It is important to provide all students with targeted and specialized instruction when learning difficulty is identified. The best interventions include both direct instruction designed to enhance academic achievement and instruction in learning strategies that enhance students’ ability to retain and apply knowledge across multiple contexts.
Characteristics of effective instruction include:
- Direct, explicit, and systematic instruction of academic content
- Instruction in self-monitoring
- Opportunities for practice
- Continuous monitoring of performance
- Ongoing provision of feedback
Research supports that skill improvement correlates with treatment intensity, such that the most intense treatments yield the best results. One important way to conceptualize treatment intensity is the opportunity for student response and frequency and immediacy of corrective feedback. Generally, high intensity is found in the context of small group or one-on-one tutoring interventions. When instruction is provided one-on-one, the student has more opportunities to practice newly acquired skills, and the tutor can regularly evaluate progress. Furthermore, tutoring has been shown to produce significant improvements both in terms of academic skills and attitudes about learning, as tutoring provides unique opportunities for modifications in the structure, sequencing, and pacing of instruction.
Oftentimes, children with learning disorders need information to be presented in a different way than it is in the classroom. I have specialized training and expertise in pedagogical theory, teaching strategies, and contextual factors that affect learning which allows me to differentiate instruction and meet students’ individualized needs. I take the student’s neuropsychological profile into account in order to present information in a way that capitalizes on the student’s strengths. The responsibility shifts: It is no longer the student’s job to learn the information, but instead, it is my job to make it understandable.