations, didactic questioning to facilitate students’ attainment of knowledge through rephrasing or repetition of activity in a way as to help students with learning disabilities retain or process information, despite their processing difficulties.

It is New Year, 2016, and most educators are still practicing the one size fits all type of teaching to teach both children with and those without learning disabilities in our classrooms. Majority of the schools in Nigeria are having an increase in admission of children with learning disabilities and some parents and teachers still regard such children who fail to understand concepts taught twice or thrice as dullards, inattentive, intelligent and, or slow learners. Many students with learning disabilities and many of their peers agreed that presently, using only traditional educational methods of teaching limits student& ability to have meaning/diverse learning experiences that support their academic growth and self-sufficiency.

2Some students with learning disabilities are adept at hiding their disabilities and can drop out, become disruptive or avoid answering questions in class in order to hide their difficulties with skills most necessary in any type of academic learning, such as; their processing skills, while some have difficulty with committing things to memory. However, drill and practice teaching strategy is one of those methods advocated for teaching such children rather than seeing them as unmotivated or lazy.
Emphases should be laid on teachers’ use of effective teaching strategies as a means of building the achievement of all students, especially those with learning disabilities. Teachers also need to have continuous training, support in amassing a full repertoire of teaching strategies, and clear modes of assessing students with learning disabilities in other to factor in the best teaching strategy to use to stimulate meaningful interaction with them in the academic environment. They will also constantly provide assessment for such students as a way of monitoring any gains made as well as allowing them various ways of expressing their capabilities on their own time and pace: Constant training will enable teachers to see through students pretence rather than jump to the assumption that those with learning disabilities are incapable of understanding a lesson and so do not teach them further, or that they comprehend beyond their ability to demonstrate that comprehension. All students, parents and teachers interviewed agreed that the future of education has changed drastically concerning the relationship between teachers and students, because competent teachers arc the best resources available to students.

They advocated for the need to inculcate continuous strategic workshops, planning time, political and administrative support for teachers who have said that lack of support is a key harrier to their quest of becoming highly effective. More so, educators will better understand the implication of students’ learning disabilities through attending of workshops that teach the results of extensive researches on strategies for teaching students with learning disabilities.

5Given the challenges which appear these days with the increase of learning disabilities in schools, it is critical now more than before, that adequate learning resources, political and administrative support be pooled together in support of students with learning disabilities in our schools, it is critical now more than before, that adequate learning resources, political and administrative support be pooled together in support of students with learning disabilities in our schools. Finally, our teachers can best facilitate the academic growth of all students and those with learning disabilities by creating optimal learning opportunities that enable them to follow the same curriculum as their peers who have no learning disabilities.

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By Aano. Children are like sponges that soak up events in their social and\educational environment. Some come to us inherently intelligent, while others still need to have their intelligence developed to a socially/academically acceptable limit. Right now in our country, enough time and resources are still not channeled to meet...